“So I read that article you wrote about me on your blog yesterday,” my husband John said, as he walked in the door from work.
“You read my blog?” I was pleasantly surprised.
“Yeah, I did. I thought maybe I was in the wrong place for a minute, since it was all about zombies and The Walking Dead, but I read it.”
I smiled as he continued.
“I thought it was good. Very funny. But I disagreed with the way you characterized me in the article and almost wrote a rebuttal in the comments section.”
“You totally should have done that,” I told him. “Actually, tell me what you disagreed with and I’ll write a followup article about it that can be your rebuttal. I’ll write the “wife version” and “husband version” of the same argument!”
“I don’t think I was nearly as militant as you made me come off,” John said. “But I’ll need to look at the transcript to point out exactly what happened differently.”
No problem. I was thinking a husband and wife version of an argument could be absolutely hysterical. In my version, he could be farting and mansplaining and turning down the thermostat. In his, I’m slapping him with a frying pan for breathing and talking in that shrill pretend-lady Monty Python voice.
I wanted to get this gold mine down on paper while it was still fresh. So as John was getting ready to go to bed, I reminded him to please pull up the blog article so he could tell me exactly how he remembered things differently.
For those of you who haven’t read the post, here is the transcript:
Me: My friend George was telling me about The Walking Dead comic books. He said that in the comic books, Andrea is more likable and Merle and Daryl don’t exist.
John: Really? That’s interesting.
Me: He said the comics are really good though. I’d like to get them so I can check them out.
John (looking very stern): Now, you understand that comic books are an investment, right? You can’t go leaving them around your bathroom like your lady magazines.
Me: Lady magazines?
John (very seriously): Yes, your lady magazines and your lady books. You just plop them on the back of your toilet and next to the bathtub.
Me: I also have mystery novels in there.
John (sighing): Well, it’s unacceptable to treat comic books this way. Comic books are investment pieces that need to be kept in dust jackets. You have to be careful when you turn the pages and you can’t go setting your coffee cups on them. Understand?
Me: Yeah “dad,” I hear what you’re saying. You don’t want me to jack up the comic books like I do all my lady mags.
John: Or set your coffee cups down on them.
Me: Because comic books are mature investments for serious grown-ups.
Me: If we get a Michonne action figure, can I take her out of the box and play with her?
John: You need to be serious about this.
Me: Yes, because this is a very serious discussion about the importance of comic book integrity.
Me: So how do you think things happened differently? What do you disagree with?
John: Well, here’s one. You said I was “looking very stern.” I don’t think I looked very stern at the time.
Me: No? How do you believe you looked?
John: I believed I looked… “caring.” I cared deeply about the mutual investment we were considering. Loving, even.
Me: Okay, you believe you “looked caring.” What else?
John (continuing to read): A lot of this seems totally verbatim. It’s kinda scary, actually.
Me: You should be afraid. Women, especially wives, are very good at remembering exactly what you said during an argument.
John: This feels shorter than the actual discussion.
Me: I may have edited for clarity, but I think I kept the gist of everything important we said.
John: No, you left stuff out.
Me: What did I leave out?
John: You left out the part where I explained that comic books should be kept in dust jackets because they increase in monetary value over a period of time, and that keeping them in good condition is vital to maintaining their monetary value as a mutual investment.
Me: And you believe that including this information would have made you come off as less militant?
John: Well, it shows more of my reasoning for helping you understand why comic books need to be taken care of. I was afraid that you would leave them everywhere and the kids would walk up and tear pages out of them and then they wouldn’t be worth as much. And coffee cups, I really didn’t want you setting your coffee mugs down on them.
Me: Okay, so if I include that information, you’ll be more comfortable with your portrayal?
Done and done.