Early on, we found a book that we liked. It was called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and it was written by a self-help guru named John Gray Ph.D. In later years, we would be disappointed to discover that the Ph.D. portion of his title came from an unaccredited university, that he lived a good chunk of his life as some sort of new-age monk, and that John Gray was, in general, not the sort of Ph.D.-holder we were looking for to save our relationship. But for those first blissfully ignorant few years, we thought the book made sense and attempted with all our might to incorporate it into our daily lives.
The Captain and I love a good road trip, and we took quite a few before the kids and dogs made the whole thing a little more trouble than it was worth. During one such trip through the Smoky Mountains, this book became rather a point of contention. We were trapped together in the car for hours at a time, and we both did and said a great many things that irritated the other. Neither of us thought our partner in life was keeping up his end of the bargain according to John Gray, and after the car overheated and a water pipe burst at the top of a mountain, sending us both (figuratively) over the edge, we coined a new, angry phrase, which was " READ THE F#%*ING BOOK!!!" We can laugh about it now, but at the time I think we were both contemplating a murder-suicide.
Somehow, over the years, we've kind of grown up and mellowed a bit. We've figured out how to deal with each other and how to avoid setting each other off. We've miraculously lasted longer than many, against all odds it would seem. And yet sometimes we still fall into those old patterns and end up bickering about me wanting to go into Booming Metropolis while he stays home with the kids, or him wanting to set up his entire spring planting operation in our bedroom (yes I'm serious, and the grow lights go on at 5AM). But I guess that's the nature of any relationship. No two people can keep up the perfectness 24/7, and thank goodness.
How else would the likes of John Gray Ph.D. stay in business?