Pushing Buttons

We all have those buttons in our psyche that shouldn’t be pushed. Certain subjects are off-limits in a normal conversation with most people. Sometimes the button pushed creates panic, sometimes they are a reminder of trauma, sometimes they’re used to bring out guilt, and sometimes they just produce anger.

Families are the usual button-pushers. That’s because they know what buttons to push. Sometimes they push the buttons when arguing, purposeful or not, and the results are usually ugly. Married couples will push those buttons on each other in a heated argument whenever they think it’ll give them the upper hand.

HUSBAND (while examining the bank account): What’s this $5,000,000 debit at Bloomingdales?

WIFE: I needed shoes.

HUSBAND: Were they made of gold or something?

WIFE: Do you not think I’m worth it?

HUSBAND: I didn’t say that…

WIFE: You think I’m ugly!

HUSBAND: Wait…what?

WIFE: You probably wish you had a younger girl like that waitress at the birthday party!

HUSBAND: What waitress? What birthday party? What are you talking about?

WIFE: AS IF YOU DON’T KNOW!!!!

HUSBAND: I really don’t…anyway, fine. Just keep the shoes. We’ll just wait and see how long it takes you to sell them at a garage sale after only wearing them once!

WIFE: THAT’S NOT TRUE!!!!

That’s when the husband (definitely crossing a line he’ll regret crossing later) goes to the closet and starts flinging her shoes.

HUSBAND: New, new, new, new, new….

WIFE: YOU DON’T LOVE ME!!!!

HUSBAND: Of course, I love you! I just don’t love your shoes! These are all new and never been worn!

WIFE: I do too wear them!

HUSBAND: They still have the price tags stuck of the heels!

WIFE: Those are just the ones YOU bought me!

HUSBAND (illogically changing tactics): So, you don’t appreciate anything I do for you!

WIFE: I didn’t say that!

HUSBAND: Yes, you did!

At this point, the wife starts crying. The husband looks on and begins to regret the argument and what he said.

HUSBAND: Look, I’m sorry. I’m just stressed about bills today. Don’t cry…

Now the husband will go to her and try to hold her. After brief resistance, she gives in and they hold each other.

WIFE: I’m sorry too. I was just kidding about the waitress.

HUSBAND: I love you. You’re worth every shoe in the closet.

WIFE: I love you too.

HUSBAND: Let me pick up the shoes and put them away.

WIFE: Don’t bother, we’re having a garage sale this weekend.

HUSBAND: Wait…what?

WIFE: What?

HUSBAND: Um, these shoes are new…

WIFE: They’re all the wrong colors and out of style.

HUSBAND: They look pretty good to me.

WIFE: FINE! MAYBE YOUR WAITRESS WILL COME TO THE GARAGE SALE AND YOU CAN LIKE THEM ON HER!!!!

It’s obvious. We all have way too many buttons to be pushed…and we’re good at pushing them on others…especially if we love the other person. I guess that’s why they say, “All’s fair in love and war.” The commonality here is that both consist of buttons being pushed to hurt others so we can win. When Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is everything,” he meant football…I think.

This couple I depicted will eventually get over their argument…unless, of course, that waitress really does show up at the garage sale…that’s a button that will definitely be pressed again…and again…and again.

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