Our Stupidest Fights

As a companion to Monday's Top 10 Tips for Marital Bliss, today's discussion is sharing stories of the stupidest fights we ever had*. What are the dumbest fights you ever had with your spouse, your kids, your boss, your co-workers, your siblings or parents? What, if anything, did you learn about yourself and the relationship, as a result?

I have so many on this list I don't know where to begin. Here's a brief recap:

I once kicked a hole in my sister's bedroom door because she wouldn't lend me a shirt. I was only 15, but still.

I once threw my husband's top dresser drawer on the floor, cracking his (dead) grandfather's gold watch face. My husband cried as he held the broken watch. The fight was about the cost of fabric for our bedroom curtains. I was 38 this time.

I have witnessed my two older children fighting over a dirty dishtowel. I guess dumb fights run in our family.

What I learned from these fights is that we're not fighting over a shirt, or curtains, or a dishrag. The subtext is always love and trust, with a healthy dose of pigheadedness thrown in.

I can see now that what's stupid is not what we were fighting for -- what's idiotic is how we sometimes fight. I cringe over how I lost control during the arguments. But I empathize with both parties over the struggles hidden underneath. The stress of working, raising children, keeping a marriage afloat, all mean we probably fight more when other pressures in our lives are especially demanding. When I'm worried about a sick kid or a big project at work or a parent who suddenly needs extra care, I tend to take it out on those closest by. My kids are the same -- there have been dozens of times when, as soon as the car door shuts after carline pickup after school, they've collapsed into tears about a failed spelling test or a fight with their BFF.

My goal for the future is to stick to the issues, and curb the yelling and throwing of household objects. A good fight can get the subterranean issues out in the open, if both parties remain calm and open-minded enough to listen to what's said. And, by the way, this is how I do battle at work -- it's far easier, for me at least, to maintain a decorum of maturity in the office. I wish keeping balanced in my home life was half as easy.

And you? What are your stupidest fights? What do they reveal about your balance or unbalanced approach to resolving conflict?


*Thank you, Fred, for this topic idea.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  April 11, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
Previous: Getting Beyond the At-Home Dad Thing | Next: Top 10 Tips for Getting Promoted


Add On Balance to Your Site
Keep up with the latest installments of On Balance with an easy-to-use widget. It's simple to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry to On Balance.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



This happened way back when all four of our children were living at the house.

We were way up north visiting my single brother. I had gone to Sam's and found some 100% cotton towels. If you have 4 children in a house, you know how the kids eat towels.

The color was either Industrial Blue or Hotel White. I picked the Industrial Blue reasoning that the towel would not look as dirty and dingy after the 15th wash.

I walked into the house where Frieda and my single brother, Freddy, were talking.

"Hey, I bought a dozen 100% cotton towels!" I said.

Frieda responded, "I hate blue towels, why did you buy blue towels?"

"Uhhh, it was either white or blue and I figured that blue would show less stains."

"I hate blue towels, why didn't you buy white ones?"

"But blue will look better after washing!" I protested again.

"I hate blue towels. If you had bought the white ones, I would just double bleach them"

"Why do you want do to that much laundry? The kids will throw them on the floor anyway..."

"I hate blue towels, take them back!"

"Ahhh, no, I will not take them back!"

This went back and forth for a while. Finally, Freddy was totally fed up with this display of marital bliss. He got up, took the dozen blue towels away from me, put them in his hallway closet. He then gave Frieda $40 and said, "They are my towels now!"

For the next few years when we visited my brother, we would always check the closet and still find the dozen blue towel in there!

Posted by: Fred | April 11, 2008 7:05 AM

Leslie

"What are your stupidest fights? What do they reveal about your balance or unbalanced approach to resolving conflict?"


Yours reveal a lot of emotional immaturity.
And you are modeling this behavior to your kids.

Tsk, tsk.

Posted by: Meow | April 11, 2008 7:39 AM

Ok, Meow, a fair comment. But she did say that she had learned and is trying to improve.

Now tell us what you did!

Remember, no registration today. Someone must have a better story than towels!

Posted by: Fred | April 11, 2008 7:47 AM

"I once threw my husband's top dresser drawer on the floor, cracking his (dead) grandfather's gold watch face. My husband cried as he held the broken watch. The fight was about the cost of fabric for our bedroom curtains. I was 38 this time."

Wow! What would happen if Perry pulled a Spitzer?

Posted by: Spike | April 11, 2008 7:55 AM

I'm an identical twin, and once we were teenagers, it used to drive me crazy when my sister and I ended up wearing similar outfits. Even worse, it seemed to me that she went out of her way to buy clothes like things I already had.

It all came to a head when we were about 14. I'd just gotten my first job, and used the money I'd earned to buy a pair of white shortalls (I never said I had good fashion sense). I was so proud of myself, and I loved those shortalls. Sure enough, within weeks, my sister had wrangled a pair of her own.

I did the only thing a slightly unhinged teenaged girl could do. I hid them. I got in soo much trouble for it, but I was unrepentant. I was able to wear my own outfit for at least a day without worrying that my sister would turn up in the same thing. It was stupid, in retrospect, but at the time it was well worth it.

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 11, 2008 8:09 AM

"The fight was about the cost of fabric for our bedroom curtains."

"How expensive WAS that fabric that rich folks like you couldn't afford it?"

Now, now. Leslie saved big bucks by sewing the curtains (actually drapes) herself!

Posted by: Mmm | April 11, 2008 8:16 AM

I knew a couple who threw their drinks at each other in a fight over song lyrics.

My cousins (two sisters close in age) fought alot as teenagers/young adults. I don't know about what, but they're tactics were great: one licked all the cheese off the other's doritos and then gave her the bag back. The other peed in her beer before she gave it to her.

I remember one morning as a kid waking up to my mom yelling. Apparently, she had just got out of bed and was groggily stumbling to the bathroom when my dad asked her what the balance was in her checking account. All hell broke loose. Not his smartest move ever.

Posted by: Em | April 11, 2008 8:21 AM

"Now, now. Leslie saved big bucks by sewing the curtains (actually drapes) herself!"


"Window treatments".

Posted by: AKA | April 11, 2008 8:22 AM

A lot of people's stupidest fights appear to be in the comments field of WaPo blogs... Does it make you feel so much better to mock Leslie or other people? Grow up.

Kid fight: I threw a shoe at my sister (she totally deserved it) but she ducked and the shoe broke the window. I maintain it is her fault for ducking, but I still had to pay for the window by myself.

Grown up fight: I was very newly pregnant and didn't even know it yet. The smell of the new automatic air freshener at work was making me ill, and I was convinced it was doing the same to everyone else. I went to some friends trying to recruit them to my cause of petitioning building management to get them taken out, and would be personally offended if they said the smell didn't bother them so much. I now realize a lot of that had to do with hormones, but ours ended up being the only floor that got the scent changed to a less powerful one. So at least I won that stupid fight!

Posted by: RiverCityRoller | April 11, 2008 8:26 AM

There is nothing stupid about my fights except the other people involved. I'm right, they're wrong. I don't know why they keep fighting and don't accept it :).

Posted by: anon | April 11, 2008 8:32 AM


RiverCityRoller |

"I now realize a lot of that had to do with hormones, but ours ended up being the only floor that got the scent changed to a less powerful one. So at least I won that stupid fight!"

Grow up!

Posted by: Get a sense of humor | April 11, 2008 8:32 AM

When we were kids, my brother and I were in charge of doing the dishes after dinner. No dishwasher. I washed, he dried. It annoyed me to no end that he would let the dishes stack up and air dry, rather than dry as I washed. The rack go so full of dishes, I had to balance them on top of each other! Grrrrr..... So, at the end of washing, if he wasn't there yet and the dishes were almost dry, I would pour water over them all, so at least he'd have to dry them.

Posted by: dish duty | April 11, 2008 8:38 AM

My editor cautioned me to not include the curtains fight -- for exactly the reasons listed above. Gold star for you, Stacey!

