She: In honor of last week’s presidential debate and the one coming up Wednesday, I think we should show everyone how it’s done.
She: Yeah, well I win on domestic issues. While you were gallivanting around Europe (probably alienating voters with your brash American ways), I went to soccer practice, flag-football practice and made peanut-butter sandwiches for the whole class.
Z: Hey — brash is the new patriotic. And my brand of brash is charming, I tell you. But, yeah, you win.
She: Of course. But that’s not the debate I’m talking about.
Z: Oh. Is it the one where you and I face off and let the country decide which of us is more likable and who they’d rather invite to dinner?
She: That’s not what I mean either.
Z: ‘Cause I’m very friendly, and I like free food. And I’m not really that brash.
She: No, I mean the real debates, the things people really care about.
Z: But we don’t even watch reality TV.
She: I just want to share some of the great debates that go on in our household every day.
Z: There are no debates here. We’re the model of harmony.
She: No, we’re not.
Z: Yes we are.
She: Just this morning, Koss and I were debating the issue of energy conservation.
Z: Like when I’m trying to read the newspaper and he turns off all the lights and says it’s for the good of our country?
She: No, I mean when he begs us to have a sleepover and then is shocked to be tired the next day. The boy has no idea how to conserve his energy.
Z: This from the woman who regularly stays up until 2 a.m. to put finishing touches on a scrapbook page.
She: That’s different. You’re trying to change the debate from energy conservation to one about the place of art in society.
Z: I’ll tell you where art belongs: sometime before midnight.
She: We also have the hunger debates.
She: Exactly. The politics of potato chips.
Z: Or the economic debates, when he tries to convince us he should get his allowance without doing his chores.
She: That does show a stunning understanding of the American economic system. He’ll probably grow up to be a CEO.
Z: I’ve been trying to get an allowance without doing chores for years.
She: And we’re always debating how to lower taxes. I think he might be a Republican, because he insists there are no taxes.
Z: I love how he hands us ten bucks when he buys a toy that’s $9.99, despite the fact that he’s holding a receipt for $10.76.
She: So much for that whole lesson on rounding numbers.
Z: I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. He really might be another one of those borrow-and-spend Republicans.
She: At least he’s not brash.
Z: At least there’s one thing that we don’t debate here.
She: What’s that?
Z: The Leslie Doctrine: whatever you want, the answer is yes.
She: Yes, dear.
Share your great household debates with She and Z at Leslie@LeslieDinaberg.com.