The event usually goes something like this:
Him (from deep within a closet in an annoyed tone of voice): WHY do we have ALL of these ratty towels (or old laptop bags or mismatched hangers, etc. ) that we never use?
Me (from deep within the kitchen, or another room where I know I won’t be able to hear him): What? Are you talking to me?
Him (removing the towels from the closet): THESE RATTY TOWELS ARE IN MY WAY.
Me (now entering the field of battle): Could you choose another tone? How about calmly asking if I could go through the towels and throw away any that we never use?
Him (not listening). IT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN I CAN’T GET TO THE BACK OF THE CLOSET.
Note: He needed to get to the back of the closet because he couldn’t remember where he had buried, I mean put, the bicycle locks.
Me (now matching his tone and raising him in volume): I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME. DO YOU WANT TO TRY ASKING AGAIN NICELY?
Him: You are right. I am sorry. BUT IT MAKES ME CRAZY…
Me: STOP. TALKING RIIIIGGGGHHHHT NOOOOOOWWWWWWW. Do you not see the pattern here? That you get annoyed, then you drag me in to it and pass your annoyance on to me? Have you not realized by now (20+ years of marriage) that I DON’T LIKE IT WHEN YOU GIVE ME YOUR CRAZINESS?
Him (totally calm now. Bicycle locks have been located and ratty towels are in a pile near the door): Let’s go on a bike ride.
Me: OK. I’ll meet you in the front hall.
He leaves the room. I wait a second, then put all the ratty towels back in the closet and shut the door. I grab my bicycle helmet and off I go.
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Image via Amy G/Flickr