Monday, June 24, 2013

Marriage 501, Lecture 21: The problem with "I told you so"

 You know how you always want to say "I told you so?" but you can't?

Maybe you don't want to. Maybe you are a far better person than I, who never gloats with the delight of being right. Maybe you are nicer than I am and I am just a mean person.

But I like to be right. And when I'm right, I like to gloat, although it is so rarely that I can gloat out loud because I treasure my relationships more than I treasure the momentary triumph of being right and having the other person, WHO WAS WRONG, know it.

So I usually gloat inside. That's also where I correct peoples' grammar. Inside my head. I don't dare do it out loud because

1. It's mean and petty and it just hurts peoples' feelings
2. I make so many typos that I am hardly in the position to make public comment on other errors I see.

Still. SH and I both like to be right. He is right more often than I, so I rarely get to gloat.

We left for my mom's house last Wednesday. Big birthday celebration.

He was supposed to pick me up from work at 1:30. At 1:30, I was in the lobby, waiting.

At 1:45, he called. He was on his way. "I'm not doing it right," he said. "It took longer than I thought to do all those trip things that you used to do before you were working."

"What trip things?" I asked.

"I had to scoop the cat box and take the trash out and take care of the rest of the chicken in the fridge and put the living room lamp on a timer and make sure all the dishes were dry and put away--"

"I don't care about leaving dishes in the drainer," I said.

"But that's not the right thing to do!" he said.

I rolled my eyes.

He arrived at my office at 2. "Maybe you should take the Lakefront Parkway," I suggested. "It might be faster."

"No," he assured me. "I just saw the highway. It's all clear."

He started driving north. "We're going away from the airport," I reminded him. I knew he knew that but I was compelled to point out the obvious. "Maybe we should take the Lakefront Parkway. It's shorter."

"No, no. The highway will be faster."

Two minutes later, we were on the highway, heading south.

Traffic stopped. Cars stopped as far as we could see.

We stopped. We inched ahead. We stopped. We moved ahead an inch. We stopped again.

SH started to panic.

"We're going to miss the plane!" he said.

I tried to remain optimistic. "Maybe not."

"But to check the bag, we have to be there by 2:25. It's 2:10 now. I can't see the traffic moving!"

I got out my phone and looked at the traffic map. Sure enough, the road was red for the next two miles.

I tried to be zen. "We can always get a plane tomorrow."

"But I have these flights all worked out! I got the first class upgrades! It would be a mess!"

Now I am going to stop describing the next ten minutes because I don't think I can take the stress of reliving the event. Suffice it to say that I thought, "Well, if SH has a heart attack while we're sitting here, at least the car won't be moving."

We spent ten minutes inching through the jam. Finally broke out of it when we passed the accident that must have occurred two minutes after SH picked me up. Booked it to the airport parking garage, where it costs twice as much as short-term parking. Jumped out of the car. Pulled my suitcase, which I had packed the night before, out of the trunk. Grabbed my gym bag from the back seat. Dumped the contents of the gym bag into the trunk. Grabbed my t-shirts, jeans, underwear, and topsiders from the suitcase. Stuffed them in the gym bag. Left the wine, the running shoes and clothes (I know, I know - who goes running ON VACATION? I always remain optimistic, though). Grabbed the insulated bag with the cheese curds and summer sausage and baby arugula from my garden. Took off my eBay Ferragamo pumps and started to run.

Have you ever run on the moving walkway at the airport?

If you have, have you ever done so in bare feet?

Moving walkways, I discovered, are not designed for bare flesh.

However, I had given myself a pedicure the night before, so at least I didn't have to worry about the world seeing gnarly toes.

We ran and ran and had bits and pieces of luggage - purse, insulated bag, gym bag, hat, computer bag, wheeled suitcase - about to fly off our bodies.

Ran through security - fortunately, we didn't get stuck behind amateurs who don't know that you can't take a full-size bottle of shampoo on a plane - ran down the hall - ran to the gate - ran right up to the counter - flashed our tickets and boarded with two minutes to spare.

It was SH's fault. All of it. And I got to say so.


Joy said...

Glad there was a silver lining to being late. I HATE being late for flights, and while my husband and I have our differences, we are firmly on the same page when it comes to allowing a proper cushion of time in getting to the airport. Just reading your story was making my blood pressure rise.

Also, bless you for being the wonderful Wisconsin relative who understands that we exiles need you to bring summer sausage and garden treats with you when you come to visit. My parents visited last months- venison summer sausage, two dozen brats, bacon (thick, real bacon), rhubarb, and asparagus. That rhubarb and asparagus would have run me at least $20-$25 at a NYC farmers market.

Class factotum said...

Joy, it stresses me just to remember the experience. I hate being late for anything!

Yes, we know to take cheese curds with us everywhere! Too bad raw venison sausage doesn't travel so well.

Gaylin said...

A friend I used to travel with was a bit of a putter-er (not a word I know). The last time we flew together I told him, you putter about, I walk away. And I did.

All it meant was I was seated in the waiting room (safely) for 15 minutes before he showed up but I wasn't anxious and he was.

My mom says I was born early . . .

Marsha said...

This was truly a vicarious stress-inducing post, but even so, the most remarkable thing about it (to me, an editor who rarely fails to include errors in her own work) was the lack of a period at the end of the sentence and the apostrophe after the s in "peoples" in "1. It's mean and petty and it just hurts peoples' feelings" - but I didn't feel smug, I just felt a cheerful sympathetic kinship.

Class factotum said...

Gaylin, I hate the stress.

Marsha, I am always being hoist on my own petard!