Fortunately, All of My Flaws Are Just Virtues in Disguise

It’s all a matter of perspective, Sharon.

You’ve got your life together and think my carelessness and irresponsibility are hurting our relationship. Trust me, I know – you’re an “adult.” You own an ottoman!

I bet no one’s ever had to tell you, “Excuse me, sir, but you can’t bring those birds in here.”

To which you’d smugly respond, “Uh, I don’t see any ‘No Bird’ sign in the window?”


And it would turn out that a sign in the window did specify “No Animals,” and it wouldn’t be easy to cover up your humiliation with righteous indignation, but you’d manage. Even though one of the parakeets kept mimicking the manager and inadvertently arguing against you. In this completely hypothetical scenario.

So yeah, you’ve never been asked to leave a Roy Rogers. You’ve probably never even been to a Roy Rogers. We get it, Sharon. God only knows you’ve been vocal about what you perceive to be my numerous shortcomings.

But, have you ever considered that when looked at from a different perspective, all of my flaws are really just camouflaged virtues?

Take my notorious immaturity, a condition you never pass up an opportunity to lecture me on. Not a night goes by that you don’t interrogate me with an endless barrage of needling questions: Why don’t you own any keys? Why did you get “Let the Good Times Roll” tattooed across your stomach? What’s with all these goddamned birds?

Have you ever considered that when you’re old and gray, you might think of my immaturity as a youthful vigor? Maybe then you will appreciate my ongoing subscription to Mad magazine, or the fact that I’ve somehow never lost my baby teeth.

Then there’s my supposed absent-mindedness, which I think could be better described as a charming ability to get swept up in the moment. Sure, I leave the toilet seat up and forget to take the Christmas lights down. I oversleep through alarms and underestimate the traffic. I drank beer before liquor and I have never been sicker. I got kicked in the head by a horse and now my left arm basically just hangs there.

Where was I? Yes, the chronic absent-mindedness.

Well, that same carefree whimsy has awarded us plenty of joy. Think of all the days I’ve brought home scratch-offs and good cheer under the mistaken assumption that it was your birthday. Or all the times I’ve graciously forgiven you for forgetting to get me anything on what I mistakenly assumed was my birthday. Think of all the times, Sharon. There have been literally dozens. An admittedly extraordinary number of times.

Many of the things you now criticize me for are actually those same qualities that caught your eye in the first place. You thought it was “adorable” when I mentioned that I loved The Sound of Music on our first date. Yet, weeks later, you called it a “weird thing to say” when you discovered I had never heard of the movie and was just making an offhand comment regarding my thoughts on music. Now you think it is “unsettling” when I say things like “Chewing food is alright in my book” or “I like to smell smells.”

It is you, Sharon, who has changed – not me.

Shouldn’t I also be given some leeway in consideration of my negligent and damaging upbringing? Not all of us can grow up in the lap of luxury, Sharon, with decadent indulgences like an above-ground pool and in-ground cesspool. Some of us had to make do with a waterhole and a shitmound.

In fact, some of us were abandoned as infants and raised by birds, eventually wandering into a rural town and being discovered by its bewildered villagers!

Oh, have I never mentioned that I was a feral child? Chalk that up to my steadfast refusal to dwell on a negative past. Or, my “inexplicable and confusing backstory,” as you so dismissively refer to it.

When you combine those troubling formative years with my shoddy DNA (a surprisingly flippant ancestry website described me as descending from a long line of “legit mutants”), it’s pretty easy to understand my erratic behavior. In fact, by an extension of that logic, almost anyone’s failures as a human being can be excused. After all, if you inherited his previous experiences and genetic hardwiring, can you possibly claim that you would have acted any differently than a Hitler or a Mussolini?

Too much? Okay, fine. Too much. You get the idea, though.

Furthermore, for the sake of brevity: my laziness is noble restraint, my recklessness is adventurousness, and my performance in bed is not “bad,” but, in fact, “good.”

I’m just sick and tired of being railroaded (railroaded!) for the unique value and charm I bring to our relationship. Which brings me to my final point – I’m leaving you, Sharon. I am moving into an apartment on the wrong side of town that has an incredibly lax bird policy. And I’m taking the ottoman with me.

But also, in another sense, I’m returning to you. It all depends on your perspective, and whether or not Alternate Side Parking is in effect.