I am right about everything and here’s how you can tell; this is in print, which means this is a one-sided conversation where I control what’s being said. Also, everything in print is correct unless I deem it otherwise. Same goes for television and radio. I doubt you care about my exceptions to the rule, as you are convinced that I must be correct, but there is a list available as soon as I write it up.
The above is a phenomenon known (by me) as The Petrie Law. Those of you with good taste will have, at some point in your life, watched The Dick Van Dyke Show, considered by many, (not just me) as one of the finest comedy programs of all time.The show, written by the hilarious Carl Reiner, concerned a TV comedy writer named Rob Petrie.
(Those of you not crying, Ohhhhh Rob!, are of the wrong generation, because I say so.)
His wife Laura is the “Oh Rob,” declarer of the show, which many times followed her hijinks and her capris pants, which were very risqué at the time. (I’m serious, look it up. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054533/trivia?tab=tr&item=tr0621492)
Anyway, Rob and Laura had neighbors and friends with whom they interacted, and a child who eventually ended up in juevie because his parents paid little to no attention to him, what with their hijinks and shenanigans.
On the episode which gave rise to The Petrie Rule, Rob and Laura had a very cute argument and proceeded to describe it within the boundaries of their self-righteousness. Rob told fellow comedy writers; the New Yorky Sally and Buddy, while Laura told Millie, the wacky neighbor, over coffee and ignoring their children.
Rob’s description is played out as he returns from a hard day at being funny. He veritably inhabits Fred Astaire, dancing throughout the home as he seeks out his wife who doesn’t even have the courtesy to meet him at the door dressed in nothing but Saran Wrap. Once found, she is a shrew in capris pants, laughably claiming her life as the more difficult what with, the cooking, cleaning, laundry…um…doing, mothering, not to mention the amount of coffee she makes.
In Laura’s version, she met her husband at the door decked out in what the modern wife would describe as, “stuff I wouldn’t wear unless an expensive dinner was involved,” and offering up that same dinner made with her own finally manicured hands, which were only attended to because Rob is a tyrant who demands it. (I made that manicure part up.)
Of course, the truth came somewhere in between. In that vein, I’d like to describe an incident which happened recently when my husband and I went out for dinner with two our friends who happen to be of the gay persuasion.
Now, some of you are thinking, “The Gay Persuasion! That must have been Fabulous!” No, although they’re really great guys and one of them goes by the name of one of the few rappers I recognize, and not in a “call me by the name of one of the few rappers you can recognize” sort of way, but because Jay Z doesn’t own the name, it was simply a lovely evening.
We covered a variety topics, none of which included Neil Patrick Harris or Cher, so it was sort of like we were out with normal people.
Suddenly, the conversation took a troubling turn when the couple became openly hostile, which is to say they disagreed with me on a subject I am always right about. Guys. And everything else.
The matter at hand was a cutie pie who had walked behind me en route to the facilities. How did I know he was of the cutie pie variety when he was behind me? Well, I noticed my companions, who were facing me, were becoming distracted, following something I couldn’t see, their eyes synchronized, left to right, while trying to seem engaged with our conversation.
They reminded me of cats staring down a laser point pen and, continuing with the metaphor, choosing to believe the red pinpoint on the wall is actually prey and therefore willing to smash into a wall to prove it.
The smashing into a wall question was; is said cutie pie gay?
Of course, there was no way to tell for certain, short of a fixed game of spin the bottle followed by the yuck factor or my opinion.
My friends were adamant, however and ticked off a number of talking points about why the fellow, who would most likely be mortified to know his most personal predilections were being discussed by four strangers (some of us were stranger than others,) in detail, with no information ( to my recollection which is the only one that counts,) other than the designer jeans he wore; the ultimate criteria of gayness according to our dinner companions.
The conversation, despite the details, was about gaydar and whose equipment was more sensitive. (I’m not going to sink to the level of spinning a double entendre of that last sentence, but you should feel free.)
I don’t think I should be penalized because, as a teenager I dated two men who grew up to be gay. I choose to think they chose the gay lifestyle, despite what reality has to say about that, because I was no longer interested in pursuing a relationship with them.
Also, I was pretty sure Jodi Foster was a lesbian, (even before I knew what that meant) before she kind of came out at The Oscars while rambling on about her lack of privacy as it pertains to her sex life, so, more points for me.
In the end, the lady’s man left the restaurant, having never known that his straightness had been weighed and, incorrectly found wanting by two out of three diners, (my husband abstained.)
Soon after, we agreed that I am always right, which I can say because this is my laptop and my blog and because I’m correct, after which dessert was had by all and order was restored.
In all fairness, however, after reading this piece over, I realized the Petrie Rule insinuates that I overstated my half of the experience to convey a sense that I was being less than fair, thereby giving the impression that I was not completely correct. And I was completely correct.
Hey, nobody’s perfect.