Saturday, December 1, 2012

Secret To Marriage: The Obvious Lie

To my son Tommy,

Lately, your mother and I have been having a minor battle.  It seems that the world has reversed itself and your mother is hot in our house and I am cold in our house.  For most of our life it has been the other way around.  It is just a matter of a few degrees difference, but you would be surprised how significant two degrees can be.  When your mother is in the house, she wins.  She wins because I let her and I'd rather suffer with a chill than let her be uncomfortable.  However when she leaves the house, the thermostat plus button gets some love.

Today, she ran out to the store and probably seconds after I heard the beep-beep of the car alarm, the temperature somehow magically changed in the house.  With the hope of the icicles melting from my eye lids, I made myself comfortable and dove under a blanket on the couch.  I could smell the hot water rushing through the baseboard heat and I instantly relaxed.

Flash forward a couple hours and a semi-comatose but extremely warm and satisfied daddy had lost track of time.  He didn't even hear the car pull up, and was jolted awake and aware with the sounds of someone struggling with grocery bags and keys at the front door.  I bolted to the t-stat and dropped it to the previous setting as I yelled I would be right there.  I let her in and you and I both greeted her pleasantly.

Within moments she commented how hot it was.  Realizing my warm hind-side was cooked I said "Tommy and I were running around and playing pretty hard.  Amazing how body heat can raise the temp in the house."  I had just used a tactic I like to call the "Obvious Lie", something that is so full of it that it stands no chance of succeeding.  It is the same tactic my uncles used when they mentioned stepping on ducks after they audibly passed gas.

The words about body heat lingered as she looked at the t-stat and saw the actual temperature was a couple degrees above the target temperature.  I waited for the words to sink in.  Four little words "I smell the heat" and I knew she wasn't impressed.  But she smirked and chuckled.  After a couple more minutes passed she laughed some more.  She then pointed out that I was in a state of half dress (lounging in my boxers and I hadn't re-put on the blanket) and that if I put on some more clothes I wouldn't have to adjust the heat.  I however stuck to my original story, even as my own laughs at the ludicrous lie betrayed me.  She brought it up a couple times over the next couple hours each time laughing and had one hell of a commiserating story for your Grandmom Roro when we went up to her house for dinner.

The "Obvious Lie" tactic is not to be used in important matters.  The explanation must be so implausible that it becomes humorous.  You must have no delusions of successfully deceiving.  And you must stick to your story.  If you eat the last bit of something scrumptious in the refrigerator that she was saving for later,  you tell her that rodents of unusual size have infested the kitchen.  If you forgot to run the dishwasher, you blame it on the ongoing BGE brown outs interrupting the clean cycle.  Roaming gangs of penguins have been the sole reason for many of failures of cleaning duty and other such things.  The hope is that she accepts the excuse for a fleeting moment and than recognizes it for its absurdity.  You hopefully have disarmed any anger and redirected it with humor.  You have armed her with the stories of how silly and stupid her husband can be, which is a better gift than a cold house.  It is a risky tactic.  Use it sparingly.  If it backfires awfully, go honest and sincere with "I am sorry, of course I did it and I was just trying to lighten the mood with humor but it is not really a joking matter.  I apologize" Otherwise, stick to the story no matter how absurd.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

No comments:

Post a Comment