But to me, there's not much point about today's discussion unless you reveal some pretty bad stuff about yourself. I felt terrible about that fight, and about being such a jerk. Thank god my kids were out of the house and didn't see or hear that one. And I'm happy to say I haven't sunk that low again. Sometimes you have to actually go over the edge to figure out where the edge is...

That's why it's one of my top 10 stupidest fights!

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 8:39 AM

Our gift to each other one anniversary was a short drive around the block. We got in an argument over which restaurant to go to for dinner.

Hint for guys: Even if you are in the mood for wings and beer, never, never suggest "Hooters" on your anniversary!

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 8:39 AM

Leslie, it's also a bad idea to tell your audience that you caught your kid sucking his thumb with his other hand down his pants. Stacey will never live it down.

Posted by: Snarky Snail | April 11, 2008 8:43 AM

This should be a fun topic today!

I think the best (AKA, dumbest) fights I've ever had are with my sister when we were growing up.

I can't remember what she did, but she ticked me off, so I went out into one of our sheds, picked up the blow dart (gun), and shot a dart into her bicycle tire, thus flattening the thing.

She found out and proceeded to hide my Debbie Gibson and Tiffany tapes (yes, I admit I listened to them).

She had to buy a new tire for her bike, and I had to buy new tapes (I think I moved onto another band by then).

What's funny is I KNOW I've had stupid fights with my DH, but for the life of me I can't think of any. I've either repressed them or there's too many vying for my attention...

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 11, 2008 8:44 AM

"The subtext is always love and trust, with a healthy dose of pigheadedness thrown in."

Leslie, I think that's the best line you've ever written!

We've never had the knock-down, drag-out yelling fights. But I'll always remember our first fight, because it was over money. Not how much we made, how much we spent, how much we saved -- but how we each tracked it in Quicken. Yep. Total geek fight. He explained his way, which I said was too complicated; I explained my way, and he listened in disbelief, and finally sputtered "that's -- that's STUPID!"

And then we had the "silent fight." That would be when I was 7 months pregnant, and as I backed out of a store, he started making the backup-beep sound. Pretty much didn't talk to him for 2 days. Of course, it's funny now. Almost.

Posted by: Laura | April 11, 2008 8:51 AM

Snarky Snail

"Leslie, it's also a bad idea to tell your audience that you caught your kid sucking his thumb with his other hand down his pants. Stacey will never live it down."

Yup. The Oscar for "Clueless Parent Mindlessly Chit Chatting about their Kid on the Net" goes to Stacey on that one!

Posted by: Jake | April 11, 2008 8:52 AM

My sisters and I had some doozies. My father once got so sick of all of our constant bickering and fighting that he decided we would all occupy the same room for two weeks (we all had our own bedrooms, spoiled I know). That lasted exactly for one night when, sick of hearing us yell at each other even at that hour of the night, at 2:30 a.m. he came roaring upstairs and told us to move our own beds back into our own rooms and SHUT UP.

The dumbest fight by far I've ever had with my stepdaughter is over brushing her teeth. I mean, she broke out the hysterics. I was floored but kept insisting that she brush her teeth. Her father was at the store at the time and when he got back, it turned into one of those up until 11 discussions about personal responsibility, blah blah. She actually got grounded for refusing to brush her teeth. What were we thinking?

My husband and I usually resolve our fights by laughing at each other or ourselves. It works really well, especially when it's something stupid.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 8:58 AM

"What's the point of a blind guy going to Hooters?"

Hey, don't you know that us blind guys develop extraordinary capabilities to overcome our disability? For instance, I can accurately predict a girl's bra size by holding her hand, rubbing her calf, and poking her in her tummy.

Besides, since I can't see, I get to touch, not that I would ever take advantage of my handicap and do something unscrupulous, but it's only fair!

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 9:00 AM

Just the other night my husband and I were chatting about whether people really find acceptance and peace when they know they are dying. He said they just say it to make the survivors feel better. I said it seems like a pretty lame thing to lie about. This escalated into a very stupid argument. I silently went upstairs and got into bed. I was actually pretty mad because it had gotten so heated, but at some point while brushing my teeth I thought, I am NOT going to bed mad about something so ridiculous. I have never gone to bed mad in my marriage, and I wasn't about to start over something so silly. He came in and apologized, and I burst into laughter. We were both just really tired.

Posted by: atb | April 11, 2008 9:01 AM

DandyLion and Laura - I am laughing so loudly at your posts (beep beep and Hooters) I think the neighbors might call the police.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:03 AM

Thank you Leslie for sharing your story. It makes me feel better about myself that others are human and have meltdowns too!! The stupidest fight my husband and i got into was about cleaning our apartment after we were married for only a few months. One night he promised to clean the kitchen after i went to bed. I woke up and went into the kitchen. Low and behold the kitchen was in the same shape as when I went to bed. My husband was still sleeping so i went into the bedroom (very angry I might add) and looked for something to throw at him. I found my shoes (tennis shoes and heels) and I started to pelt him with shoes and yelling at him. Now we laugh about the "shoe incident," but he was not amused at the time. And Leslie, you are right. It was not about the kitchen at all. It was about him not lifting a finger around the house. That led to a great discussion about division of labor.

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 9:04 AM

"Hey, don't you know that us blind guys develop extraordinary capabilities to overcome our disability? For instance, I can accurately predict a girl's bra size by holding her hand, rubbing her calf, and poking her in her tummy. "

Anound round of sleazy, inappropiate comments from this jerk. Some people never learn.

Posted by: Sheesh | April 11, 2008 9:06 AM

atb

"Just the other night my husband and I were chatting about whether people really find acceptance and peace when they know they are dying. He said they just say it to make the survivors feel better."

Your husband was right.

Posted by: Huh? | April 11, 2008 9:08 AM

Oh Leslie, I can relate. Meltdown after two weeks of the phone beeping everytime I pick it up, even though she said she'd take care of it (and we don't have voicemail). Stupid of me.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 9:11 AM

Mom2Kids -- Exactly my hope in sharing such a humiliating story. You would laugh, feel better, tell me your worst story, I would laugh (which I did -- why didn't you throw your ski boo at him?), and feel better about what a dope I am sometimes.

I also take comfort in the fact that you laugh at yourselves now, and that you learned from the fight. To me this is the reality of how messy and imperfect a longterm, intimate relationship works.

And I agree that losing my temper sets a bad example for my kids. But I am really good at apologizing and admitting how flawed I am. This in turn sets a good example for them. So my hope is, it all equals out in the end. Or at least gives them a good reason to go into therapy in 20 years.

I have never thought that pretending to be perfect in front of your children was good parenting.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:11 AM

I'm amazed that no one has more stupid spouse fights to share.

My husband and I once argued about the "clutter" in the house and I got so mad I picked a ceramic fish off the wall and threw it on the ground (it shattered). It was something I had bought and didn't care for very much, but as it turns out, my husband really had liked it and mourned its loss.

We have also argued about curtains versus blinds (he won with the blinds option). It amazingly got very heated.

Posted by: Good topic | April 11, 2008 9:14 AM

"But I am really good at apologizing and admitting how flawed I am. This in turn sets a good example for them."

It's also a good way to get your kids talking about their emotions and frustrations. How can a kid admit his or her weakness to a "perfect parent"? Flawed folks (within reason) are more relatable.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 9:16 AM

atb - I can guess what TV show you watched the other night that instigated your discussion....

stupidest fight: the one where he asked me "am I the best in bed" and I, not hearing him correctly, said "no"

Posted by: dotted | April 11, 2008 9:18 AM

Oh how I wish we could sign in again -- the nasty comments from the "anons" is already old at 9:20 AM...Happy Friday everyone.

