Ask a trusted and wise friend to critically appraise your judgment on your last three significant actions.
My last three significant actions? Deciding to have another baby. Deciding to have children in the first place. Deciding to get married. Deciding to let my wife have a career instead of me. Moving abroad. But whom shall I ask? Who has known me long enough and has been with me for the last ten years, who knows how I think and why I think that way? Who knows me well enough to be able to appraise my judgement on these things?
My wife. This is what she has taught me.
- My wife is always right, even when she’s wrong.
- I am the best thing that has happened to her, except when I’m not.
- It’s not about being right, except when it is — in which case, see rule 1.
- I can do whatever I want, as long as it’s the same as my wife wants.
- Her left is always left, even when it’s right.
- Flatter will make me do anything.
- I’m perfect, except when I’m not.
- I can do anything, except when I can’t — in which case, see rule 7.
- It’s amazing how lucky I have been to pass on only my very best genes to the kids.
- My parents are wiser than I think. Her parents are much wiser than I think.
- It’s possible to be jealous of a GPS receiver.
- You’ll get sick if you don’t dry your hair as quickly as possible, except when you are on a beach.
- She’s the happiest woman on this planet, except when she’s not.
- When we get visitors who come to see how we live, it’s necessary to tidy and clean the house, so that they won’t see how we really live.
- Her wisdom in marrying me was almost as great as my wisdom in marrying her.
- Flea markets are a nice way to spend a Saturday, except when she buys stuff, in which case I should have warned her beforehand.
- Affection is giving her chocolate; love is hiding it before she eats too much.
- I can teach her everything — however, rule 1 still applies.
- The world had been a better place if women were in charge — however, it would be better if I made all the important decisions. Rule 1 still applies, though, even if applied only post factum.
- A cantaloupe is not the same as a water melon.
- Gifts matter, except when they don’t — in which case they matter only slightly less.
- To remember is to know who bought what for whom, who were where when, and who put what where.
- It’s better to buy something you don’t need for half the normal price than buy something you need for twice the normal price.
- There really is something called the dessert stomach.
- There is no thing called “too many socks”.
- (Bonus) My judgement has been OK for the last ten years.