Update: I tabulated the votes in the comments, and Macy got 4, Ryan got 3, and . . . Wade got 1. Macy wins. (And if you count the 4 votes she got from our judges, she got 8 against Ryan’s 4.) Case closed.
As we mentioned in this post yesterday, we’re instituting a new series called Tiebreakers. The point of this series is to have readers submit a quarrel or tiff they had with their spouse or significant other in order to have impartial observers (us) give their take on who was right and who was wrong. In other words, we’re offering you the opportunity to find out once and for all if you’re the crazy one or the sane one. We also invite readers to add their comments and votes, which we’ll tally at the end of the day.
And now, on to the inaugural installment of Tiebreakers: The Case of the Law Firm Trick-or-Treat, which comes to us courtesy of Ryan and his wife, Macy.
Plaintiff (Macy): One day as I was thumbing through emails on Ryan’s phone (which I do occasionally, and feel just fine about) I came across an email from his office manager saying that everyone was invited to bring in their kids on Halloween in costume to trick-or-treat around the office. I thought “we might have a lot going on that day, but it could be fun. He must have forgotten to mention it.” The day before Halloween, he still hadn’t mentioned it, and I heard from a friend of mine who was taking her daughter down to her husband’s law firm to trick or treat. So I decided to call him on it. I picked up the phone and asked him if he’d forgotten to tell me something. Turns out he hadn’t ‘forgotten’ to tell me, just that he didn’t want to invite us. That’s when I got pretty weirded out. Fine if he doesn’t approve of the activity – I wasn’t desperate to go. But if your office is having a party for your children to come trick-or-treat, don’t you think you should at least mention it and leave it up to your wife and kids? They might actually enjoy it. Pretty crotchety, if you ask me.
We’re just sitting on the doorstep because our Dad doesn’t think we’re cute enough to show to his friends.
Defendant (Ryan): Three things: 1. Halloween these days is crrrazy. Kids now do ten to twelve costumed events prior to the big day, and by the time Halloween actually rolls around, the novelty is gone, and the light sugar buzz has morphed into clinical dependency and mild diabetes. They didn’t need this. 2. Not only would my office trick-or-treating activity have been literally the sixth costumed event for my kids, but also the only one involving serious professionals sitting in their offices trying to accomplish real life things in the middle of the parade. Every smart parent operates by one simple rule: To me, my kids are heaven’s own cherubs; to most other adults, they are just one level above germ-spreading vermin. Lawyers in their offices rarely even have any candy, and are even less likely to be interested in being interrupted by someone else’s masquerading kids. 3. My kids are really, really cute. But it makes me really uncomfortable to put them in situations where adults feel compelled to tell me how cute they are. When the adults are grouchy lawyers who also happen to be my bosses, in the middle of their work day, forget about it. When the email came, I dismissed it as something I wasn’t interested in, and then forgot about it. It’s not that I ever intended to hide it from Macy and the kids. It’s just that I didn’t intend for them to come. Happy Halloween everyone!
Am I cute? Yes. But so are koala bears, and you don’t see any of them running around law firms.
So, there’s the case. Here are the rulings from our panel of distinguished judges:
Christian: First, I strongly condemn Macy’s email snooping practices. That said, my vote on the larger issue goes to her. Ryan should have shared the information about the trick-or-treat with her, and then made his arguments against it. Although, this being a law firm function, the kids would have to pay per piece of candy as well as time spent handing it out, so that’s a downer.
Rebecca (Christian’s wife): Why in the world would you NOT mention the trick-or-treating to your wife just to let her know and to hear her opinion on the matter? She might have strong feelings (maybe she just wants to meet your co-workers and make sure your secretary is ugly). My vote goes to Macy. Creepy maneuver, Ryan. Makes a woman wonder what else you’re hiding.
Davis: In not telling Macy, Ryan sought to get the result he wanted without engaging in the process of negotiation and compromise, which, as I think about it, is what most authoritarian rulers want when they overthrow democratic governments. So, I’m ruling in favor of Macy/George Washington and against Ryan/Kim Jong-Il.
Melissa (Davis’ wife): I’m with Macy on this one. I think it’s strange to keep secrets from your wife. I think that even if you don’t want your significant other to do something, it’s better to let them know about it and then explain why you don’t want them to do it rather than just hide it from them. What else are you hiding from Macy, Ryan?
Ron: (I guess we’re just ignoring the fact that Macy was snooping through Ryan’s emails.) If Macy were a member of a woman’s club and received an invitation from said club to bring her family to a function that she did not want to attend, would she be obligated to see if Ryan felt differently? No. In like manner, I don’t think Ryan was obligated to check with Macy regarding his work function.
So, there you have it: 4 votes for Macy, 1 for Ryan. Ryan should apologize to Macy, and to invite her and the kids down to the law firm on a random Tuesday in January, where he must take them office to office to meet all of his colleagues, without explaining why they’re there, exclaiming at least five times, “Seriously, though, can you believe how cute these kids are?”
Commenters: What’s your take? How do you vote?<!–
Submit your own dispute to the Tiebreakers by writing to tiebreakers at dontdodumbthings dot com.