Posted by: Usually just a lurker | April 11, 2008 9:19 AM

I am very flawed and admit it to my kids as needed (which seems like a lot these days). But when I tell them I am sorry, we talk about it. We then talk about when they have felt that way and how they handle it. I don't want my kids to think of me on a pedestal. I believe that is part of what it means to establish balance. I work full-time out of the house and outsiders typically look at me and say "how do you do it all?" I want my kids to see what it means to do everything I do and part of that means understanding that I am not perfect. One of my fears is having my son or daughter grow up and think that they can do everything "perfectly" like mom did. Because mom is not doing it perfectly at all!!!

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 9:23 AM

Laura - that really is all kinds of funny, as long as it didn't happen to me!

Our biggest fight was before we were married and it was about Pulp Fiction. I hated, hated it - he liked it. I don't remember how the fight started or exactly what it was about, but it was a biggie, long and stupid.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 11, 2008 9:24 AM

dotted- Now I'm curious! What show? We were talking about one of my husband's patients, I think. Then I brought up forgiveness and whether that's a lie. It was just too much for 2 tired people to get into.

Posted by: atb | April 11, 2008 9:24 AM

atb - Diane Sawyer's interview of Professor Randy Pausch: he's dying of prostate cancer

Posted by: dotted | April 11, 2008 9:26 AM

MomTo2Kids, get professional help now, please, otherwise your kids are going to grow up really messed up & need a whole lot of therapy to undo all the damage.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 9:26 AM

All kids need therapy from their parents -- its just a matter of how much!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 9:29 AM

Thanks Leslie for being so honest. I wish I could be self righteous and say I have never had an embarrassing meltdown during a fight. I don't throw or break things but I have screamed like a witch a couple of times and I have said very cruel things that I deeply regret. Probably throwing shoes would have been kinder.

One thing we have learned is that when we are tired we don't have the internal resilience to see how easy it could be to recognize that the fight is mainly about tiredness and stress. We never seem to fight over big ticket items--money, kids, inlaws. However, the seemingly trivial fights (the fight over replacing toilet rolls in our bathroom has become stuff of family lore in our household) have a subtext of hurt feelings exacerbated by exhaustion. Now I undestand what happened the "never-to-be-forgotten-christmas" when my father gave my mother a stepladder and an umbrella.

Posted by: samclare | April 11, 2008 9:29 AM

We never fought. That should have been first clue - the second was the voice of "Debbie" on the answering machine telling him she would be late to their special dinner, when he had told me he was going out with his best male friend. Yes, I threw him out immediately and changed the locks!

Posted by: babsy1 | April 11, 2008 9:29 AM

Hey, save for therapy, not college.

Does anyone else feel like complete sh*t when you yell at your kids or overreact? Something like that happened last night when my son clocked my daughter and I basically screamed "Why would you do such a mean thing" at him and now I feel like a BAD MOTHER.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 9:30 AM

WorkingMomX -- don't feel bad for yelling at a kid for hitting another kid.

I do feel terrible for yelling / overreacting when it takes him too long to put his shoes on.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 9:33 AM

MomTo2Kids

"One of my fears is having my son or daughter grow up and think that they can do everything "perfectly" like mom did"

Don't worry - they won't. What an ego!

Posted by: Sheesh | April 11, 2008 9:33 AM

Does anyone else feel like complete sh*t when you yell at your kids or overreact? Something like that happened last night when my son clocked my daughter and I basically screamed "Why would you do such a mean thing" at him and now I feel like a BAD MOTHER.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 9:30 AM

ABSOLUTELY!!!!I completely understand. I always tell my husband that I wish I had more patience with the kids and he looks at me like i am an idiot. Yes, I lose my temper. Yes, I lose my patience. But that is part of being human. He repeatedly tells me that I try to be Supermom and forget that I am human. I think we expect ourselves to be perfect and that just is unrealistic. It can be something we strive for, but not something we expect.

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 9:36 AM

WMX- That was actually perfect. Instead of calling HIM mean, you pointed out he did a mean THING. Maybe you yelled a little loud, but at least you yelled the right thing!

Posted by: atb | April 11, 2008 9:36 AM

The funniest fight story I can offer. I was about 15, my sister 13, my brother about 10. My parents were out of town, and my grandmother was staying with us. Picture your little, white haired lady with the sweetest temperament, who never used swear words. Ever. The fight between us kids was spread through the house, from upstairs to downstairs, with each of us in a different room, and the nasty words were flying at full volume. Then, all of a sudden, grandma is standing at the bottom of the stairs, going "f*&^, f*&^, f%*&, f*&^, f*&^, all you people ever do in this house is f*&%". By the time the shock wore off, we were all hysterical. And when my wonderful grandmother died years later, we seriously thought about telling that story at her funeral. We didn't - saved it for people who came to visit during the shivah period, but it can still make me laugh. And for the record, I have NO IDEA what us 3 kids were fighting about.

Posted by: jb in VA | April 11, 2008 9:40 AM

jb in VA

"Picture your little, white haired lady with the sweetest temperament, who never used swear words. Ever. The fight between us kids was spread through the house, from upstairs to downstairs, with each of us in a different room, and the nasty words were flying at full volume. Then, all of a sudden, grandma is standing at the bottom of the stairs, going "f*&^, f*&^, f%*&, f*&^, f*&^, all you people ever do in this house is f*&%". "

We have a winner!

Posted by: Jake | April 11, 2008 9:42 AM

Mom2Kids -- I'd happily be your kid. Having a mom who can admit her mistakes and laugh about them is a priceless gift.

One of my favorite childhood memories is the time my mom, trying to have an important conversation on our old-fashioned rotary phone, threw her black high heels at us four kids. We were hiding behind the living room door frame. She missed. But it was hilarious. I LOVED that she was not perfect. Also, looking back now, I love that she wore nice high heels even though she was "just" a stay-at-home mom. She loved us and that's all that matters in the end.

I figure couples who don't have fights aren't spending enough time together. Like a mom once told me, "If you're not yelling at your kids, you aren't spending enough time with them."

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:43 AM

Like a mom once told me, "If you're not yelling at your kids, you aren't spending enough time with them."

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:43 AM

Thanks for that! I just snarfed my soda and was laughing when my new employee walked by my office. She has a great impression of me now!

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 9:45 AM

What about fights at work?

My best was one time I got one of those obnoxious holiday cards that played tinny xmas carols from a little chip inside. A colleague from the research dept and I figured out how to get the chip to play endlessly. Then while one of our hated snarky duplicitious archrivals was at lunch, we snuck into her massive office and hid the chip very cleverly. Her office was really messy, filled with books and stacks of reports, and she NEVER found the chip. The musak annoyed her so much she had to work in another office until the chip died. And she never figured out who had done the deed.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:49 AM

Are you kidding? My dad was at the office. He missed ALL the good stuff.

And by the way, my parents were married for 32 years. Pretty impressive. Not sure how they put up with each other for so long. They would have been better off if she had thrown her shoes at him, too.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 9:51 AM

MomTo2Kids and WorkingMomX -- yes, and yes! My daughter idolizes me, thinks that everything I do is "perfect" (hah!) -- put that together with her perfectionist streak, and boy, does she set some unattainable standards for herself. So I am very open about the times that I screw up -- we laugh off what we can (like if I spill the milk), and apologize for things that hurt (like if I yell at her).

And probably my biggest imperfection is patience with the kids. I'm so much more patient than I ever thought, but the putzing still kills me. When she has 15 minutes of homework to get through, and spends 20 minutes sharpening pencils, getting snacks, shuffling papers, and generally whining about how much she hates homework, I just want to throttle her. Some nights it escalates into me yelling and her melting down, and I feel like the worst mom ever. (Which is back to the first point about me NOT wanting her to grow up thinking this is what mommies SHOULD do!)

Posted by: Laura | April 11, 2008 9:56 AM

Leslie thanks for being brave enough to share yours!

Stupidest spouse AND work fight: My husband and I worked for the same company and his boss reported to mine. We ended up writing a proposal together, at home, during a snowstorm. We disagreed on part of the strategy for the website and ended up having to call my boss to mediate over the phone.

