Who's the Boss?
The relationship and the marriage and the life of Phyllis and Brian was an equal partnership! I know, because I was heard to say on more than one occasion, “We’re equal partners, but remember, I’m the boss and you’re the secretary!” This remark was always said in a facetious manner, but it did imply the basis of our, “equal partner relationship.”
I was the boss where I did it best and Phyllis was the final authority in almost everything else.
In the operation of our construction business, which was our principal business there was no question: I was the boss! This was fine with Phyllis. She had no desire to be involved in the nitty-gritty of dealing with workers, subcontractors, suppliers, owners, lenders and the rest.
Plenty of that rubbed off on her just being there in the office, and she was glad to be able to just say, “Ask Brian.”
But in the big, life changing, career shaping decisions she was unquestionably the final authority. Yes! I sometimes had to do sell jobs on her to help her overcome her instinctive response of “No” to a new idea, but in the end we did what she, after logical consideration, decided we should do. These decisions included things like: “Should we get married?” “Shall we buy the Montrose house?” “Shall we try potato farming?” ”Shall we move to the desert?” “Should we buy the Brewster house?” “Should we retire?” This last item had to be her decision because she, as our financial manager, had to decide whether or not we could afford it.
In things like buying the Montrose house, which she bought unknown to me, while I was at work, and in buying the Brewster house, which she really wanted and which I was pretty much neutral about, she was the unquestioned authority, because I was going to do what she wanted.
I was told by the agent, just before we were to go to escrow on the Brewster house that they had received an offer at the asking price, which was considerably higher than our negotiated offer, and we would have to meet that offer to get the house. The agent said, “Go talk to Phyllis about it and get back to us soon.” I said, “I don’t have to talk to Phyllis about it. She wants it! Let’s go to escrow!”
So no one was the boss. We each did our bossing where we did it best.
That’s how it was. And it was wonderful!