IN A MARRIAGE, THERE ALWAYS A BACK SEAT DRIVER

Two things happen when Martha (my wife) and I get in the car. (1) I’m driving, and (2) Martha criticizes me for it. “You didn’t come to a complete stop, Bernie.” “Wrong. I did.” I turn right on Ribaut Rd. “The other way’s shorter.” “We’ve been over this a million times, Martha. I’ve timed it.” “You have not. It’s obvious the other way’s shorter.” “Is it now”? Sigh. “Just take me home.” “Take me home, take me home…to the place…I belong. West Virginia, my mountain Momma, take me home, Country Road… “Sing it with me, Martha, I’ll harmonize.” “Oh my God! Bernie!” “What?!” I panic, stopping smack dab, at an angle, in the middle of the Ribaut Road/ Bay Street intersection. “You turned right in front of that car!” “Goddammit, Martha, you almost caused an accident!” “That car would have hit my side. I would have been the one killed.” “Right, caused by your panicking. Over nothing!” She shakes her head, thoroughly disgusted; no room whatever for discussion. What is wrong with her? Did I turn too early? Absolutely not. You know how I know? We’re still alive. Besides, the evidence is a mile down Bay by now. So I shake my head, sigh, thoroughly disgusted, the weight of the world on my shoulders. She’s had it on hers too long. She stares out the window, refusing to look my way. “Martha, come on. Jeez…” The Silent Treatment I have always considered one of the most perfidious forms of bullying, if not downright anti-semitic, and Martha is a Gentile, which is okay, I guess. But we Jews are not...