One night in the first year of our marriage, my wife and I were both lying in our bed, ready to sleep. I was all curled up in the fetal position, just about to drift into dreamland when Olive said, “I think the hall light is on. We should turn it off.”
Now one of the hard lessons I’ve learned about my marriage is that whenever my wife matches the word “we” with something that needs to be done, then “we” doesn’t actually mean “we,” it means “you.”
Like the time Olive said to me, “The closet door is broken. We should get it fixed.”
“Yes,” I replied, “We should get it fixed.”
Weeks went by. Neither of us fixed the closet door.
One day Olive opened the closet door and it fell. She yelled angrily at me, “Why haven’t you gotten this fixed yet?”
“What?” I replied, “I thought you were going to fix it.”
“No, I said that you should get it fixed!”
This scenario repeated itself several times. We should buy a bookshelf for the office. We should clean the bathroom. We should call the condo manager about our ant problem. It was like we were speaking different languages. If she wanted me to do it, why didn’t she just say so?
But I think I’ve finally figured it out.
In Olive’s mind she’s thinking, “I came up with the idea, so you should go do it. That’s why I said ‘we.’ We’re married and we’re a team. I’ve done my part, now you do yours!”
So back to the pesky hall light that was still on. In that moment, I had a choice. I could pretend that I was asleep already and that I didn’t hear my wife’s latest idea, or I could get out of my very comfortable and warm bed to turn the hall light off.
After some awkward silence, I sighed and finally decided to get out of my comfortable bed only to discover that Olive was right, the hall light was on.
And “we” turned it off.
Has this ever happened to you?
photo credit: linh.ngan