Couples fighting is the greatest source of comedy on the planet. Two people occupy the same space – a relationship – but in that moment, they both have completely different ideas for what should be happening in it. Every couple fight is like two shipwrecked idiots, arguing about which way to steer the lifeboat, knowing they’re stuck with the decision either way.

This week, I wrote on Facebook:

All couples’ fights boil down to this: “I just want you to be a completely different person. Is that too much to ask?”

The older I get, the more I think that’s true. My wife and I haven’t had a “new” fight in years. They’re all the same. We argue about sex in exactly the same way as we have for years. We argue about my temper and ability to suck the air out of a room. We argue about her selfishness, the same way people fight about global warming. I say it exists and have overwhelming evidence on my side. Then she says: “oh, that’s not real”. So why do we keep having the same fight?

It’s insane, really. We are really asking the other to just become a different human. Is anything more pointless? We know exactly who our long-term partners are. They’re the person who behaves that way in that particular situation, every time. Arguing about why they do it is totally pointless.

On some level, maybe it’s comforting. Part of you likes the occasional fight, because it’s reassuring that you can still get on someone’s nerves. You’re still confounding someone. There is still some mystery to you. My parents have been married for almost 40 years. I once asked my mother what their secret was. Her answer: “complete and utter incompatibility”.

One of my favorite moments is this one. You’re lying in bed after a HUGE fight. You both say terrible stuff to each other. You can’t imagine anyone could fall asleep after saying such things. And then, in the dark, all you hear is… snoring.

Not angry

I’m not angry much.

Things people consider “big, angry-making issues” don’t make me very angry. War makes me angry, I suppose. But the minute after I learn we’re invading yet another country, I feel almost instant resignation. What’s the point in being angry about it? It’s a waste of time. What does it matter if I’m angry? I’m just a tiny cog in a machine. Actually, I’m not even that. A machine needs every cog to work in harmony. Every piece of a machine matters. I do NOT matter. I’m less of a cog, more of an ant. I’m one ant in a giant colony of 300 million ants. It doesn’t really matter what I say or think. We’re attacking that other ant-hill, and that’s that. Just like the Queen doesn’t care what any individual ant thinks, no politician cares what I think. I can be safely ignored. So can you.

I suppose I could go out into the streets and peacefully protest. But the politicians already expected lots of us to do that anyway. They thought about it before they announced the war. They factored it in, and decided to go ahead and do some war anyway. Me protesting won’t make a blind bit of difference.

However, I do get angry about very, very tiny, inconsequential things. I get angry when people wear backpacks on crowded subway trains. You should place your bag on the floor between your legs. Why don’t people know this instinctively? Everyone should be aware that wearing a backpack needlessly takes up space in the train car. And even if you are NOT instinctively aware of it, there are signs everywhere on the train reminding you “don’t wear backpacks on crowded trains”.

Every time I see someone do it, I want to say something. I never do. My only actual response is this: when I am leaving the subway car, and thebackpack bastard is staying on, I drop my shoulder and try to deliberately hit the person’s backpack. This results in one of two things:

1) If the backpack is carried over just one shoulder, I can sometimes knock it off their shoulder, and onto the floor. That feels good. That’s where the backpack SHOULD have been in the first place.

2) If the backpack is carried over BOTH shoulders, I can sometimes hit the backpack with my shoulder in such a way that the wearer spins off-balance and almost falls over. This is the best. It makes them look stupid, and may result in them not wearing a backpack in future: punishment, plus potential redemption.

I don’t know how to square this circle. I’m more outraged – and more willing to take direct action to prevent – crowded subway backpack-wearing than I am war. Does this make me a bad person? Or have I just found the only war that I think I can help win?

Daily links

Why is Tiger Woods the only successful African-American PGA golfer? The answer may be more complicated than you think.

Richard Dreyfuss is suing Disney. The case is about profit-sharing from What About Bob?, a movie he made almost 25 years ago.

How the original Star Wars lightsaber sound was made. Watch until the end.

Dutch banker fired over ‘integrity issues‘ (working as a Nazi-themed dominatrix prostitute on the side).

ESPN anchor berates a parking attendant on video. Not a great look.

Dusty Rose Vintage

Attention Brooklynites: my lesbian life partner Maresa Ponitch is hosting SUPER DOPE workshops all next week at Dusty Rose Vintage, the vintage clothing warehouse she owns and runs. Learn to make perfume, custom stamp necklaces, indigo-dyed clothing, ceramic pinch bowls, and all kinds of wild stuff. It’s all in honor of Earth Week. Check out the schedule below (or here): it’s going to be a cool week.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.41.08 AM