Mack and Mrs. Daddy have a beautiful relationship, and the Daddy is lucky a woman like that even looks at him let alone married him and puts up with all his…let’s be charitable and call them “eccentricities.”

We are very different. But we operate as a team, and our strengths and weaknesses dovetail nicely. To say “she completes me” isn’t quite accurate, because that statement implies Mack was almost complete without her and truly it’s much more like the other way around. She completes me the way a banana split with all the trimmings completes a maraschino cherry. She completes me the way ice cold gin and an olive completes the vermouth’s contribution to a martini.

The point is, though, we get along very beautifully. There’s no one I’d rather spend time with and I love her more and more every minute we spend together.

But we fight, too. Ooh, mamma. Oooh, daddy. We have some doozies.

It’s funny, we don’t really argue about money, as many do. And it’s not because money isn’t tight, it often is. And Mrs. Daddy makes way more than the Mack, so you’d think it’d come up. And it does. But it doesn’t seem to be a constant theme.

The thermostat is a much bigger bone of contention. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Oh, ha-ha, the thermostat, that happens to a lot of people, it’s almost kind of a cute thing to argue about.”

And maybe it was a little cute for a while, as we wryly looked at each other and said: “Ooooh, you crazy nut, you really like it [warm/cool.]”

But over time it got quite serious. Mack would be at the stove on a medium-warm early-spring day and thinking: “Why is my scalp prickling? Why am I so hot I feel like ripping off my head and throwing it out the window?”

And I’d go to the thermostat and it’s be punched up to 30. “Are you nuts?” I’d ask Mrs. Daddy. The Mack comes from a thin-blooded Northern people, I need it cool. “Cool” has come to mean rational, calm– for good reason, Mack believes. It also saves money and blah blah blah.

“I like to be warm,” she’d say.

“You know, one way to stay warm in the kitchen is to slave in front of a hot stove, once in a while, like I do every night,” the Mack would say (Mack is the family chef and most of the time wouldn’t have it any other way).

And we’d be off. Everything called into question, who contributes more, etc.

Lord knows Mack is making a mistake starting something about the thermostat. All through the summer the Mack suffers, praying for cool weather to return, only to have his wife turn his house into a sauna.

She gets it from her mother. When the Mack visits the in-laws’ hermetically sealed, superheated domicile for Xmas, he packs shorts, light T-shirt, and sandals. It’s the only way the unholy heat is tolerable (that, and stepping outside for smokes).

But like everything else, it’s a negotiation. She wants it at 30, to be honest I’d be happiest at about half that. So we compromise, depending on the day somewhere in the 22,23, 24 area. Even that I think is crazy and wasteful. (You’re a little cool? That’s why the Scots invented the sweater.) But what’s the Mack gonna do? It’d be much more wasteful if we split up and had to heat two separate domiciles.

And anyway, slowly going mad in a sauna-like house is a small price to pay, all things considered, to be married to such a wonderful woman. ,