My husband is a great man. He’s smart, talented, articulate, and well-informed about the world.
I believe in his character and leadership, trusting him implicitly (at least 60% of the time, faking it the last 40) to make good decisions for the welfare of our family.
You would think that with so much brilliance at hand, we could always chart a clear path forward. But despite all this good information on his part and lovely submission on mine, I have to confess we don’t always— (Are you sitting down? Good.) We don’t always see eye to eye. Some issues require three hours of talk late at night to hash out. Some issues require heavy compromise on both sides. And on some issues we deadlock, putting them on the shelf temporarily until the future time when one of us (the other) will receive greater enlightenment.
You haven’t collapsed from shock yet, have you? I see a few of you down on the sidelines. The rest are standing firmly against wave after wave of disillusionment. Only a few are laughing, demanding—oh my—examples? You really expect me to give examples?
We could mention the Ethics of Computer Games issue. We could mention the How to Enjoy a Holiday issue. We could mention the Who Cares About News? I’ll Just Let the World Rot issue. We could mention the Is Slurping an Acceptable Way of Drinking Coffee? issue. That one took ten years till I had the courage to put my foot down. We could mention the Appropriate Logos on Sons’ Shirts issue. He won, and I’ve never looked back. I like the way his decision shaped our family culture, though I didn’t see or anticipate it then.
But the current issue, the one we’re bashing brains on now, is of utmost importance. Beside this, the Washington Post and coffee etiquette can go on holiday together; this here’s the real hard-hitter—the Vehicle Temperature Control issue.
We bought a different van this spring, and are still getting used to its features. My husband is in love with a little button called “Auto” temperature control. It’s ingenious. Set the degree where you want it, say 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and let the van slowly do the rest, blowing gentle air of varying temperatures until the desired degree is reached.
There are two problems with this in my feminine mind.
First, who knows what degree they want to be? I just want it cool, man.
Second, “slowly” is rarely the effect I have in mind when it comes to temperature. When I jump into a vehicle that’s been slowly marinating in the August sun, I need cool air like now. Like as in yesterday already. Like as in gallons of it streaming past my face. I don’t want this Auto thing “blowing gentle air of varying temperatures.” I’m dying here.
So when I’m in the driver’s seat, I take the Auto off, kick the temperature down to 62 degrees, and turn on the fan full blast. Ahhh.
His turn in the driver’s seat? He reinstates the Auto function and patiently explains to me that lowering the degree to 62 as opposed to 68 does not, in fact, speed up the cooling rate at all. The van just has to work harder and longer. (Me, I don’t mind making vehicles work harder and longer. That’s what I pay them for.) Furthermore, he says gently, the whole point of Auto is Auto, you know? It’s so efficient. You can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, entirely maintenance free. No adjustments. What part of this is not perfect?
All of it.
The me being out of control of my own comfort part.
The strangely unsettling thing about new vans is that the temperature controls on the driver’s side and passenger’s side are split; each can control his own climate. There’s only an optional little button called Sync if you want to be in it with each other.
The thing is, I’m starting to feel like a rebel when I turn the fan on High, and he’s becoming all gentlemanly and asking me to show him how I like it…!
Oh pishposh–let’s just get in sync, babe. I auto see it your way anyhow.
He’s a great man. There’s no one on earth I’d rather bash heads with.
What are your Issues?
Yes, I really asked that.