Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Right Brothers

It’s not easy to always be right. Sadly I don’t know this from personal experience, I merely heard it from an acquaintance of mine. Perpetual righteousness is, apparently, a difficult cross to bear. I learned about this terrible affliction when an acquaintance—let’s call him Mr. Right—said it was difficult for him to argue with his wife, because he was never wrong.

We were a group, out at dinner, two men, the rest women, none of us couples. Mr. Right went on to say the arguments he had with his wife would drag on and on until he eventually would convince her of his righteousness. Now, to be fair, he did say they broke down each of their arguments, always looking for the best course of action in every situation. Funny, but it always ended up being his course of action.

The other ladies and I began to exchange looks, running the gamut, from, Can you believe he’s really saying this? Out loud? to Thank God I’m not married to this asshole.

However the other man, the only other man in our party, was looking at our speaker with love and adoration in his eyes. He nodded and smiled along with Mr. Right, then said, “I have the same problem!”

While these two men stopped short of high-fiving each other, they were clearly thrilled to have found some common ground. They were both always right! What are the odds?

What are the odds indeed? I couldn’t believe I was hearing it. I couldn’t believe they were serious. But there wasn’t a trace of facetiousness in their tone. The second guy even went so far as to say that often, when he was fighting with his wife, sometimes one of his kids would make eye contact with him and give him a wink, like, We both know mom’s an idiot, but let’s continue to humor her.

Now I was vacillating between incredulousness and outrage. Out of character for me, I elected to not say anything. Why would I want to get into an argument with two idiots who just confessed they think they’re always right?

One woman, God bless her, did try reason. She said it was impossible for anyone to be right all the time. (Can we not agree that this is a universal human truth?) She said it was unfair to their wives for these men to even think so. It was demeaning to them, trivializing their whole existence. We rallied to support her. Guess who won that argument.

I find it hard to believe men like this are still out there: men that don’t feel manly unless they’re right. My husband is so secure, it boggles my mind to think the other type still exists. Of course my husband and I argue. I win some; he wins some. We don’t keep score, but we’ve both done our share of saying, “I’m sorry” and “You’re right.” And isn’t being able to admit you’re wrong a bigger testimony to personal strength than the path these two Right Brothers have chosen?

Say, now that I think of it, maybe it would be kind of nice to live with someone who was always right. Incapable of making a bad decision. Ever. What would that be like? We probably wouldn’t have ended up buying that Jeep Grand Cherokee, the one that needed a new engine at five thousand miles and we certainly wouldn’t have moved to New Jersey for a year back in 1988. But it’s those wrong decisions that have lead to so many right ones.

Some may think I should worry the Right Brothers will be upset with me, writing about them in such an unflattering light, pointing out how much I think they’re wrong. But I’m not worried. They don't care about the opinion of their wives. They didn’t care what us women said to them at dinner. Men like that would never search the Internet to find out what some woman has to say. And in this, I know I’m right.