After another 6 months I left for another job, in part because it was starting to get to our relationship. Those three years we were really close, but it was also ALL WORK ALL THE TIME.

Posted by: Shandra | April 11, 2008 9:57 AM

Lelsie

"And by the way, my parents were married for 32 years. Pretty impressive. Not sure how they put up with each other for so long. They would have been better off if she had thrown her shoes at him, too."

The office flings took the edge off marriage for your father. Your mother's immaturity rubbed off on you. And what about your anorexia?

Posted by: Huh? | April 11, 2008 9:58 AM

So, when you yell at your kids do you go apologize or let it go? God knows I was yelled at plenty as a kid and neither parent apologized to me, and we have a great relationship.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 10:03 AM

Leslie- I'm really surprised, as the target of some truly nasty, hateful comments, that you're all for removing registration. It really bothers me when stuff like 9:58 is posted. Mostly the mouth-breathing cheeto-fingers don't bother me, but that crosses the line.

Posted by: atb | April 11, 2008 10:07 AM

So, when you yell at your kids do you go apologize or let it go? God knows I was yelled at plenty as a kid and neither parent apologized to me, and we have a great relationship.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 10:03 AM

For me it depends on why and how I yelled. If they are over the top and deserved being yelled at (and yes, there are times they deserve to be yelled at), I do not apologize. If I went overboard or could have handled the situation differently, I apologize

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 10:09 AM

Leslie- I'm really surprised, as the target of some truly nasty, hateful comments, that you're all for removing registration. It really bothers me when stuff like 9:58 is posted. Mostly the mouth-breathing cheeto-fingers don't bother me, but that crosses the line.

Posted by: atb | April 11, 2008 10:07 AM

I agree completely.

Posted by: MomTo2Kids | April 11, 2008 10:10 AM

Leslie has a VERY thick skin -- this blog's been up for almost 2 years, can you believe it? There are nasty and spiteful people everywhere, and some of them post here. Oh, well. Smile and wave.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 10:13 AM

"Leslie- I'm really surprised, as the target of some truly nasty, hateful comments, that you're all for removing registration. It really bothers me when stuff like 9:58 is posted. Mostly the mouth-breathing cheeto-fingers don't bother me, but that crosses the line."

Oh, no! Someone crossed the Queen Bee's line! For Pete's sake,it's the Net, not your book club. That's the whole point!!

Land o' Goshen! Some folks are dumber than tree stumps! Including this Hall Monitor.


Posted by: Um | April 11, 2008 10:19 AM

I have to admit some days I don't have a thick skin, and I just need to stay away from the screen for a while.

My editor encourages me to remove the nasty attacks on me more often. I probably should. But I believe strongly in free speech as long as it's not racist or vicious. It is rare that you get to see inside people's heads. Even if it's pretty frightening in there, I'd rather know the truth about how deranged some people are.

I find it especially easy to ignore the comments by people who don't have the guts to sign their name (even a screen name).

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 10:22 AM

WorkingMomX: I apologize to my kids and I'm always pleasantly surprised that they apologize to me too when they're out of line.
The fights I look back on with regret are the ones that scared my kids. The fight that led me to consider divorce was the one where I found my 3-year-old hiding behind the hamper afterward.
Then there's the time I was talking to my ex and he bailed out on me on something but I was so upset and couldn't say anything out loud in front of the kids, so I slammed the phone down hard about four times and bits of plastic went flying and the fear in their eyes was awful!!
On a more humorous note, the fights I had as a kid with my younger brother were usually fun because I could always provoke him to overreact (like throw something at me) and then he'd get in trouble with our parents. I remember over drinks once apologizing for this years later and my brother had no recollection!! Ha, a freebie!

Posted by: anne | April 11, 2008 10:23 AM

I realize I run the risk of getting similar comments as Leslie has gotten this morning by sharing this but here goes....

Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I went out to the local pizza joint for dinner. We had a nice evening, but just before we left I said something that upset him, still not sure what it was. Things escalated in the car on the way home. Then he said, "you're just like your mother". What?!!??!! I'm like my mother? Two thoughts ran through my head simultaneously: (1) How dare he?! I worship her. She's my best friend! and (2) How dare he?! I can't possibly be as awful as her. I got so mad I started yelling (ok, maybe screaming) back and eventually when he wouldn't stop repeating it, I threw the doggie bag of pizza at him. Yes, he was driving and yes, the car was moving. Well, that's bad enough, but for years when I'd run the heater in the car, it smelled of pizza because some slid down the dashboard into the heating element. I'm still ashamed of totally losing it, but at least we can laugh about it.

Posted by: JYinCT | April 11, 2008 10:24 AM

My stupidest fight was with my mom over the definition of sex. I was 17 and had refused to come home for 4 days after she revealed to me that she had read my diary. The most memorable part of the fight...

Mom (shouting): "It's sex if you have an orgasm!"

Me (shouting louder): "Oh YEAH?! What about masturbation?!?"

Makes me blush to this day!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:25 AM

Stupidest non-fight ever? (Translated I was deeply annoyed and let it simmer). I was ticked when BF's nephew was born and brohter had several hundred square feet of flooring was delivered for DIY installation 2 weeks before the due date. Baby born on Sunday evening, BF over at brother's house Mon night to Thurs finishing what ever hadn't been done weekend before, in between entertaining the new grandparents. Boy did I feel like a schmuck when I got a random present from BF the next weekend(I can admit I was a pouty pain in the ass at the time).

Posted by: PWOM | April 11, 2008 10:25 AM

That pizza story just shows that God has a sense of humor.

As someone who clearly loses her sh**t sometimes, I am a passionate believe in the heartfelt apology. Immediately. And often. It doesn't undo the damage, but I believe it helps everyone move on.

I also don't take it seriously when my DH or kids say something awful to me in the heat of the moment. Not that I accept it -- but I know, firsthand, that you don't always mean what you say when you are mad.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 10:27 AM

"Bill Clinton had a similar argument with Congress on this very topic."

Yeah, I forgot to mention, this all took place in 1998.. I imagine conversations like ours were taking place all over the country, in some form or another :)

Posted by: anon from 10:25 | April 11, 2008 10:31 AM

Leslie

"As someone who clearly loses her sh**t sometimes, I am a passionate believe in the heartfelt apology. Immediately. And often. It doesn't undo the damage, but I believe it helps everyone move on."

Right. Spouse & child abusers, druggies & drunks give heartfelt apologies. Often and immediately. The apologies get old real fast. How about learning how to CHANGE your behavior so you don't inflict the damage in the first place, instead of the b.s. excuses?

You DID learn a lot from your mother! Most people don't "move on" from the damage. There's a reason it's called DAMAGE.

Posted by: Sound like a first timer at an AA meeting | April 11, 2008 10:46 AM

Up until the last hour, I was all for no-registration. But hey, when people feel obliged to post 'who made you hall monitor'...well, back to registration I vote. I mean, really, while I like to believe I can learn something from everyone, what I learn from this exchange is this person types without thinking...and that they are likely to talk without thinking either. Thus, they aren't likely to be someone interesting to talk or listen to.

Petulance doesn't become anyone. It just isn't a good look.

Posted by: dotted (aka MN's N) | April 11, 2008 10:48 AM

We were married 6 months (at 19 & 20) when we were headed home from some event. After we went through an intersection, I made the comment of there being 3 lanes with a turn lane there now. He disagreed saying there were only 2 lanes and turn lane. For some ridiculous reason, the argument turned into a fight. We got all the way home and agreed that we had to go back look so we could resolve it. Now we can't remember who was right, but we both remember making up and laughing about it. I guess that why we're still together 16 years later!

Posted by: Nichole | April 11, 2008 10:53 AM

Our Best Fight.

One Saturday morning, the kids were playing in the living room and my wife and I were still in bed discussing plans for the day. We got a little more active and began wrestling around a little. Somehow, I ended up in an awkward/twisted position with one arm pinned under my chest and teetering on the edge of the bed barely able to keep myself from falling over.

