The keys to a happy marriage

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller use this space to offer their views on everyday issues.


In the ever-going battle of minor arguments in the Miller household, Callie is winning the marital ping-pong match something like 347 to 2. I know, I know, when you argue, you shouldn't keep score. Marriage is not about keeping score, about who wins and who loses. It's about love and commitment.

But let's face it, when you so rarely win an argument or fight, you're bound to notice the very few that you can claim as yours. I would like to let you in on one such particular feud that I think I'm actually winning.

It's about keys.

Several weeks ago, my cute and talented wife lost her set of keys. For the first few days, it wasn't a huge issue. I figured they'd turn up and everything would go back to normal. I'd have my two sets of car keys and office keys back. A few days came and went, so I finally asked Callie if she'd look for them. Because Callie and I trade vehicles every day (We have only one car seat. I take Dawson to day care in the morning and Callie picks him up in the afternoon.), this key issue quickly became an issue when Callie stranded me at the office. It also became an issue when I'd forget my office keys, now separated from the rest of my keys, at home. This has happened at least three times. Time after time, I'd ask Callie to please, please look for her keys out in the car. She never did so. I asked her to go get copies made of our keys, then. She never did so.

The leaves turned colors, fell from the trees, Thanksgiving went the way of the turkey and now Christmas approaches. Still, no keys. I finally tried to take matters into my own hands on a recent Christmas shopping trip to the hardware store. I was able to make a copy for one of our vehicles, but the other apparently has a microchip and can only be copied at a dealership. The key copy guy told me a new copy cost him almost 50 bucks.

It's rare that Callie completely drops the ball like this. I can tell you it's very irritating, and I won't pretend that I haven't done a zillion things just as annoying. But Callie often gets this righteous indignation about her when she's right and I'm wrong. And, while I know it's wrong, that feels pretty good, I must admit. Now, Callie, why don't you write your part of this column, AND THEN GO FIND YOUR KEYS! Please.


Soooo... how about that journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush? I have to admit, in nearly nine years working for daily newspapers, I've never thrown anything at a source. I've been escorted out of a church. Accused of personally sabotaging an entire school district. Been told I was going to hell (probably the closest I've ever come to throwing my shoes at anyone).

Have you caught on yet? Bringing up a major international imbroglio is my attempt at distracting you from the, er, minor situation Bob chose to focus on. The tactic worked well with him at first, too. He'd ask about the keys, and I'd smile sweetly and change the subject. After two months, the sweet smile ain't cuttin' it.

Why, oh why haven't I looked for the keys? Well, first of all, I have. I remember losing them in Bob's car, somewhere under the passenger seat. So I'm lucky. Most people don't remember precisely where they've left their keys or their wallet or their belt or their socks or their child -- right, BOB? Unfortunately, for someone who knows exactly where she lost her keys, I'm having the darndest time finding them in that location. Secondly, I'm pregnant. Oh no -- I'm know what you're thinking! "I can't believe she's playing the pregnancy card." Well, I am. With Dawson, being pregnant meant that I was tired, maybe even -- gasp! -- cranky. But this go-round, I'm really being taught a lesson. I'm vomiting almost daily, despite every remedy known to pregnantkind. I'm fainting. I'm exhausted. And, baby, it's cold outside. So the last thing I want to do is drag my vomiting, fainting, exhausted bootie out into the cold to look for those keys.

And if Bob brings it up one more time, I'm going to throw my shoes at him.

Callie Clark Miller is the nauseated special publications managing editor for the Southeast Missourian. Bob Miller is Southeast Missourian managing editor and has hidden all of Callie's shoes. Reach them at and

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