The Gentile Art of Property Management Within Marriage

14 October, 2009 by Lawrence in Staying married

This is the story of one of the biggest fights my wife and I ever had.  It was over bar food.

I love my wife, I really do.  I know this because I remind myself often.  Even more often when things like this happen.

We were at dinner one evening with a group of friends.  I don’t remember exactly why, but we were sitting in the bar section of a restaurant, and I remember watching sports on the televisions mounted on the walls.  Due to circumstances, I wound up sitting near the end of the group, which was fine because most of the people we were with were my wife’s family and friends anyway.

We had decided to make a meal out of appetizers, because that always seems like the sensible thing to do while sitting in a restaurant’s bar watching sports on TV.  I don’t remember what I had, but I do remember that my wife had potato skins.

It’s important for you to understand how much my wife loves potato skins.  To her, this is a delicacy unsurpassed by any other.  She will forgo the finest foods crafted by the world leading chefs in favor of a few half potatoes covered in cheese, bacon, and maybe some chives.  Well, this may be a slight exaggeration, but she really, really likes her “tater skins”.

So now you have the scene.  We’re sitting with friends, there may or may not have been a couple of beers involved, and we’re eating an assortment of junk foods, including chips, pretzels, dips, and of course, potato skins.

After a bit I notice that my wife has been turned away from her plate for a while, deeply engrossed in conversation with her neighbor.  I look down at the table at it seems she had pushed her plate away and turned her back on it.  On her plate was about a half of the last potato skin, sitting there looking small and tasty in the middle of an empty plate.

Basic property law

At this point I need to pause this story to tell you about the law of “abandoned property”.  Property is considered “abandoned” if it has been left by it’s owner in a way that indicates the owner is not going to come back for it.  Abandoned property is available to anybody who finds it and takes it as his own.  This is the only time “finders keepers” actually works.

Back to the story

Knowing property law, and seeing that my wife had pushed her plate away and turned her back on it, you can guess what became of the last half of the potato skin.  To me this little bit of property was clearly abandoned and was up for grabs.  The law was in my favor, the opportunity was there. I calmly picked up the potato skin, smeared some sour cream on it, and ate it.

This went completely unnoticed until a few minutes later when our waitress came by to clear the empty plates.  She only got about a step away from the table when my wife exclaimed “I’m not finished, I want that last piece!”  I think my life flashed before my eyes, but I was too frightened to pay attention.

The details of the next few minutes aren’t important, and it’s just as well because it was all a blur.  I will say that I wasn’t aware she could make her eyebrows touch like that, and never before (or since) has her five feet of height seemed so big.   I suppose it really wasn’t a “fight” so much my standing obediently while she explained to me exactly how wrong I was and what the expected value of my expired carcass would be.

The aftermath

The first thing I learned is there’s no such thing as “marital property” when it comes to food.  I also learned that a second order of potato skins takes a very, very long time to arrive at the table, and being stared at by an angry woman for that length of time is extremely uncomfortable.

This occurred a couple years ago, and with a lot of reminders, begging, support of family and friends, and the purchase of many, many make-up orders of potato skins, we’re doing OK.

If there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here, I’d say it’s that if you make a mistake in your marriage, learn from it and don’t repeat it.  Also, it’s often important to put the needs of your mate ahead of your desire for the last half of an appetizer.  No matter how yummy it is.

3 comments

  1. […] is somewhat of a follow up to my post about one of my biggest fights with my wife.  This will probably have an even more tenuous application to law, but go with me and let’s […]

  2. […] The Gentile Art of Property Management Within Marriage « Tennessee Divorce and Custody Blog lballew.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/the-gentile-art-of-property-management-within-marriage – view page – cached This is the story of one of the biggest fights my wife and I ever had. It was over bar food. — From the page […]

  3. Ken Kendall says:

    What a fantastic story. This is how men can do better jobs as husbands. Learn from our mistakes. I love it.

    I write a blog about how men can better love their wives. I hope you will check it out when you have a chance.

    http://whatsheneedsfromyou.wordpress.com

    Thanks,