A conversation I may have had . . .
“Let’s just agree to disagree,” Steve said.
I shook my head. I’m certain my expression showed my disgust.
“What?” Steve said. “What’s up with that look?”
“‘Let’s just agree to disagree,’” I repeated. “When someone says that, what they mean is ‘I’m right, you’re wrong, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.’”
He took a sip of his coffee. He shrugged. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. You’re right about that, at least.”
“See? You still think you’re right.”
“It doesn’t matter. What’s the point in arguing about it when there’s no way in Hell we’re going to see eye-to-eye on this?”
“It’s the phrase, ‘Let’s agree to disagree.’ That’s what bothers me. That only applies when there’s no demonstrable answer to something. Which is the One True Faith: Christianity, Islam, or Pastafarianism?”
“Well, Father Donnelly would probably crack my head if I said anything other than Christianity. But, I think I’d look good with a pasta strainer on my head.”
“Or: who has cooler cars: Chevy or Ford?”
“Chevy, of course,” Steve said. “Where you goin’ with this?”
“These are all subjective things. Opinions. That’s when ‘Let’s agree to disagree’ applies. Star Wars versus Star Trek. Football versus Baseball. You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.”
“You’re getting’ all worked up over nothing, Billy. You’re gonna have a stroke or something if you don’t calm down.”
I pulled out my iPhone and accessed my web browser. “Here,” I said, “I’ll look it up.”
After a moment, I turned the screen towards Steve and said, “See? Dallas first aired in 1978. Knots Landing came out in 1979. Knots was the spinoff series, not Dallas.”
Steve read the entry on my phone screen. “Hmm,” he said. “Yeah. That’s what it says here.”
“Demonstrable,” I said. “Objective. That means I am right and you are wrong. Can we agree on that?”
“Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?” he asked. “If you do, I think I can find a real estate listing for the Brooklyn Bridge, if you’re interested.”
The need to be right is a curse.