Help Settle an Argument…

OK — help me resolve a tiny family squabble…

My parents’ 47th wedding anniversary was yesterday, and I shared my congratulations on Facebook along with the observation that that’s a LOT of years not to smother each other with a pillow.

My dad says I’m recycling that line because I’ve used it before.

*I* say, YES, I’ve said it before, but it’s a UNIVERSAL TRUTH, and universal truths ought not be categorized as “recycling.”

I mean, really; do people accuse Jesus of recycling “love your neighbor as yourself” just because he says and/or implies it a lot?

Do people accuse others of recycling Ghandi just because “be the change you wish to see in the world” shows up everywhere?

Do good readers accuse St. Anne Lamott of recycling “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do?”

No. No, they do not. You know why? Because Universal Truths must be reused and repeated. They stand the test of time. They DESERVE to be reiterated so we can wrest every grain of wisdom from them. 

In the same way, “Happy Anniversary! That’s a lot of years not to smother each other with a pillow” is a universal fact beyond time and place, the very definition of a Universal or Absolute Truth.

I mean, I don’t want to pat myself on the back too, TOO much here, but I do want you to feel free to let my father know his daughter is a wise philosopher whose observations and salutations should be revered as such.

Thanks, friends. I knew I could count on you.






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10 responses to “Help Settle an Argument…”

  1. May it please the court the Defamed… er… the Defense rises to speak in rebuttal.

    “Everybody knows” that Ronald Reagan exploded the deficit through “Reaganomics” and Nancy Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act, in 2010: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

    The only problem is that both statements are false (aka “Fake News”) because each is taken entirely out of context. Reagan was forced to submit a record-breaking deficient spending bill because of laws Congress had passed; and a full read of Pelosi’s statement reveals that she was implying that the full benefits of Obamacare wouldn’t be known until the bill was passed and implemented.

    And so it is in this case – a statement made, true on its face, and taken utterly out of context.

    Let’s examine the record:

    On or about 03 April 2016 Beth McDonough Woolsey posted the following on her personal Facebook page:

    “Wishing my parents, Ian and Sandy, a wonderful 46th wedding anniversary. As has become our annual congratulatory statement… that’s a long time not to smother someone with a pillow.
    P.S. — and most importantly — I hope I beat Jeff to the congrats. I’m a little late on the draw, since it’s already afternoon, but I did hedge my bets by wishing you a Happy Anniversary Eve yesterday, so please take that into consideration before declaring a winner.”

    In response, brother Jeff McDonough responded on 03 April 2016:

    “Sure, Beth, you win both the Anniversary Day Message Award, AND the Anniversary EVE Message Award, but I destroyed you on the Asking For Stuff On Anniversary Day Without Wishing a Happy Anniversary Award. As mom would say, we’re ALL winners.”

    On 03 April 2017 Beth McDonough Woolsey posted the following on her Facebook page:

    “Wishing my parents a very happy 47th wedding anniversary today! #ThatsALotOfYearsNotToSmotherSomeoneWithAPillow (Most importantly, did I beat Jeff to this??)”

    And Jeff McDonough, in reply, merely reposted his message of a year earlier.

    At which point the Defendant replied:

    “Beth McDonough Woolsey recycled a hashtag and Jeff McDonough recycled a FB post. You’re *both* losers. (Can’t WAIT for Sandy McDonough to see this!!)”

    Read in full context it cannot be other that thoroughly obvious that the epithet “You’re both* losers” refers NOT to the acknowledged Universal/Absolute Truth, i.e. that 47 years is a lot of years not to smother someone with a pillow (with which I heartily agree and unreservedly endorse), but rather my children are losers because they thought a quick cut & paste would somehow elevate their relative position above their sibling.

    The Plaintiff has pled, “…but I do want you to feel free to let my father know his daughter is a wise philosopher whose observations and salutations should be revered as such.”

    The father in question readily acknowledges the blogging daughter is, in fact, a wise philosopher. The father objects only to the fact that said wise philosopher is demonstrably a lazy one. (Which, in fairness, must be said of her brother as well.)

    Both losers. But I repeat myself.

    The Defense rests Your Honor.

  2. Ok, so I’m a very logical person. If 46 years was a long time to not smother someone with a pillow, then it just seems to make perfect sense that 47 years would be a(n even longer time) to not smother someone with a pillow. I hereby declare that you may use this til death do them part.
    Don’t take any naps at their house.

  3. My snarky response would have been something like “Great memory for such an old man!” Old jokes about age (pun intended) are universal truths as well.

  4. We hold these universal truths to be self evident, that married people celebrate the years spent together, and thus they have not smothered each other with a pillow….yet. You could switch it up if he’s tired of the pillow idea, maybe offer up other congrats like “way to not abandon each other at Walmart!”
    All those years, toss the guy a fresh joke. 😉

  5. While it is true, I don’t believe it rises to the same level as Ghandi or Jesus (or even St. Anne). They brought you into the world, yes? The least you can do is give the old man a fresh joke…

  6. Forgive him for he knows not what he does. He’s a cranky old man. We both know that’s true.

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