Who's "the Decider" in your life?

The inquiring Times wants to know.

By Lynn Harris
April 26, 2006 7:49PM (UTC)
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Spotted in today's Gray Lady: one of those articles that's really more of an amusing brunch conversation than actual "news" worthy of the A section of the New York Times. (What, they couldn't wait for Thursday Styles?)

"Never Mind Mars and Venus," the headline reads, "Who Is 'the Decider'?" And in the print version, a callout quote (which actually doesn't appear in the article) declares: "Couples are applying the president's line to their relationships." Yes, because a Times reporter is asking them to.


So: Who decides? One wife says she does, on everything that's important. Another says it's mostly consensus, except her husband controls the TV. One woman says she and her husband "defer to each other's core competencies." Some women say they "make the call, then men seal the deal." Also, various consumer trends studies say various things about who decides what car to buy. There's also a dominatrix in there -- something about how deciding is actually "about power."

In other words, who decides what, and why, um, varies. So while the piece -- refreshingly -- avoids drawing the pat gender-based conclusions it appeared destined to do, it also avoids, well, gay partners, as well as any particularly illuminating insights. At the very least, the article may prompt you to entertain the "decider" question in your own relationship, which I'm doing right now. (It's 99 percent consensus, except my husband -- my brilliant, considerate, handsome husband -- gets the final word about what I say about him in print.) But is it worthwhile reading? You decide.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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