My mom and I used to go at it. Hoo boy, did we. I remember one day, after a particularly colorful reparte, she muttered in exasperation, “You always have to be right.” I replied with something along the lines of, “That wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t exactly the same way!” It took two to tango. You just shouldn’t say things like that to your mom — unless you’re standing by the door.
My mom also once said, “Just you wait. God’s going to have you marry someone who has to be right too, and you’ll fight all the time.” Well, I married a girl who was just the opposite. At first. She apologized for everything, all the time. Until that drove me insane and I said, “Will you please defend yourself?!!” I couldn’t believe what I was saying. Here I had a girl who let me be right and I didn’t want it. God has a cruel sense of irony.
Uh, yeah. She started taking my advice and standing up for her opinions, really really well. A year later I was secretly thinking I’d unleashed a monster. Now, after fifteen years, we’ve worked it all out, mostly. We both know when to pretend the other person is right for the sake of peace. Actually, the biggest learning on this issue is that most times, right and wrong is irrelevant. Most disagreements people plant their flags on don’t even remotely matter. That, and that when I win, I actually lose. Marriage isn’t about winning out, unless you’re doing it as a couple.
Weird thing is, I truly believe that I’m at least partially wrong about every subject imaginable. I mean it. There are times when being wrong is hard to swallow; but other times, I can’t think of anything sweeter. Cause I love learning. I love changing. I love realizing that my paradigm is off and with some tweaking, will enable me to live life more fully. I love seeing a scripture in new light and realizing that the new insight will change a hundred others, which will in turn change others. In the past few years I’ve even seen how being wrong in a discussion or asking for forgiveness is such a doorway to growth and development that I’d be crazy not to go there.
Sigh… I’m a piece of work, aint I?