In a far-away land many years prior to this, a statement such as, “My dear, I fear we must soon secure the windows with tapestries, as a storm approacheth” would mean something along the lines of, “Even though I’m a king, I myself will go close that window because my knees hurt and I think it’s about to rain”. Ah, yes. The ‘We’ that means ‘Me’. You may know this as the Royal We. Then there’s the ‘We’ that means ‘You’, as you (we?) will soon see.

Let’s conduct a short quiz. A statement such as “Honey, I think we should close the window because the weatherman said we’re expecting a storm” may best imply which of the following:

a) “Don’t worry about it. Since it was my suggestion, I’ll get out of bed and close the window myself.”

b) “We can do it together! It’ll be so much fun, and a wonderful bonding experience. Afterward, we can brush each other’s teeth. I can’t wait!”

c) “You should do it, because you’re closer to the window and, frankly, I’m comfortable and don’t feel like getting out of bed, but it sounds selfish to say, ‘My dearest love, you should close the window’.”

d) “Aw, forget it. One of the cats’ll get it if it starts to rain. They hate water.”

If you guessed c, you were, of course, correct. And you’re probably married, too, or have otherwise participated in a variation of the Married We on occasion. If you guessed a, you’re sweet and naive, and I find it cute. If you chose b, I think you should know that your expectations in a marriage are a little unrealistic and not a tiny bit disturbing. And if d was your answer of choice, well, you need a therapist, STAT. You know the cats are too comfortable to get up, even to make their own tea or hunt for the remote, so they certainly won’t close your window for you.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, unlike the Royal We, the Married We is the ‘we’ that means ‘you’. But don’t let the double meaning, which is on par with beloved phrases such as “I’m not mad, you stupid lug nut.” and “Please, my grape, tell me your feelings.” get you down. Now you have many exciting ways to tell your spouse to do something without sounding the least bit selfish. Use it wisely.

In the meantime, I think it’s time for us to take out the trash. Honey! Can you hear me? The trash is overflowing, and we need to empty it!