The Art of the Bicker

My wife and I do not need a topic to bicker. We are never at a loss for words because we are not constrained by facts, logic, consistency, or good manners. We like to play Scrabble with the dictionary open and Bridge with the cards face up on the table. We have not played Chess since the time Mollie swept the Yugoslavian hand carved pieces off the board decades ago. We rarely accept defeat graciously. We know others are scandalized by our behavior, so we restrain ourselves in public. Unfortunately we found that even when we think we are behaving, we scandalize others. When Cousin Chris was released from prison, he visited us once and that was it. Modern technology has been a big invasion of privacy. Teachers on Microsoft Teams and Zoom have had to gently ask our grandchildren to “remind your grandparents that we can hear them in the background.” Family members tell us they not only see us on home surveillance cameras but they can hear us approaching. So we get caught on recordings describing their landscaping style as Tornado Aftermath or confirming a code word signal to use when we are bored to death and desperate to leave their party. Our grandchildren surreptitiously record us on their cell phones, so they can regale their parents with evidence that we are as crazy as ever. We should get a Bicker Pot where we could draw out fresh topics to bicker about on any given day. But we would probably bicker over the pot, where to put it, and the process for filling it.


28 thoughts on “The Art of the Bicker

  1. I finally learned to say, tape measure in hand, “The couch won’t fit on that wall.” Before I go shoving furniture around because some estate sale item that belongs on the bulky item pickup day pile has yet to find its way there. I can also say “Yes, subwoofers ARE ugly. Don’t you have a plant that likes its butt massaged?”

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  2. When my parents got older they used to bicker about who would send who to the nursing home first. “I’m going to put you in the nursing home, Dorothy.” “I’m going to put YOU in the nursing home.” Just idle bickering.

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  3. That’s true. One has to back down if you want it to stop. And Scrabble really deserves all those arguments. There was one time one of the participants came up with a ridiculous word to use up all her vowels–she ended up with four of them. And the dictionary really confirmed that she’s right. That’s so unbelievable. I can’t even remember the word right now but it is something quite un-English like.

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  4. This post reminded me of that time at 18 when I had to missed-bus beg a ride to work with the Italian couple across the street. Bicker? I’d have paid big bucks for mere bickering. This was before cell phones — I couldn’t call anyone to say I might soon witness a blood bath. As he dropped her (and me) off, they both leaned in for a kiss, “Have a good day, Sweetie.” “You, too, doll – love you.” I’ve never trusted a living soul since.

    Liked by 1 person

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