When I imagined married life, back when I was young and naive, I thought couples made decisions by actually talking to each other. You know, opening your mouths and discussing the issue with thoughtfulness and insight. Well, okay, I wasn't THAT naive. But I did imagine an actual conversation taking place that resulted in a decision being made.
But since I married a guy, who thinks like a guy, and, well, ACTS like a guy, most decisions we have to make as a married couple are reduced to a rousing game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. I know I'm not alone, there must be other women out there who were in for a shock when the first decision to be made as a married couple rolled around.
At first it was fun, and quirky. We laughed as we Rock Paper and Scissored our way into what kind of pizza to get, who was going to get out of the car to pump the gas, or if we should drive across town for the all night pharmacy or tough it out until the morning. Then it was less funny, when it was suggested we duke it out for what kind of couch we should get for our new home. Mostly because I lost. I finally realized that this was not a fun, quirky game that we could play to ease the stress of a silly decision when we disagreed, this was a way of life.
Even more shocking than discovering that my mate handled life by playing a game of fate, and expected me to happily hop on board, is that I've learned this method is actually preferable to verbal decision making! I've managed on many occasions to get Gilberto to participate in a conversation, only to stress him out to such a massive degree, I am left wishing we could just start over and talk about the weather. All over why he was wrong and I was right about where to take off his socks when he comes home from work.
I've learned to save myself the agony and just play the game. Men will accept when they lose, because in their minds, it was fair. And they won't mope about the house for the rest of the day because your logic won over theirs, insulting their intelligence. It spares everyone a LOT of trouble.
Another good thing about this game is that it is only played in cases where we disagree about something non life changing. Not so much, for example, on whether or not we can afford to buy a new car, which we do talk about, but on what kind of car to buy. Gilberto won that one, too, hence the new truck in our driveway. Luckily we agree on the major things, or he just doesn't care and leaves the decision completely up to me.
I have accepted this way of life, and I think our marriage is better for it. Gabi even knows how to play, though with her we do it just for fun. At least for the time being.
Since my husband is Brazilian, we often play his country's version of this game, called Par O Impar, instead. Translated, it means Odds or Evens. Instead of throwing out a symbol, you throw out a number of fingers. The sum of the number of fingers on both opponents' hands is either odd or even, which decides the winner. We try to mix it up between the two versions, to keep things exciting.