I have this friend. This friend is definitely not me. It's this other guy who is my age and married with four children, but not me. I'll call him Gergitch. While having lunch together one day Gergitch asked me what bugs me about my wife. I quickly responded that nothing bugs me about my wife. She's an angel and I'm lucky to have her. He laughed, audibly, and said, "Come on. I've met Kathry..." and before he could finish her sweet name I smacked him so hard his sandwich flew out of his mouth. Mind you, it wasn't a close fisted smack. I would never discipline a good friend with a close fisted smack.
At that, Gergitch went on to explain that he has this one issue with his wife that has plagued his marriage since day one. "What is it?" I asked out loud to Gergitch, who is not me. "Laundry" he replied.
Side Note: During the second year of our marriage my wife and I went to Boston with a couple we had become close friends with. While cruising around in our rental car the female half of our friends thought it would be fun to play the game, "What do you guys fight about?" This is how it's played. Someone asks me and my wife what we fight about, and then for the next two days we fight about it while driving around Boston. Needless to say, it's great fun. (It should be noted that those friends have never invited us on another outing that lasted longer than dinner.) I remember the trip well and I remember that we fought for literally two days. But for the life of me I have no idea what we fought about (although I'm sure it was something serious like the growing economic divide between America's rich and poor, or the underlying historical causes of the turmoil in the Middle East, or her mom).
So when Gergitch told me that laundry was the bane of his marriage I literally LOL. I then LMAO. Finally, I lost control, and LMFAO. He told me that piles of laundry build up around the house and about once a fortnight when he can't take it anymore he explodes and it turns into a grudge match that leaves a heavy cloud over the whole house. He said he felt he bore the lions share of total responsibility and was a victim of an unfair division of labor. I explained that that last sentence was redundant and to stop wasting my time with meaningless repetition.
"Do you love her?" I asked.
"Yes," he assured me.
"Let's say, for arguments sake, that you knew in advance that she would never do laundry again. Knowing this ahead of time, would you still want to be married to her?"
"Of course," he assured me again.
"Then stop intentionally damaging your relationship to prove a point over such a trivial issue. You're shooting yourself in the foot to prove your gun is loaded. I'm with you. She should do the laundry willingly and quickly, but she's your wife, and your issue is laundry. Grow up you dumb bastard."
Then I slapped the sandwich out of his mouth again, for good measure.
As my words and the sting of a second smack sunk in I sat back and took a sip of my drink to keep myself from smiling as I secretly reveled in the simple poetry of my wise counsel. I also did Gergitch the courtesy of pointing out that he was wrought with frailty and that his wife was forced to step over his metaphorical piles on a regular basis, but was not the type to point them out. He considered this soberly, and that ended our lunch.
I caught up with Gergitch some days later and he confided that he had gone home after our conversation full of remorse and apologized to his wife for his critical attitude and vowed to mention her piles less and to help with them more. I smiled and congratulated him on his growth, and then we embraced in a very heterosexual way.
So, what do you guys fight about?