I wrote this well over a year ago and I am glad (?) to say it is just as true to day as it was then…
I have often heard people talking about activities and situations that they “could never do with a spouse without killing them.” My husband and I have done so many of the things others recommend not to I have lost count. For example, we have:
-Worked together in a high stress industry (running the front and back of the house in a busy restaurant)
-Driven across the country together (with all our stuff, two dogs and no real clue where were going)
-Been homeless (for three months after our move cross country, on account of the ‘not know where we were going’ part)
-Lived on a 30 foot sail boat (while running the restaurant together)
-Worked opposite schedules rarely having time with each other.
-Had no money. Ever.
We have delt with injury, death, addiction, family issues, stepfamily issues and so much more and we have come through it all closer than ever. I think this is because we observe first grade playground rules to settle pretty much everything.
For years now we have lived by the infallible and infantile law of “NIYDEK” (pronounced ny-you-deck.) Which stands for “Not It. You Don’t Even Know” Let me explain;
This is a combination of a playground tradition and a standup routine from Dane Cook. On the playground “not it” is yelled by everyone at the start of a game to determine who will have the misfortune of being the one person stuck dong the less fun but necessary part of the game. Last one to say “not it,” is well, It.
We combined this with a phrase supposedly (according to Dane Cook anyway) used in a fight after there is nothing left to say, but you still want to win or get the last word in:
“Not it” signifies that you will not be taking part in the activity currently being negotiated. It can range from; being the one to go inside the gas station and get coffee, deciding what we are having for dinner, shopping for dinner, letting the dogs out, doing the dishes, etc. Most people would consider this pretty normal. Where we diverge is in our tendency to use it for major choices we do not want to make. Last year I called it when he needed to buy a new car and was driving himself crazy comparing all the options and wanted my input on which to go with.
I just called “NIYDEK” and got back to my beading. He was left to stew over the minute differences and costumer reviews. Alone. Poor, poor man.
He called it when we moved in and started painting the rooms. It is because of this laps in supervision that we have a tree on one wall.
A rainbow over the fireplace…
and pictures glued all over the walls in the bathroom.
Hey, he said he didn’t care.
The “you don’t even know” part is what stops any further discussion on the topic. There is no argument that can be made, the issue is dead. Again this wouldn’t be all that outlandish if it wasn’t that in all the history of calling “NIYDEK” it has only been overturned a handful of times. I base this on assumption that it must have happened at some point but truthfully I can not actually think of an example. That is a little scary now that I think about it.
I have found it to be a simple and fun way to avoid needless conflict about things that in the end you don’t really care about. In addition I recommend the preemptive strike method of play, wherein I will text him “NIYDEK” for no reason whatsoever. I think it keeps things light and fun, even in hard times. It helps to share with your partner the childhood excitement of tagging him and running away knowing he HAS to chase you. After all those are “the rules” and as my dad always said “Honey, I don’t make the rules.”
It was not till I was a preteen I realized that he did, in fact make the rules. Made most of them up entirely as it turned out but that is a story for another day.
Be well and remember to call NIYDEK first.