You would think by now I would know better, but I don’t.

Well, I guess I do know better — I just don’t always remember what I know. When you’ve been married for more than a few years, there are lots of things that you know but forget that you know.

For example, I know that when my wife asks for my opinion on something, she doesn’t really want my opinion unless, of course, my opinion is the same as hers.

“Which pair of shoes do you like, the black or the brown?”

“Uh ... the black.”

“Really? What’s wrong with the brown shoes?”

“Nothing. I like them.”

“You didn’t say you liked them. You said you liked the black shoes.”

“FIRE!!!!!”

See, most of the time when my wife asks my opinion, what she really wants is confirmation. She wants me to validate her own opinion, which is sort of odd since she is always telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The reason my wife is always telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about is because, most of the time, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I have managed, somehow, to navigate my way through life by winging it. In school, I would study just enough to get a general feel for whatever it was that I was supposed to learn but not enough to actually master what I was supposed to learn. For example, I know that photosynthesis has something to do with the sun and trees, but beyond that I’m stumped. I also know that black is the absence of color. Or maybe it’s white. All I know is that something is the absence of color.

Once, at one of the many colleges I attended, I signed up for a class called Western Civilization. On the first day of class the instructor said the class would meet once a week and at the end of the year we would take a three-hour essay test. If you passed the test you passed the class. Class time would be spent preparing for the test, the instructor said. If you went to class you would likely pass the test. But you didn’t have to go to class if you didn’t want to.

Guess which option I took.

My point is, most of the time I really only know a portion of what I’m talking about and my wife knows that. So it surprises me when she asks me for my opinion.

On Saturday, my wife, Emma and I were driving back from Kansas City. My wife and I drove up to Kansas City to pick Emma up at a student leadership conference. We were brining her back so she could take part in a dance competition in Joplin. Emma’s dance was at 5 p.m., so I figured we would be home from the competition by 6 p.m.

While we were driving home my wife pulled out the dance competition schedule.

“Oh (bad word),” my wife said. “I don’t want to tell you when the awards are.”

“Then don’t,” I said.

“10 p.m.,” my wife said.

“(Very, very bad word),” I said.

I told my wife that I didn’t want to sit and watch people that I don’t know dance for four hours until the awards.

“Do you want to take separate cars?” my wife asked.

“Yes,” I said before my wife finished saying the word “separate”.

The thing is, when I said “yes” to my wife’s question she got upset with me.

“Why did you ask me if I wanted to take separate cars if you didn’t want me to say ‘yes’?” I asked.

“You said ‘yes’ too fast,” my wife said, still mad at me.

I said: “FIRE!!!

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com.

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