You’re not the boss of me; she is!
Burt's Eye View
A lady’s voice cooed from my GPS, “In two miles, take the exit on the right.”
A lady’s voice from the seat beside me countered, “Don’t do that. If you take the bypass, we’ll miss the thrift shop. And there’s another one on the other side of town.”
My life has devolved to a war between the two ladies in my life. One I hear as modulations from an electronic gadget; the other as reflections from flesh and blood, and a wedding ring.
The Lady purrs escape routes from two or three hours of grousing and groaning while My Lady inspects every single garment and half the kitchenware in the thrift shop.
The other voice, the one to whom I am married, promises peace as long as I cooperate with her wishes.
The Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Romans: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Paul was writing about the spiritual war raging inside believers. The same principle applies to the contention for marital bliss for beleaguered husbands. “I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind,” Paul wrote.
The Lady interrupted my ruminations: “In a half mile, take the exit on the right.”
I looked her square in the video screen and barked, “You’re not the boss of me!” I nodded at My Lady seated next to me. “She is.”
I forced a smile. “Thrift stores, here we come.”
“Good choice.” My Lady leaned over to kiss me. Her lips brushed the tear that rolled down my cheek as we left behind the exit that would have bypassed another round of excruciating bargains.
“For what I want to do I do not do…”
I used to know what I was doing. Now I wait to be informed of my opinion — which usually makes more sense than what I would have done, but also lands me in too many stores.
I used to know how to drive somewhere. I studied unfolded paper maps before I left the house, then drove straight to my destination. Now The Lady directs me turn by turn. Or the other lady, My Lady, who loves to argue with The Lady.
My Lady shakes her head at The Lady. “Not that way. I know a shortcut.”
Have you ever taken a shortcut that was actually, you know, shorter? Shortcuts automatically add a half hour to an hour to the estimated time of arrival.
Except for My Lady’s shortcuts, of course.
“I do not understand what I do,” but she does. Every time.
A meme I saw recently states: “Fun Fact: Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend actually thinking.”
Years ago, a female friend of mine accused us guys of thinking deep thoughts all the time.
“We don’t,” I said.
“Oh, I KNOW you do,” she insisted, and explained exactly how she knew. The best that I can recall, she argued, “Blah, blah, blah, blah…” Something like that. My mind scampered away before anything could stick.
To quote the great philosopher Bugs Bunny, “She don’t know me very well, do she?”
How did I survive all those years without guidance from The Lady in the GPS and My Lady who sits beside me?
“I do not understand what I do.” I don’t need to. Those ladies know.
— Commiserate with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or www.burtonwcole.com.