Then I felt my wife's foot firmly planted in my back. The slightest push would send me crashing to the floor and she knew it.

So I began to geg, "No, please don't! pretty please with a cherry on top! UNCLE! UNCLE!"

She only giggled! The evil giggle.

So my pleading turned to threts and got louder and louder, "NO you had BETTER not! NO! NO! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?? STOP!!!"

Well, temptation was too much for her and she gave the final shove. As I went over the edge, I flopped around and grabbed anything I could, including the sheets, matress, and my wife's leg. If I was going down, I was going to take everything I could with me.

We both screamed as we crashed to the floor. Pillows, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, the phone on the nightstand next to the bed, everything fell on the floor with a big, "Ker-Thunk, Crash!" with my wife on top of it all. We both began laughing hysterically.

Just then my youngest daughter poked her head through the bedroom door and asked in a very concerned voice, "Are you guys fighting?"

When she saw us both on the floor laughing, she said, "oh". Then she turned around and announced to her brother and sister, "They aren't fighting, they're just being married again!"

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 10:56 AM

To "Um" at 10:19 - well, I'm someone who's been using "the Net" since about 1979, and insulting someone behind a veil of anonymity was not then nor is now "the point". Flamewars are a time-honored past-time, but you can at least use a consistent screen name so that you can build your cred - or not, as in your case.

Leslie's actually been very patient with some of the mooncalves who've popped back up since the end of registration.

FWIW, my worst fight with DW was also about towels. As in, when giving our then three-year old a bath I reached into the linen closet, grabbed what looked like a towel and inadvertently used a beach towel rather than a bath towel to dry her off. (Not that I particularly knew nor cared about the difference. Hey, it was clean, dry and absorbent.) DW cared a lot, and that argument went on for several hours. We finally agreed that the beach towels would be kept somewhere else and I was allowed to grab any clean towel out of the linen closet.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | April 11, 2008 11:07 AM

Great way to increase productivity, Leslie. You learned this at Harvard or Wharton?

Exhibit A: George W went to Yale, then Harvard Business School. So an Ivy League education is no guarantee of good sense, just of the ability to have lots of connections and money.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:07 AM

ArmyBrat - I feel the same way about towel use. Beach towels are for swimming and beach only. They aren't for drying off in the house. Why? Irrationality at its best. So I put beach towels in the hall closet. Shower towels are in the bathrooms.

Posted by: dotted | April 11, 2008 11:13 AM

"Flamewars are a time-honored past-time, but you can at least use a consistent screen name so that you can build your cred - or not, as in your case."

I have no need to build "cred". I am SICK TO DEATH of your incredibly dull family and your sucking up. That's your rep with me.

Posted by: Um | April 11, 2008 11:15 AM

I have no need to build "cred". I am SICK TO DEATH of your incredibly dull family and your sucking up. That's your rep with me.

Posted by: Um | April 11, 2008 11:15 AM

Yet, here he/she is on the blog :)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:18 AM

Hey, Um, BUGGER OFF!! If you're just going to spew your anger, go get a latte or do some yoga or yell at your co-worker.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 11:19 AM

Exhibit A: George W went to Yale, then Harvard Business School. So an Ivy League education is no guarantee of good sense, just of the ability to have lots of connections and money."

And bitter, anonymous posters.

I, for one, am laughing my a$$ off over here reading these posts.

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 11, 2008 11:21 AM

Beach towels are for swimming and beach only.

WTF??? A towel is just a towel. They all wash and dry the same.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:26 AM

Best fight? Oh where to start with this topic. Well, when I was 16 I used my baby sitting money to buy pizza for me and my parents. My sister who was married and working at the time came up to the house and proceeded to take half the pizza.

I got mad and told her that both she and her husband had a full time job and they could buy their own pizza. She said it was mom's house and she would do what she wanted to do, so I hit her in the head with a piece of pizza. She's a sissy so she complained to my mom and dad, dad took her side and grounded me, so I figured if I was grounded I was going to make it good and I hit her in the head with a lamp. 

To this day, she doesn't mess with me.


Posted by: Irishgirl | April 11, 2008 11:29 AM

Everything sneaky and snarky I learned AT HOME from my three siblings, thank you very much. Plus a little spice from the 7th and 8th grade girls at my school.

You absolutely cannot learn priceless stuff like that at university, even Harvard, Yale or Wharton.

Posted by: Leslie | April 11, 2008 11:30 AM

A towel is just a towel.

What do you mean? That's like using a dinner fork for salad.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:30 AM

No wonder Leslie works from home now.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:33 AM

We have had our share of fights over the role of my MIL in my husband's life. I know it is stupid of me because she is an old woman and also because all my female friends told me it's a fight you can't win. However, as much as I steel myself to ingnore her when she visits, no matter what I do provokes her comments. You can slice the tension in the house with a knife. Of course, only the women can sense it -- my husband is oblivious. Once I said to her: my biggest fault is being your son's wife. My husband never takes my side and when I point it out to him he says that she is an old person and that I should forgive her all her comments even the most tactless ones. We also have other fights about finances and schooling, and discipline but I consider those valid and not stupid.

Posted by: a daughter in law | April 11, 2008 11:41 AM

ALL of our stupid fights stem from my husband having appointed me Keeper of the Museum. You know what I mean -- he suddenly remembers some random item he owned back in 1992 and the first thing out of his mouth is "Honey, where's my WHATEVER?" Followed by "You threw it away, didn't you? Admit it. You threw it away."

He's a pack rat and I'm not. at all. Back when we were first married, we were living in the world's smallest apartment and he had been living there first and there was NO closet space for me to put anything -- so I made him take everything out of his closet, including all the clothes and try them on for me. And he had clothing that had been purchased for him in high school! (We were in our thirties at the time.) Needless to say, after the "fashion show", we had a lot more closet space. From time to time, I will go through and thin out the closets, following the instructions you find on all those decluttering websites. (If you haven't worn it in three years, and no one has asked for it, and it's never been used, blah, blah, blah, you can safely part with it.)

(This is a man who also thought it was appropriate to decorate our christmas tree with ornaments purchased by his ex-wife. Funny how those suddenly went missing as well. Some things are MEANT to be thrown away, donated, burned, etc.)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:41 AM

Throwing away other people's possessions without their permission is just plain disrespectful & a form of theft or vandalism, so don't do it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:46 AM

"Throwing away other people's possessions without their permission is just plain disrespectful & a form of theft or vandalism, so don't do it."

spoken by someone who lives alone!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 11:47 AM

a daughter in law,

My mother in law was a nasty person. My husband never stuck up for me either. One time I was so mad at her I said I wished she's drop dead. Well, a month after that she did. I felt terrible and my husband brings it up a lot, even though I didn't mean it.

My adivice is to ignore her unless she says things in front of her children.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:49 AM

My mother in law was a nasty person. My husband never stuck up for me either.

Then why marry the guy in the first place? Isn't this a deal-breaker for most women?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:55 AM

My wife called me at work one morning and yelled at me for leaving an empty box of Ritz crackers in the pantry.

From then on, I always left at least 1 Ritz cracker in the box before putting it away.

That was until she called me at work and yelled at me for leaving a single Ritz cracker in the box because I was too lazy to walk across the kitchen and throw the empty box away.

So now I make sure to leave at least 2 Ritz crackers in the box before I put it away in the pantry. LOL!

I have to admit, after 17 years of marriage, she HAS improved me!

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 11:59 AM

Then why marry the guy in the first place? Isn't this a deal-breaker for most women?

Who wants to marry someone who fights with his mother either?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 12:01 PM

"My mother in law was a nasty person. My husband never stuck up for me either."

My mother-in-law was a bat out of hell from the time I was the daughter-in-law elect. I put something in her food. I put something in my husband's drink. Case closed.

