Should You Let Him Burn the Damn Hot Dogs?

When it comes to being right, is it worth the cost of being empathetic and supportive? Let's talk about it!
Man grilling hot dogs

Is it better to be right…or happy?
As a stubborn, sensitive control freak I’ve heard this question many times throughout my life. It’s often accompanied by a self-satisfied smirk that makes me want to slap the speaker into next week. But I digress…

Which one is better…

For your relationship?

For your peace of mind?

For your overall well being?

Well, hell, we all know the answer to that one! It’s not an earth-shattering, deeply profound question in any way. Of course, it’s better to be right.


So, it’s the fourth of July and my husband and I are hosting family at our house. If you’re anything like me, that involves weeks of post-COVID deep cleaning, painting, home repair, shopping, and cooking. By the time the first guest arrived, I was a stressed and sweaty mess. So, in the midst of preparing the food, I reminded Hubby not to burn the damn hot dogs. 

Simple request, right?

Put the hamburgers on while the fire’s hot. Then the hot dogs, ribs, and chicken last. Be strategic. Be calculated. Just don’t burn my damn hot dogs like you do every single time you step in front of that grill. 

Well, I go upstairs to do my daughter’s hair and get her and my son dressed in their patriotic attire. And while I’m gone, wouldn’t you know it? He burned the damn dogs to a crisp. I’m not saying he singed the edges or even burnt one side. Sis, he charred those hot dogs like they were evidence of a crime he’d committed. 

Now we have a house full of people. So I make a comment…and keep it moving. There isn’t much I can say in front of my mama anyway without her rushing to her precious son-in-law’s defense. So…yeah. Later for that conversation.

The next day, I formally notified Hubby that he’d officially been relieved of all grilling duties. I’ll be handling the prep and the grilling from this point on, I told him. 

Boy was he upset. 

Not used to seeing this much passion from my laid-back beau, I resorted to condescending logic. Cause that’s sure to smooth things over, right?

In a matter-of-fact tone, I listed all the times he’d burned our food beyond recognition. He acknowledged that those occurrences did in fact happen, but he stated that in this particular case, the fire was a lot more aggressive than he’d anticipated and he’d repeatedly turned the hot dogs over – even burned his hands – to avoid burning them. He said my choice to point fingers without knowing the whole situation was unfair to him.

His insistence on the subject gave me pause. So I thought on it for the rest of the evening.  

Is it better to be right…or happy?

Had he burned the damn hot dogs? YES!

Was being right about that fact more important than his right to contribute to his sense of accomplishment and machismo while “manning the grill”? …no.

Was being right bringing me closer to him at that moment? …no.

Was my being right moving our relationship forward? …no.

Was my attitude about it all just plain wrong? …maybe.

So, I did an about-face and told him that we all have bad days. Next time would be better. 

Epilogue: I’ve been choking down scorched hot dogs all week with a strained smile on my face, y’all. 

Please send help. My boo is happy,

…but my taste buds are not okay.



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