Saturday, February 5, 2011

Top secret

posted 11/16/08

For some insane reason, I volunteered to set up the membership database for my neighborhood association. What this means is that I entered 263 records into excel, a record consisting of the member name, phone, address, email, and interest in volunteering at three different levels of 25 activities. (For those of you who know anything about spreadsheets and databases, this means 75 columns just for the activities. All’s I can say is thank goodness for What Not to Wear, Rachel Ray and SuperNanny – good background for doing data entry.)

Back to the email address: lots and lots of couples with shared email addresses, as in bobandsandy@yahoo or cindylovessteve@aol.

Have they learned nothing from me? Do they not know that couples should not share an email address because fighting for custody of the address when they divorce is worse than fighting for the dog? Yes. I implied it. Sharing an email address leads to divorce. I know at least two couples who had shared email addresses who have divorced and if that's not proof I don't know what is. Couples should be able to have secrets from each other.

But CF! you are saying in shock. Once you are married, you should share everything! You should pee with the bathroom door open! You should fart in front of each other! That’s the beauty of marriage! A complete partnership!

No, I say, no, no, no.

Boundaries are the key to any good relationship. Parents shouldn’t share everything with their children (“I've always thought your sister was a big loser” is not something my mother should say to me, not that she would of course because she doesn't think that, but if she did think that, it would be NONE OF MY BUSINESS) and spouses shouldn’t share everything with each other. If my friend tells me she has lost $23,000 playing the slots and asks me not to tell anyone because she is so ashamed or she says she is interviewing for a different job but don’t tell anyone because she doesn’t want it to get back to her boss and I say but what about SH and she says please don’t tell him either then there is no harm in keeping that secret.

The exception, of course, is if my friend says You know I’ve always thought SH was a big jerk and how can you stand him. In that case, the proper answer is He’s not a big jerk and I will thank you not to talk about my husband that way and goodbye. If SH asks why I no longer talk to that friend, then I tell him what she said. If someone wants me to take sides with her against my husband, my husband wins.

Other than that, your secret is safe with me.

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