Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Embryonic Ideas

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My wife had a brilliant idea today.

[Our marriage counselor, if we had one, would at this point insist I include a disclaimer to the effect that all of her ideas are brilliant, not merely the one she had today, lest the reader wrongly infer from the above that only today’s idea exuded such brilliance. Our marriage counselor, if we had one, would summarily be dismissed, as such a dynamic remains entirely absent from this marriage; any and all slights are assumed de facto to exist, whether or not they were intended. It keeps things simple.]

So as I was saying, my wife had a brilliant idea today. We have, at any given time, several pregnant friends; this is the nature of our stage of life.

[Our replacement marriage counselor, if we had one, would at this point caution me to include a disclaimer to the effect that I in no way mean to imply by the above that I wish my wife were pregnant, lest the above give the impression that I mention all these friends in order to exert subtle peer pressure on her. Our replacement marriage counselor, if we had one, would now be looking for new clients, as well. You know, it could well be that some successful marriage counselors achieve their success by getting the couple to work together against the perceived ill intent of the therapist. This demonstrates how much I know about marital counseling; it could also be that the Atlantic Ocean is really just a galactic spittoon.]

So yeah, we have a bunch of pregnant friends. Naturally, these friends know how far along they are in their pregnancies; that’s part of the job description. We, however, have quite a time keeping track of who is due when, and whether or not any given woman has had the baby yet. So her idea: a spreadsheet to keep track of the who, when and whether.

[Now that we have dismissed our fantastical counselor, you may feel free to draw the inference that my wife enjoys keeping track of things in Excel. It certainly beats keeping track of them in Minesweeper, as I’ve been trying to do, which is why my wife keeps admonishing me not to waste my time trying so much. Or so often.]

I realize that the idea may give some readers pause; if we can’t remember when so-and-so is due, can we really call ourselves her friend? Of course we can, you nincompoop. I don’t remember my kids’ social security numbers offhand, but does that mean I don’t love them enough?

[Your lawyer, if you had one, would counsel against answering that question.]

In any case, I do like the idea, but I think we both know it won’t happen. Too much work updating it all the time [“Hi, sorry to bother you, Anne; I just called to ask whether you’re still pregnant.”]. And our spreadsheets have a tendency to snowball. Give it just a few weeks and we’d start adding tabs to keep track of who looks pregnant, and did we ever get confirmation of that suspicion? If so, did we cut and paste her name to the other sheet? You probably don’t need a marriage counselor to tell you that’s not a productive field of gossip in which to engage, unless you happen to be a soap opera character.

In which case you’re probably having an affair with your marriage counselor, whether or not you have one, and said counselor is actually the father of your unborn child [insert sex-change operation here if relevant], which of course comes as quite a shock to you, because you didn’t even know you were pregnant. But if you had this spreadsheet, you wouldn’t have that problem.


Written by Thag

September 19, 2010 at 9:01 pm

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