NEW CASTLE —
Marriage is all about give and take, right?
About finding that balance between what you really WANT to do and what you know you SHOULD do.
Slowly, however, I am beginning to realize that there are some issues, some circumstances under which these rules of honoring the opinions of our spouses DO NOT apply — EVER. They are the Chupacabra of marital scenarios, during which all thoughtfulness is thrown out the window as married couple are reduced to primal instinct and abundant selfishness.
The example that comes to mind first is one that I would venture to say, almost every couple habituating in the modern world has, at least on occasion, faced. It is the tale of the television remote hog, the way that special someone in your life mandates that all programming be approved by HIM or her. It seems trivial, but when one has spent 12 consecutive hours cleaning and cooking and chasing after a toddler, watching paint dry on the DIY network isn’t exactly my idea of a relaxing end to my day. Nor is watching toothless Cajuns wrastle wild gators, strange men searching for giant stingrays or Canadian men sealing leaky pipes in basements of over priced homes.
YET, every evening after Violet is tucked into bed my husband quickly grabs the remote and attempts to convince me that I am interested in “his shows.” I, of course threaten bodily harm and personal injury and eventually we compromise on a more neutral show. Either that or one of us storms out of the room angrily and heads to the kitchen to sit on the uncomfortable bar stools while enjoying the show of our choice on a seven-inch screen accompanied by a nice big slice of martyr pie.
At the top of my list of marital mysteries, however, lies an act riddled with so much confusion that it has likely plagued behaviorists for many many years. It is the battle of the toilet paper.
Yes, this very basic, yet essential household item is often at the center of controversy at the Davies-Anderson household. We have all seen the commercials for “Charmin” during which families of bears evaluate the “softness” of their brand of toilet paper. The bears frolic happily into the sunset after allegedly using Charmin products. What I learned growing up, however, is that the softer the toilet paper, the more likely your commode will, at some point, end up overflowing water onto your bathroom floor and possibly falling through the ceiling and into your kitchen.
Thankfully, in my house I usually do the grocery shopping and with that comes the responsibility of selecting the toilet paper for our household. Certain other potty trained members of my family feel very strongly that I purchase glorified sand paper, but this matters not. And with this toilet paper debate lies my suggestion that someone needs to do a study on why some people cannot place a new roll on the dispenser.
Why is it when the dispenser is so close, do they simply place the roll on the counter or the floor NEXT to the dispenser? Is this some sort of primordial spitefulness? A subconscious display of power?
Just as with so many other “habits,” I suppose the world may never know. I will say though, that if you ever run into my husband and he tells you that I beat him with the battery end of the television remote or metal springs from the toilet paper roll dispenser, you can bet he’s telling you the truth.
And, in your heart, you’ll know he deserved it.
NEW CASTLE —
Marriage is all about give and take, right?
Mitchel Olszak: Personal skepticism is best defense against scams
The caller said she had been targeted by a telephone scam. She wanted me to put something in the paper to warn others. I asked if she had contacted police about the matter.
John K. Manna: State finally has road, bridge repair plan
Pennsylvania finally has a program in place to fix roads and bridges and provide more money for mass transit. The massive undertaking — pushed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett — will cost about $2.3 million per year, most of which will be paid by motorists in the form of increases in gas prices at the pump and fees.
Culinary Conversation: Authors share recipes deer to them
If you want the most knowledgeable information about a subject, go to the authority. In this case, the expert on cooking with venison — deer meat — is Ellwood City’s Steve Loder. He and his wife, Gale, are the authors of “Quality Venison Cookbook — Great Recipes from the Kitchen of Steve and Gale Loder.”
John K. Manna: Three former governors give their endorsements
Another election is history, which means another election campaign season is under way. Actually, some Democratic candidates running in next year’s gubernatorial contest couldn’t wait and began campaigning months before this year’s election.
Culinary Conversation: My, oh my, it’s pie!
Making a pie crust can result in one of two things. You’ll either be remembered as the king or queen every time the word pastry is mentioned. Or you won’t. For some, that age-old cliché “easy as pie” is not that simple.
Mitchel Olszak: Autumn becomes the time to report for leaf duty
This time of year, I find myself frequently looking skyward. I’m not pondering the clouds, anticipating snow or scanning for NSA drones. Rather, I’m looking at the trees.
Culinary Conversation: Time to plan Thanksgiving meal
The calendar doesn’t lie. Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. Then planning begins for all the other holiday meals. I have already made up a list of what we’re making on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s a frenzy of preparation and two days of baking and cooking, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
John K. Manna: Taking a look at Tuesday’s election results
What to take away from Tuesday’s election in Lawrence County. Maybe not much, but let’s try. Voter turnout was awful — just below 20 percent. Based on records of the county Board of Elections, it was the worst turnout for a general election within the last 30 years.
John K. Manna: Voters must make choices in ‘off-year’ contests
I don’t know who coined the phrase “off-year election.” The implication is that it’s not as important as presidential, gubernatorial and congressional elections.
Culinary Conversation: Tasty dishes fit for a restaurant buffet
My first recollection of visiting a buffet restaurant was for my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. That was a long time ago, and I don’t remember much except that there was a large group of us and the restaurant was somewhere in Boardman.
- More Columns Headlines
- Mitchel Olszak: Personal skepticism is best defense against scams