Brian knew his wife would tear into him the minute they got into the car and she didn’t disappoint.
“I can’t believe you said what you did to Vivian, and on her birthday!” she admonished him.
“It’s not how it sounded. I actually meant it as a compliment.”
“Really?” she continued. “Exactly how is ‘Nice dress. Now, if only you did something about your hair and make up, you’d be a real looker’ a compliment?”
“Like I said, it was a nice dress.”
“Honestly, Brian. You say the stupidest things sometimes. Why not just say ‘Nice dress’ and leave it at that? Now Vivian’s going to fixate on her looks.”
Brian and his wife, Lydia have fights like these a lot. If she’s not berating him over the things he says, then he’s complaining about how little housework she does. They never used to fight. When they first got married it was all “Thanks for making dinner, sweetie!” and “I love how fast you are at fixing things around the house!” But, you know, after so many years Brian got tired of her meatless spaghetti dinners and Lydia got annoyed by how every home improvement project became an exercise in frugality. Everything the other one said or did turned into the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Honestly, just once I’d like to go out and not have to worry about you embarrassing me,” Lydia said.
“And just once I’d like to come home to a clean bathroom.”
“You know how tired I am after working all day.”
“And you know how tired I am after I get home, except that doesn’t stop you from shoving that Honey-Do list of yours into my face.”
“What did you say?” Lydia asked.
Brian was about to repeat himself, only this time more loudly so she would clearly hear him, but just as he began to open his mouth a car coming from the opposite direction slammed into them head on. They both survived fortunately, but serious injuries requiring months of recuperation followed. When asked by friends and family what they were doing in the moments leading up to the crash, both Brian and Lydia remembered they were talking about something, but for the life of them they couldn’t recall what exactly.
“Oh well,” one of their friends said. “I guess it couldn’t have been anything important.”