a spat

The other afternoon on my way to the theater, I passed a van that had the following advertisement printed on its side: You live life. We’ll clean.

It made me mad for a few minutes, and then I forgot all about it until that evening when my husband and I were flopped across opposite ends of the sofa, rehashing our day. “Oh yeah,” I said. “I passed a van on I81.” And I told him what it said.

“What’s wrong with that?” he asked, feigning ignorance. We haven’t been married for eons for nothing—he bloody well knew what was wrong with that little advertisement, the little rat.

Even so, I enthusiastically broke it down for him.

“It’s implying that people are not living life when they’re cleaning, that’s what! People who clean houses ARE living life—it’s their livelihood. Cleaning is not separate from or less than the other parts of life!”

“Hey, calm down,” he said. “Some people need other people to clean their houses so they can do their work. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Maybe, and maybe not. I’m not saying that,” I snapped. “All I’m saying is that it’s wrong to imply that one is ‘life’ and the other is not. It’s not true. Plus, it’s offensive.”

“It’s a catchy little ad, is all,” he said. “You’re just in a bad mood.”

This conversation came on the tail end of another conversation (if you could call it that) in which I tried to express some ideas (about the current trend in which young adults marry later and the implications that has on for the church’s no-premarital-sex mandate) and he argued with every single thing I said.

I can handle a lively discussion, but I don’t do well with straightforward antagonization. It’s pointless, rude, and uninspiring.

So yes, I was in a bad mood.

I resolutely shut my mouth, refused to say another word, and hauled my irritated and grumpy self off to bed.

Which made my husband laugh out loud. “Ha! I made you mad!” he crowed. “You won’t talk to me!”

The next morning I gave my friend a rousing recap over the phone. She heard me (which is, I might add, different from agreeing with me), and we had a long, civil, and satisfying  conversation around the matters.

So vindicated did I feel that, when my husband walked in the door, I told him about my phone conversation. “She got it!” I said, triumphantly. “You are so out there in left field it’s amazing.”

“Just because she agrees with you doesn’t mean you’re right,” he said with a cocky laugh.

Ooo, the man is incorrigible!

But so am I. So there.

This same time, years previous: breaking the habit (and my heart)


  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Jamey once admitted to picking an argument with me on a car trip just to make the time go faster. I think they just like to get us all riled up.

  • Mavis

    Dear Mr. Handsome,

    You are a pain in the butt.

    The end.




    Every time I see the maids car in my neighbors driveway I want to throw myself on the floor. She doesn't work {and YES, I am implying that shopping, getting your nails done, tanning and going to the wine bar is not work}.

    I agree with you. I think you are right {insert cocky laugh}. So there.


  • Kate

    Austin and I just had a conversation the other day over if we would get a cleaning lady if we won 400 million dollars. We decided probably no, but I wonder what would *really* happen.

    Anyways, the slogan offends me as well.

    And if you want my two cents, the church's mandate on pre-marital sex is unrealistic. Write a blog post about that. I dare you 😉

  • Kathy

    Wow. There are so many sides to this. Actually, the slogan on the van was the reason I have a cleaning lady come to my house every other week. I was tired of working 50+ hours a week, the kids & hubby not helping around the house, & spending 6 hours on Saturday cleaning. Magda has eliminated so many arguments, she is worth the $80. I still vacuum daily, and clean the kitchen & bathrooms, but it's her deep cleaning of the house that makes my hectic life livable.

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