My wife is one of the smartest people I know.
She has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years (which is amazing considering she still tells everyone she is 29).
A few years ago, she went back to university part time to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, graduating with distinction. And she did it while working part time and helping to keep our three kids from harm.
I am very impressed, and very proud of her.
She has calmly dealt with serious medical situations, helped people decifer doctor-speak, explained their medications to them and literally had people's lives in her hands.
But she still can't figure out the remote.
The remote for the TV and DVR are combined, so it has slightly fewer buttons than the space shuttle and can be a little confusing. But if a meatball like me can figure out out, why can't my much-smarter wife?
I find it amusing when she tries to find a show we recorded and ends up hacking into a secret Russian spy channel or something.
Inevitably, she calls yours truly (or one of the kids) to help guide her through the labryth of buttons adorning the remote control. We find what she wants to watch and everything is fine, until she tries to fast forward and hits the wrong button, launching her into another diatribe about the 'stupid remote.'
I don't get it. She really is very smart, but even with the cranial capacity to be a doctor if she had chosen to be, that little black gizmo with all the grey buttons has her beat.
More often than not, if she is watching TV and I walk into the room, she will hand me the remote. I don't ask for it, but she will give it to me anyway.
I must admit, once that cold piece of plastic is in my hands all seems right in the universe. I did not create the system, nor did I foster it in anyway, but for some reason that is how our society works: the woman runs the home, looks after the kids, handles teenage emotional emergencies and the man is in charge of vehicle repairs, yardwork and the remote control.
It is the same with many of my friends: He looks after the remote while she looks after everything else.
I must admit, as a man, it is a pretty good deal.
But the dominance of the remote is limited to your own home. You see, there is an unspoken remote-control etiquette between members of the male species.
When I am visiting a friend, I would never even consider taking control of the remote. That would be akin to hitting on the guy's wife – you just don't do it.
A man's home is his castle and a man's remote is his remote.
On rare occasions you may use another man's remote control. Like if he is out of the room for an extended period of time and the volume is too low, or if the the show you are watching is terrible, or if he died in a tragic lawndart accident, then you may grab the remote.
But the second he returns, the remote is his, handed over with no ceremony, but with silent acknowledgment this is his home and his remote. Both must recieve equal respect.
He will accept the remote and forgive any transgressions grabbing it may have caused in the first place.
He is then free to change the channel, adjust the volume or any combination thereof, because it is his remote and by extension, his TV.
The visiting male knows this and relinquishes complete control of the piece of plastic-encased electronics to the male of the house.
It's a guy thing, but I am a guy and that's what we do.