“You yell at me for this but you’re the one,” Michael said, as he fished around in the sink beneath the dinner dishes for the sponge.
I have this thing about (yes, add it to the ever-growing collection of my pet peeves) the sponge being left in the bottom of the sink. Who would want that – the sponge left there all moist and bacteria-laden? But when I do it, it’s for a reason like that it was all ratty and I was going to use it to clean the toilet anyway.
“Divorce me,” I said.
“I’m thinking about it.”
I laughed one of those spit-laughs, “Go ahead. I could do better than you.”
“You don’t think I could?”
“No,” he said before I finished the word “could”.
“I’d like to see you do better than me. Who would have you?”
Later on that night, we were watching Moneyball. I wouldn’t call myself a baseball fan, so if a baseball movie can entertain me, it has to be good in some capacity. I’m also not a huge Brad Pitt fan, and I liked his performance very much. This is not a film review. There was a scene when Brad Pitt’s character, Billy, is sitting in the living room with his ex-wife and her new husband. The new husband is this sort of nerdy, intellectual type. (If you are a nerd or intellect, calm down. It’s not an insult, just a description. I, too, am a nerd. A dork, actually.) Billy is the opposite. A man’s man, an athlete. All that stereotypical guy stuff.
Michael began to say something during the scene but then stopped himself.
“What?” I asked.
“What were you going to say?”
He paused the movie, “I just can’t believe – I mean, not that we’re ever going to be in that situation. Of not being married or together. But he’s so nerdy, the new husband. She was married to a totally different guy the first time and then she went to that?”
“Maybe he’s sensitive.”
“Would you want to be with the opposite of me if we were ever divorced?”
I laughed, “I don’t know…I think in marriage you each have positive and negative aspects to your personalities, and when things are bad between you it’s because the negative aspects overpowered the positives for too long. And then when you meet someone new it’s almost a relief that this other person is unlike your spouse. The change is refreshing.”
“Why? Who would be the opposite of me for you?”
“I don’t know how to answer that.”
“You know me, don’t you? Then what’s the opposite of me?”
He hesitated, “Someone laid-back.”
“Am I that bad? I’m never relaxed and fun?”
“No, you are. You are relaxed and fun. I just mean someone more laid-back and not a clean-freak.”
“My opposite is a dirty hippie? You want me to be a slob?”
“I don’t want to be with someone who leaves crap all over the place. You’re a control-freak though, and you have an anxiety issue.”
“You do realize that you’re not calm. You’re a lunatic.”
“This is what I mean, by the way. You’re getting crazed over this conversation.”
“I’m just trying to explain-”
“See? You’re getting all pissy.”
“Ok, fine. I’m trying to win the conversation. But you’re the one whose hot temper comes out at unnecessary moments – when we’re waiting on line somewhere and a guy tries to cut the line or when you don’t like the traffic pattern. Or when my family is over and one of them is annoying you and you’re standing there clenching your jaw because you can’t help yourself. That’s not normal.”
“I know, I’m crazy.”
“You are crazy.”
We went back to watching the movie. I’ve noticed this before. Every time we watch a movie and there’s a couple who’s divorced or a couple having difficulty in their relationship, my husband usually can’t help but say “I hate watching movies like this.”
I looked over at my husband, “I don’t want the opposite of you.”