Posted by: Gsh | April 11, 2008 12:06 PM

WorkingMomX |

"Hey, Um, BUGGER OFF!! If you're just going to spew your anger, go get a latte or do some yoga or yell at your co-worker."

I'm not surprised you have STRAINED relationship with your step daughter.

Posted by: Um | April 11, 2008 12:12 PM

DandyLion, i LOVE your crackers story! It's my favorite all day.

Best stupid fight story from me:
My little sister insisted on watching "Sister Act" 12 times a day every single day when she was about 8 and I was roughly 11. One day I just couldn't take it anymore, and I took the tape and hid it. Sis went crying to my Mom, and Mom came and told me I would be "grounded for the rest of my life" if I didn't produce the tape immediately. I sat there, weighing my options, truly wondering if it would be better to be grounded FOREVER than it would be to listen to Sister Act again and again. It was like choosing between different circles of hell. Ultimately, I gave back the wretched tape.

It's one of the clearest memories I have of making a difficult decision... :)

Posted by: newslinks | April 11, 2008 12:14 PM

The Ritz cracker story *cracked* me up. I feel like I spent my life opening the freezer to find one lonely icecube because the rule in our house was that if you used the last icecube you had to fill up the tray again.
Leslie (and Fred) what a great Friday blog topic. I'm laughin' my a** off. Just wish the sanctimonious anonymous snots would butt out.

Posted by: anne | April 11, 2008 12:15 PM

"I feel like I spent my life opening the freezer to find one lonely icecube because the rule in our house was that if you used the last icecube you had to fill up the tray again. "

We had the same rule about toilet paper and paper towels in my house.

Posted by: Funee | April 11, 2008 12:17 PM

Love this topic. I don't remember the fights, I just remember how stupid I felt afterwards, but at least twice during my high school years my parents had to spackle & replace the drywall in my bedroom because I had kicked a hole in the wall. Yet I have no idea, now, why. Oh well. Still trying to curb that old temper! My husband has NO temper (I do believe him to be human nonetheless) and can't understand why I lose mine, so fights end pretty quickly with him just looking at me and me feeling really dumb.

Posted by: tsp 2007 | April 11, 2008 12:34 PM

Maybe a tad bipolar, tsp?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 12:38 PM

tsp, I did the same thing when I was a kid. Funny how drywall can be paper thin when you're mad!

newslinks, I love that story about "Sister Act". My neighbor tells of jamming the DVD player so that her kids couldn't watch Peter Pan for the gazillionth time. She told them the next morning she was finally able to get the DVD player open, but that "Peter Pan had been eaten". She said their eyes got huge as saucers and her daughter began having nightmares about a DVD player monster! (But at least she didn't have to listen to/watch Peter Pan again!)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 1:34 PM

"Throwing away other people's possessions without their permission is just plain disrespectful & a form of theft or vandalism, so don't do it."

spoken by someone who lives alone!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 11:47 AM

NO, spoken by someone who's probably had something they beleived to be valuable thrown away by someone who has no respect for other peoples things.

I don't care what excuse you use, when you throw away another persons things without asking, it shows you have no respect for your partners feelings.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 1:42 PM

I remember when I was a young teenager, I chased my older brother around the house with a stick of butter. When I threw the butter at him, it hit him right upside the back of his head and stuck right there.

Stories like this are what can be expected of brothers who have the "work it out on your own" parents who leave their kids home alone together.

BTW: We never burned the house down, almost, but not quite.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 1:50 PM

"NO, spoken by someone who's probably had something they beleived to be valuable thrown away by someone who has no respect for other peoples things.'

Pick up after yourself.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:00 PM

LOL Dandylion!

Your story reminded me of another incident with my sister and I.

We were arguing about something (again, I have no idea what) by our mom's record player. My sister got frustrated, picked out one of my mom's records and hurled it at my head. I ducked, and the record shattered against the wall.

My sister, not wanting to get in trouble, carefully picked up the records shards, put them back in the record jacket, and then put the record right back in line with the other records.

We had actually forgotten about that incident until my mom went to pull out that record and it fell -- in pieces -- all over the floor.

I was quick to point out who did the actual record-throwing, but since we were both to blame, we were both grounded. Of course, it's now one of those stories we all laugh about.

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 11, 2008 2:05 PM

Pick up after yourself.

Whoa!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:09 PM

My younger sister and brother once got into a fight over a church program in the car on the way home from church, and when we pulled into the driveway they literally rolled out of the car shrieking and pummeling each other. Right in front of all the neighbors. I think they were 12 and 6 at the time.

Another time, when I was 5 or 6, my sister and I wanted to get even with this (at the time) annoying younger girl down the street who was always bugging us. We were playing tea party, and beforehand we peed into my mom's big enamel teapot and told the kid it was lemonade in hopes that she would drink it. Needless to say, my mom had to throw the teapot out, although the girl did not drink the "beverage" and is still friends with us even now in our 30s.

Posted by: chescokate | April 11, 2008 2:10 PM

workingmomx, so glad I'm not the only one :) and DandyLion, I LOVED the butter story! That's great.

Posted by: tsp 2007 | April 11, 2008 2:14 PM

Pick up after yourself.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:00 PM

Stay out of my closet.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:16 PM

My husband is a teacher and does not work in the summer. I am in healthcare and therefore have very few days off. When we were first married, I left him sitting in his underwear in the recliner in our tiny apartment. He promised he'd clean it up that day. I came home after a full day's work and found him sitting in the same position, in the same underwear, nothing had been done. He had the nerve to ask me to hand him a popsicle (refrigerator very near the front door). I took one out and threw it at him...hit him right between the eyes. In our defense, we were both very young.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:21 PM

Your story reminded me of another incident with my sister and I.

Should be, "Your story reminded me of another incident with my sister and me."

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | April 11, 2008 2:21 PM

"Pick up after yourself."

"Stay out of my closet."

How did you swing getting your OWN closet? (this fact changes my whole argument, by the way)

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:23 PM

Pick up after yourself.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:00 PM

So, if I leave something out overnight, you think it gives you the rigtht ot throw it away?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:23 PM

"Pick up after yourself."

"Stay out of my closet."

How did you swing getting your OWN closet? (this fact changes my whole argument, by the way)

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:23 PM

Pick up after yourself.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:00 PM

So, if I leave something out overnight, you think it gives you the rigtht ot throw it away?

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:23 PM

WOW!

Here's a stupid fight right here on the blog! Can we get back on topic, please?

Posted by: chescokate | April 11, 2008 2:26 PM

"So, if I leave something out overnight, you think it gives you the rigtht ot throw it away?"

What is it? I'd throw a slice of ice cream cake away after one night. Junk mail that you'll never read? Maybe.

What about that pair of shoes that's been under the coffee table for two weeks?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:26 PM

"Should be, "Your story reminded me of another incident with my sister and me.""

Ohhhh, if I only had record to hurl...

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 11, 2008 2:27 PM

I took one out and threw it at him...hit him right between the eyes. In our defense, we were both very young.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:21 PM

So, being young is an excuse for domestic violence?

There are several women here who view throwing something at their partner as humorous. Switch the sexes and it's no so funny, is it? The double standards here are interesting.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:27 PM

it was a popsicle, for goodness sake

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:29 PM

"Stay out of my closet."

THAT is funny!

Posted by: The big yawn | April 11, 2008 2:30 PM

What about that pair of shoes that's been under the coffee table for two weeks?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:26 PM

That's where they belong, I know where they are.

Seriously, there is no reasoning or excuse you can give me that will convince me that "you" have the right to throw away someone elses possissions without their permission.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:30 PM

Within the context of my marriage, throwing the popsicle did not represent domestic violence. Maybe in the context of yours it does.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:31 PM

it was a popsicle, for goodness sake

Yeah, a popsicle stick in the eye wouldn't have done any harm.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:31 PM

Within the context of my marriage, throwing the popsicle did not represent domestic violence.

