“Are you sure about that?” my partner says. “Because I think you’re biased here.”
“Well,” I say in response, my voice dripping with equal parts defensiveness and smugness, “I may be biased. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
“You know,” my partner says, “that reminds me of something a relationship writer once wrote.”
I wait patiently for his rebuttal, wondering what obscure columnist he’s going to quote. We both like reading advice columns and will sometimes find that one of us will strike up a conversation about an interesting letter and response from an agony aunt, only to find that the other of us stumbled on it and read it independently.
But that’s something I’ve always liked about us. While no one who knew us before we were together would have necessarily pointed at him and said, “You know, you remind me of my friend Page” — or vice versa — we have a ton in common. Below the surface particularly, in the ways that count.
And yet, what he says next manages to surprise me anyway. The relationship writer he quotes is… me.
He’s arguing against me using one of my own essays. Well, crud.
I shake my head in disbelief, defeated by my own words.
It’s Easy to Come Down with a Case of the What-Ifs
In that moment, I want to argue with what I said before, but as I try, I can feel myself cherrypicking an argument. Searching for a way to justify how my case is special. Exempt from whatever truism is being levied against me.
It’s easy to come down with a case of the what-ifs. And the yeah-buts.
But as I do, I can feel the self-delusion rolling in. And the moment that I notice such a thing is the moment it stops being effective.
So yes, I’ve had my own advice used against me… but generally it’s a good thing.