Thursday, July 14, 2016

Self Examination: And How Are YOU Crazy?

are you crazy? this american life, marriage

On a recent This American Life, which I obviously love, Ira Glass interviewed famed author Alain de Botton about how often people choose the wrong people to marry.  It's all the time, as it turns out.  Most of us who are married are, in fact, committed to the wrong people at this very second.  The reasons, de Botton says, are that we don't know ourselves and we idealize our partners and we have inflated ideas of what marriage is supposed to be.

If we're miserable only half-to-most of the time, it turns out that's actually a successful marriage.

I myself am miserable in my marriage only rarely, which is good because I have an exceptionally low tolerance for misery.  It's a character flaw, maybe.  To ward off unhappiness in marriage, de Botton suggests that you ask your partner on an early dinner date, "And how are YOU crazy?"  That way, it's all on the table. Maybe the reason Pronto tolerates me so well is that my crazy is highly visible.  I have no secrets.  I'm a heart-on-sleeve type with a revealing face.  Here are some obvious flaws that Dan discovered in the first month of so of dating:
  • I can't make even the simplest of decisions sometimes.  "Do you want Mexican or Japanese?" Dan might ask. "I don't know, you decide," I'll say.  "Just tell me what you want," he says. "But I don't KNOW what I want," I insist.  "What do you feel like?" he asks kindly.  "I don't know!  SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I need to THINK!  Just leave me alone!" And then the crying.
  • I eat random stuff.  I wish I were kidding.  Sometimes, I'll take something off the ground and think, I wonder what this would taste like. Once on an early date, Dan watched me notice a piece of scotch tape on my sock, peel it off, and bring it to my lips.  "No, no!" he said.  "We do not eat the tape from our feet."  I wish I were making this up.
  • I have mild OCD. I'm not being insensitive to those with this condition.  It's actually true.  I am one of you! I just discussed it yesterday regarding the cyst. This has its benefits - I learn all kinds of things all the time.  When I say I will do something, I most often do it. I will find us the most energy efficient washer and dryer after days of frenzied research.  Sadly, I will also try to sneak a look in your ear canal to check out your wax situation.  I will try to do it surreptitiously, but you might notice.  I'm sorry, but I've been obsessed with ear wax for a couple of years now.
What about you?  How are YOU crazy?  I'm really feeling obsessed with knowing. Seriously. Write a comment. Do it. Do it. SHUT UP!


LH said...

Many Hoosiers laughed heartily at this post this evening.

Anonymous said...

Lee read this to a table of friends. This is great stuff.