If your husband threw a popsicle at you and it struck you in the eye, would you laugh it off?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:32 PM

"Seriously, there is no reasoning or excuse you can give me that will convince me that "you" have the right to throw away someone elses possissions without their permission"

What was it? Grandma's china or junk mail? High School yearbook or leftover pizza? It makes a difference.

(And shoes do not belong under the coffee table.)

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:35 PM

chescokate

"Here's a stupid fight right here on the blog! Can we get back on topic, please?"

THIS is THE stupidist fight ever on this blog! What could be more germane to today's topic?


Posted by: YLS '85 | April 11, 2008 2:36 PM

Within the context of my marriage, throwing the popsicle did not represent domestic violence. Maybe in the context of yours it does.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:31 PM

So, if I only hit my wife a little bit and don't consider it domestic violence, it isn't?

You threw an object at him in anger, how is that not domestic violence?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:37 PM

Whee, this is like a tennis match! Popsicle! Closet! Popsicle! Closet!

Posted by: tsp 2007 | April 11, 2008 2:39 PM

Wow, some weepingly funny stories in here - I love DandyLion and the crackers.

re: whether or not people apologize to their kids for yelling - I told my daughter that even if I was angry I shouldn't yell at her and that I need to work on it -- which I believe, it's like a PP said, you can tell a kid they did something bad but not that *they* are bad. (she's almost 5 btw) so now when I have snapped and yell she says, "Mom, you *promised* not to yell" to which I inevitably respond "No, I promised to try." So I suppose she gets a lesson right there in mom not being perfect, sigh. And she also now tells me (dunno where she got this but it's *so* effective) in response to why she made one mistake or another: "Mom, it's *hard* for me (in the last case, to only get to play at the playground for 20 mins and then leave without an agonizing departure)...I am only FOUR."

re: crazy fights with siblings as a child of parents who also subscribed to the work-it-out-on-your own theory and also the take-it-outside theory -- my fave was the time my brothers and i started pelting each other with tomatoes. we started out enraged but it turned super fun (and also involved bottles of sprite over each others' heads). don't remember what the fight was about tho. but i do remember we had to take it outside. What do folks think about your kids fights? Do you subscribe to letting them work it out or do you get involved? Curious cause my kids are too young to fight yet.

Posted by: MamaBird/SurelyYouNest | April 11, 2008 2:43 PM

Another fun story - this time my parents were fighting. I don't remember what they fought about, but I know my dad left the house. My mom decided to hide the computer - this was back around 1982, and the computer was an Apple II-plus. This required figuring out all the wires, and moving a massive monitor, cpu, and external floppy drives. And where did we hide the "toy"? In the cubby in the bedroom I shared with my sister, behind all of our stuffed animals. And since my mother, to this day, is a barely capable computer user, I remember helping disassemble the computer and thought of the hiding place. I don't remember what the fight was about, but based on the timing I'm sure I made the right choice supporting my mom's efforts.

Posted by: jb in VA | April 11, 2008 2:45 PM

You're right, I never knew I was such an abuser. I guess I'll have to turn myself in. It must be hard work being so perfect. That's the only reason I can see why you are so judgemental. People in glass houses should not throw popsicles,right?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:45 PM

"Seriously, there is no reasoning or excuse you can give me that will convince me that "you" have the right to throw away someone elses possissions without their permission"

What was it? Grandma's china or junk mail? High School yearbook or leftover pizza? It makes a difference.

(And shoes do not belong under the coffee table.)

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:35 PM

Niether, it is the principal of the act. It's not your stuff, leave it alone.

Do the other people in your family have the same rights. For example, your wife doesn;t like a particular shirt you wear, so it gets lost in the wash, OK? She thinks your tools belong in the attic, but you think they belong in the basement, next time you go into the basement all you tools are gone, OK?

These are stupid examples, but I can't understand the logic that says you have the right to throw away someone else's stuff. I also know, this is a common belief, held by many people, but I just don't understand it. Can you explain what you think gives you the right to do it?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:46 PM

it is the principal of the act.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:46 PM


Definitely don't throw out the principal -- how will your local school cope?!

Posted by: anne | April 11, 2008 2:51 PM

One time my husband & I had a fight in the car and I threw a chocolate milkshake at him. It slid down the inside of the closed window and was a huge mess to clean up. I wish I could say I never throw things any more, but that would not be true.

Posted by: Linda | April 11, 2008 2:52 PM

You're right, I never knew I was such an abuser. I guess I'll have to turn myself in. It must be hard work being so perfect. That's the only reason I can see why you are so judgemental. People in glass houses should not throw popsicles,right?

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:45 PM

No judgement, just pointing out the double standard and laughing at the women who believe violence is acceptable when done by women against men.

BTW, Glad to know you will be doing the right thing. What if you had taken his eye out?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:54 PM

Sounds like Arlington Dad believes he's the king of his castle.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:55 PM

Not king of his castle, just God.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:56 PM

it is the principal of the act.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 2:46 PM


Definitely don't throw out the principal -- how will your local school cope?!

Posted by: anne | April 11, 2008 2:51 PM

Oops.

The pricipal at my local shcool is a woman, so I assume she'll throw something at me and I'll give in.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:56 PM

King of the Castle -- I would love that.

The way I see it is that some people like being cleaned-up after (and don't miss what's thrown out) and others really have a problem with it.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:58 PM

King of the Castle? With 'tude like that, you could wind up living alone, & have your wish come true. Families, however, are premised on cooperation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:05 PM

I'm starting to miss Elaine...

Posted by: ZZZZZZZZ | April 11, 2008 3:06 PM

The pricipal at my local shcool

Drank your lunch again, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:06 PM

The way I see it is that some people like being cleaned-up after (and don't miss what's thrown out) and others really have a problem with it.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 2:58 PM

The way I see it is you think you have the right to do anything you want in YOUR house. Other people's feelings or rights be damned.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:07 PM

Come on, people, there is someone on this blog working very hard to be seriously cranky and we're just not giving it up, are we?

(The blog's much more fun(ny) when the trolls don't have to register.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 11, 2008 3:08 PM

"King of the Castle? With 'tude like that, you could wind up living alone, & have your wish come true. Families, however, are premised on cooperation."

Thank, oh wise anonymous person, you have shown the light. No more throwing away stuff. It's all so clear now.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 3:08 PM

The pricipal at my local shcool

Drank your lunch again, huh?

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 3:06 PM

Sorry, dyslexic fingers. I actually type better when drunk.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:09 PM

Arlington Dad, sounds like you've got some real control issues here. There are non-passive-aggressive ways to get people to put their stuff away, short of discarding it out of sheer spitefulness.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:11 PM

Thank, oh wise anonymous person, you have shown the light. No more throwing away stuff. It's all so clear now.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 3:08 PM

The thing about being anonymous is that other people begin to speak for you.

I was serious in asking you what you believe gives you the right to throw away someone else stuff. Can you please explain it in a way that shows you actually respect the rights of the stuff's owner?

Posted by: Devils Advocate | April 11, 2008 3:15 PM

Yale Law School '85:

"Here's a stupid fight right here on the blog! Can we get back on topic, please?"

THIS is THE stupidist fight ever on this blog! What could be more germane to today's topic?

You went to Yale and you can't spell stupidEST correctly?

Yes, it's germane that the trolls are stupidly fighting amidst themselves about closets and popsicles, but I was really enjoying the stupid-fight STORIES there for awhile. Leslie asked for stupid-fight STORIES, not for commenters/trolls to be sniping and nit-picking among themselves.

Seriously, I sometimes wonder why she puts herself through all this nonsense, not to mention why I even read/respond to it.


Posted by: YLS '85 | April 11, 2008 2:36 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:18 PM

3:18 was me, not an anon - forgot about the no registration thing. But then again, I didn't go to Yale...

