Now, the Contrarian and I have been married going on twelve years. They have been overwhelmingly happy years, at least as happy as any two people can be living in close proximity 24/7.
Part of the reason that we are happy, is that we are old enough to grant each other sufficient room to be ornery, or contrary if you will.
Now the Contrarian is so named because it is his cause celeb in life to be different just because. He’s always been this way. He is the two-year-old who never grew up. Questions are his life blood. And being the fly in the ointment is his delight.
I’m used to most of it. We don’t argue about toothpaste squishing methodology, we don’t argue about which way the toilet paper roll goes on. I pick up socks, wrenches, stray eyeglasses and return them to their appropriate places, all without complaint.
I’ve been schooled again and again in the fact that there is a top bun and a bottom bun to a hamburger, and the top one belongs firmly lodged against the roof of one’s mouth. I’ve had it explained to me again and again that “condiments go on top of the meat” although I prefer my onion under my meat. I’m told it’s simply the “right” way.
Similarly mustard doesn’t go on hamburgers, but only on hotdogs. And there is a reason that a BLT is called a BLT, it is not called a LBT although I insist on putting mine together in that manner.
Over the years, I’ve learned a number of these rules, even though I tend to nod to the directions and do things the way I want anyway. Still, I accommodate. I don’t dictate how HE makes his sandwich.
On issues that involve his areas of expertise, I defer, with a great amount of, I might say, deference. I listen raptly as he has instructed me in the proper art of fire making, in wood stacking, and so forth.
I expect, but don’t often get the same deference as to household duties. He makes the bed, rarely, but when he does, it is “his” way. This, from a man who served in our armed forces, and I KNOW they are really big on making beds correctly. Still, I remain silent.
But there is a place to draw the line! I must, or I do a disservice to all of womanhood around the globe.
THERE IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE, BUT ONE WAY TO CUT AN ONION!
There, I said it. Every woman knows I’m right.
An onion has a root and a top. You slice a small end off the top, put it down on that flat side, and slice it through the root in half. Then you make small slices across the face of the top end, making half slices. If you want dice, you slice parallel slices almost to the root across the onion and then turn and slice from the top end, creating perfectly equal dice.
This is not rocket science. It is the obvious recognition of the unique formation of an onion in concentric layers. This is not hard. It’s safe. It is efficient. It’s fast. It’s taking advantage of God’s gift of a perfectly designed vegetable.
“No, I don’t want to do it that way, I want slices!” he moans.
“Look,” I retort, “you have half slices, that’s good enough.”
“No it’s not! I want WHOLE slices,” he pouts.
“Well put two together facing each other, you mouth won’t know the difference,” I sneer.
“It’s not the same!” he whimpers defiantly.
I thereafter stomped into the kitchen, grabbed the plastic container with his incorrectly cut onion in it, slamming it on the counter. A bit of masking tape and a magic marker finished the job.
“Here’s YOUR onion,” I screeched. Marked on the lid are the words “Parker’s Stupid Cut Onion.”
“And you will kindly confine your use of onions to YOUR container and leave MY onions alone!”
Sometimes, compromise is not acceptable. Sometimes you just have to stand on principle!