I realized that everyone something for which they have an incredibly strong opinion, out of all proportion to the issue.
- How the toilet paper hangs. Some people think the toilet paper MUST hang from the top of the roll, while others are sure it must come from the bottom. I've heard people have wild screaming matches about this, sure that their way is the right and proper way and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "a drunken slob". Personally, I'm just happy if there IS toilet paper.
- That the open end of the pillow cases face the middle of the bed. (Or the wall, in the case of a single bed.) I knew a girl who's mother practically wept with disappointment that her daughter and I could make a bed and not know this crucial detail....how were we ever to grow up to be responsible, tax-paying citizens without knowing (or caring!) about this life-altering task? Placing the open end of the pillow cases towards the outside of the bed was tantamount to selling our bodies and smoking crack. To this day, I have no idea what the hell she was talking about.
- Using the phrase "you guys" when addressing a group where there is a woman present. I knew a woman who was incredibly offended when that phrase was used when she was there, because she was so obviously NOT a guy, and therefore the phrase was used to exclude her. And I've heard the same opinion from other women, as well, which baffles me. I get that the word "guys" does not mean exclusively those with a Y chromosome, and whoever is saying it probably wants me to pipe down with the rest of them.
- How to fold towels. Apparently, life as we know it will come to a screeching halt and civilization will cease as we know it if you fold a towel in half, and half again. The correct and only true right way to do this is by folding a towel in half and then in thirds, as God wants it. I was told this by mother of an ex-boyfriend, who scared the crap out of me on more than one occasion.
- Ketchup on French toast. Okay, this one is mine. One Sunday morning, not too long after we were married, I made breakfast for the Mister and I. (You can tell we were newlyweds by the fact that A)I was making breakfast for the Mister and B) he was eating it. He doesn't eat breakfast, and he was probably still being polite about it.) I made French toast, and had maple syrup with mine. The Mister put ketchup on his. I nearly threw up. Ketchup on French toast is an abomination against God and man. He countered that you put ketchup on eggs, and French toast is just bread and eggs, so why not?? Because, I said, I DO NOT put ketchup on eggs, and it's vile, that's why not. (Just for the record, I don't put ketchup on hardly anything, just fries and burgers. Not grilled cheese, not scrambled eggs, not macaroni. The Mister is bewildered.)
- The Designated Hitter Rule. When I was dating, a friend gave me an invaluable piece of advice: if you are struggling to find something to talk about, ask him about his opinion on the Designated Hitter Rule; there's barely a man alive who does not have an opinion about the Designated Hitter Rule. And she was right, in the right hands, that question will usually take care of the rest of the evening. (In baseball, in the American League, the pitcher does not have to take a turn at bat, they send in a special guy, the Designated Hitter, to hit the ball for him and run around the bases.) I've seen heads burst into flames discussing the Designated Hitter Rule....only pull it out when you want things to REALLY liven up.