Posted by: chescokate | April 11, 2008 3:19 PM

Devils Advocate and Arlington Dad, How about a compromise? If the child has been warned repeatedly not to leave a specific item lying around but does so anyhow, instead of discarding it why not confiscate it and make the child *earn* it back?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM

Devil -- I think the problem is we're speaking in really broad general terms. That's why I asked Anon what type of "posession" s/he was talking about. I think it depends on the stuff. If it's week-old pizza or junk mail, I'm fine throwing it out. If it's something of value, then no, don't throw it out, but to be honest, I do get annoyed asking for it to be put away several times. My point to Anon, though, is that if something is valualbe to you, put it where it belongs, then there is no confusion -- or risk of a toddler walking off with it.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 3:25 PM

Devils Advocate and Arlington Dad, How about a compromise? If the child has been warned repeatedly not to leave a specific item lying around but does so anyhow, instead of discarding it why not confiscate it and make the child *earn* it back?

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM

I am talking about the adults in the household. This whole discussion started when woman (11:41 AM) above talked of going throught the closets and thinning them out. She also said something like some things are suppopsed to be thrown away. AD agreed with her and off we went.

Children are different, the confiscation technique works better than tossing their stuff. How will your child trust you if they can't thrust you not to throw away their possessions?

Posted by: Devils Advocate | April 11, 2008 3:28 PM

Is the same couple having the Closet/Popsicle debate?

Posted by: I'm confused | April 11, 2008 3:31 PM

"You went to Yale and you can't spell stupidEST correctly?"

Er..too booze at Princeton.


Posted by: Yale '85 | April 11, 2008 3:34 PM

Devil -- I think the problem is we're speaking in really broad general terms. That's why I asked Anon what type of "posession" s/he was talking about. I think it depends on the stuff. If it's week-old pizza or junk mail, I'm fine throwing it out. If it's something of value, then no, don't throw it out, but to be honest, I do get annoyed asking for it to be put away several times. My point to Anon, though, is that if something is valualbe to you, put it where it belongs, then there is no confusion -- or risk of a toddler walking off with it.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 11, 2008 3:25 PM

Yeah, you're right. But she was talking about "thinning the closet". In my mind, in a closet IS put away.

Week old pizza is garbage, not someone's possession, it belongs in the trash. The problem with doing the same with a child possessions is their concept of "value".

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:34 PM

That was me above @ 3:34PM.

The reason that this get under my skin so much is my wife thinks the way the woman above does and it has been the genesis of many an argument.

Posted by: Devils Advocate | April 11, 2008 3:38 PM

There you go Leslie, lift the registration requirement and your back to hosting one of the funniest blogs on the web. Of course, the anonymous trolls don't add much to the intellectural substance of this blog, but absurbity servs a large role in humor.

And all the therapy and marriage counselihng links from the Google Adds server don't bother me, not that I've ever been hit with an empty box of crackers.


MammaBird, in just a little while you're going to have to solve fights about which kid has to put away the milk. It's either:
1. The kid that brought it out of the refridgerator, or
2. The kid that used it last.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 4:00 PM

Special thanks to Newslinks, Corbette1975, TSP and MommaBird. When I know that I got a person to smile, it makes a good day!

Posted by: DandyLion | April 11, 2008 4:08 PM

Okay, this is just too funny not to add my chaos to the overall confusion.

First, my mom used to "disappear" my clothes - stuff she didn't approve of like a tiny green wrap skirt and a purple bikini that I bought at 12 and still wanted to wear at 15 - when I put things into the laundry hamper.

I'm 48, and I'm still annoyed that she couldn't have handled my inappropriate-clothing-choices in some other way. So, I completely agree that it's not okay to throw away other people's stuff without their knowledge and permission.

Next, stupid fights, and boy do I have lots of those! I don't throw things any more, thanks to a good family therapist. When starter-hubby and I were hitting the worst/last of that marriage, I stormed out of our apartment, down to the 7-11 clone around the corner, bought a pint of Barcardi 151, brought it home to continue the fight, and put about 1/3 into a glass of orange juice. Then I chugged the glass and repeated with the next third of the bottle. SH made some remark as I was getting halfway through the third glass, so I hurled it in his general direction - no intention of actually hitting him, but I wanted him to think that I missed by accident. Glass and oj all over the dining room! He started to clean it up, and I staggered off to the bedroom to pass out. Apparently, he thought I'd stopped breathing, because he loaded me into the car and took me to the emergency room, and that's the story he told the ER doc.

More stupid throwing - can't remember what it was about - in an argument with DH, I once up-ended our coffee table with a kerosene lamp on it. Somehow the glass lamp didn't break, but the kerosene was spilled all over the carpet and the living room reeked for weeks.

Still more stupid throwing - DH and I and a friend were supposed to go to a club for a Bruce Cockburn (one of DH's guitar gods) concert which was sold out. Can't remember anymore what DH said, but it really ticked me off, so I bolted from the house after informing him that I wasn't going anywhere with him that night, he and his friend could go to the %^$*&$ show without me. Walked around the neighborhood for a while, until it was well past the start time of the show, then bought a six-pack of beer so I could sit at home alone feeling sorry for myself. Got home, and the friend had gone to the show and was holding seats for us, so DH tried to hustle me into the car, and the fight started right up again. I smashed the sixpack on our front porch steps, and we both missed the concert.

All of these were before we had kids. I really wised up after seeing the effects of our fighting on my baby's face (he's nearly 16 now), and it was like seeing myself when my own parents used to fight. So, I had to find a better way to behave during conflicts - like I said, a great family therapist.

Please, anonymous trolls, enjoy your snarkiness - because all I can say is I figured out how to not sit in the locked-room-with-padded-walls next to my mother's, and I'm darned proud of my progress!

Posted by: Sue | April 11, 2008 4:17 PM

Bravo Sue!!!!! The problem is unlike you that a lot of people don't learn, instead keep doing the same-old same-old & self-justifying it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 4:27 PM

DandyLion may be Father of 4, but DandyLioness must sometimes feel like Mother of 5.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 4:31 PM

hey leslie!

did we mention that we are giving out prizes for the best story?

the creepy van has been lonely for awhile.

and a towel is a towel is a towel!

Posted by: Fred | April 11, 2008 4:39 PM

Fred: Can you say 'hand towel'? hand surgery? Please tell me more. I'm dying to hear, though I bet my imagination is worse...nah, let's not go there.

Posted by: dotted | April 11, 2008 4:44 PM

bath towel works the same as beach towel for drying kids.

and my hand does hurt right now, thanks! DOTTED for reminding me!

i had hand surgery today, hard to type only with left hand esp, since i have been a 10 finger typist from high school!

Posted by: fred | April 11, 2008 4:55 PM

after 5 on Friday...TGIF for me

Posted by: dotted | April 11, 2008 5:02 PM

Sue - I've had moments like you and lots of fights I'm not proud of, so kudos to you for sharing.

Also like you, I worry about the kids reaction to DH and I fighting. It breaks my heart actually - and brings back vivid memories of my parents fighting and throwing things when I was a kid...

Posted by: londonmom | April 11, 2008 5:23 PM

I worry about the kids reaction to DH and I fighting.

Should be, "I worry about the kids reaction to DH and me fighting."

Please.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | April 11, 2008 5:30 PM

Hey Fred, did they shave the hair off your palm before the surgery?

Posted by: Snarky Snail | April 11, 2008 7:03 PM

no, just my hairy knuckles!

Posted by: fred | April 11, 2008 7:07 PM

I'm glad I wasn't around for this ugliness. There was a good topic under here somewhere but it got lost under troll vomit.

Posted by: MN | April 12, 2008 12:09 PM

I am sure I have fought about a lot of stupid things but nothing comes to mind.

I used to be a thrower then I broke something valuable when I was angry and I quit being a thrower. This was when I was a young teen.

I used to say things I didn't mean when I was mad then I said something I couldn't take back and lost a valuable relationship. Now, when I am at my quietest, I am at my maddest because I try not to speak when I am mad.

Posted by: Billie_R | April 14, 2008 10:13 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company