I just read on AOL that coffee first thing in the morning is bad for you. Hard to believe, isn’t it? No, not the coffee part, the fact that I still have AOL. Apparently, you mess with your internal clock when you drink java on an empty stomach. Coffee decreases your cortisol levels (which keeps you alert). So a lot of times that morning cup of coffee can backfire and make you feel sleepier and grumpier. Has no one noticed this in 400 years?
Here’s another piece of medical advice. A woman who keeps quiet during an argument with her husband is four times more likely to die from heart disease. This study was originally published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a publication I don’t read—but that’s okay because I’m sure my cardiologist saw it in USA Today.
So, I want to understand this last one. If I argue with my wife, I’m a boorish brute and a sexist. But if she wants to argue with me, she’ll live longer. My wife and I have argued about some odd stuff over the years. “Argue” is probably a bad choice of words, because Mary Ellen always reads this column before it’s published and she doesn’t want me to tell people we ever argue. She fears the public will assume we don’t get along. For example, we talked the other day about how to price the sale of our old home. Our voices got louder, and we got very frustrated with each other. I lost the argument, but Mary Ellen wants me to simply say I got creamed in a friendly discussion.
Truth is, we have debated just about everything in our 39 years of marriage: how to eat popcorn; if it’s a good idea to nap in the middle of the day, how to load a dishwasher, and whether you should use a high flame or low flame to cook a scrambled egg. We once debated whether my mother knew how to raise children. I thought my mom had done a pretty good job, but Mary Ellen provided some very strong evidence to the contrary: me!
I must not be a very good debater because I seem to lose the exchange even if I have most facts in my favor. For example, I was pretty sure this past July was my wife’s 67th birthday, but she claimed she was only 66. I dug out her passport and birth certificate from our safe deposit box.
I tried to further bolster my position with this argument: “Mary Ellen, remember when we got married, we talked about there being a four-year difference in our age?”
“Oh, Dick, you’re living in the past. That was 38 years ago.”
I hope the two of us have many more heated discussions. I figure if she keeps arguing with me, she will stay healthy. And I’m still going to continue to drink huge amounts of coffee, even if it makes me sleepy and cantankerous.
I know you’re tempted to say, “Wouldn’t that be grounds for divorce?”
Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@aol.com.