Judge John Hodgman on Smudging the Cabinets

Andrew writes: Our kitchen cabinets are off-white. My wife recently asked me to make sure I touch only the handles when I open them to cut down on smudges. I find this absurd. I use the cabinets dozens of times a day: I can’t account for where my fingers land. Do I lie and promise to try, knowing that I will not change?

Seen from 10,000 feet, I would agree that your wife’s request is unreasonable. That said, from 10,000 feet, I can’t see your disgusting hands. I can’t see what kind of muck you get into, or what kind of smears you’re leaving as you blindly paw at the cabinet face until you hit the handle. (Maybe you can’t, either. Spouses often see cleanliness differently depending on how they grew up, and some are just dirt-blind.) Even if your hands are clean of all sin, don’t meet one marital crime with another. Don’t lie and promise to try. Just promise to try, and tell the truth.