“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
― Albert Einstein
Ever tried arguing with someone who just can’t see the rightness, the logic of your argument? We all have, and it’s frustrating. We know we’re right. We know it makes sense, and they just can’t—or won’t—see it.
One thing I’ve learned in my 60-plus years is that there are some arguments you can’t win. Doesn’t matter how flawless your logic.
Case in point: My friend arguing with her 95-year-old mother-in-law about where to store the soap and shampoo. Friend says to put it in the downstairs bathroom, where everyone showers. Mom-in-law insists it be stored in the upstairs bathroom, because that’s where it’s always been and that’s where it belongs.
Friend says, “It’s hard enough for you to get yourself downstairs without having to carry anything. Why not just keep it down there?”
Mom replies, “It’s not hard. I put it in a bag and loop it over my wrist.”
Friend: “But if it’s downstairs, you don’t have to loop anything over your wrist.”
Mom: “It doesn’t go downstairs. It belongs upstairs. That’s how I do it.”
An unwinnable argument.
Anyway, why are they arguing about shampoo? They’re not, really. It’s about my friend wanting to make things nice for her mother-in-law, to make mom’s life a little easier and more convenient. And it’s about mom desperately trying to cling to a little bit of control in a life where she’s lost control.
It’s been a long three months since the authorities came in and told Mom, “You can’t live like this, and if you want to continue to live here, then changes have to be made.” Not an easy time for anyone involved.
Not being able to control the big things in her life, Mom is going to argue about soap and shampoo (and Mardi gras beads and peacock feathers…). Logic has nothing to do with it. And logic is not going to win.
So where is the shampoo and soap going? Both places. That way, nobody loses. And it really doesn’t matter who wins.