Scientists need to take a chill pill, starting with Albert Einstein. His idea of a good time on a Friday night was to measure the speed of most everything in the physical world — sound, light, and my personal favorite, light in a vacuum. Really, Albert? I bet you didn’t date much. And your theories of relativity, including E=mc2? Way too complicated — try the old kids’ joke, “what did the snail say as he was riding on the back of the turtle?” The answer: “Whee!”
That wasn’t so hard, was it?
His ideas are actually interesting if I put down my second Cosmopolitan and ponder the whole time-space flux capacitor thing. But imagine if Albert wasn’t sidetracked. What if he had dedicated himself instead to more important work, like the critical speeds of relationships. Albert, you were married. The most fundamental mysteries of life were right in front of you to solve. What a waste of a brilliant mind. Instead of Einstein on Marital Relativity, we suffered through Masters and Johnson and Jerry Springer. A pity, actually. If not for the lack of sense of humor, Albert, you would be famous.
Don’t worry, Mrs. Einstein, I am here now to finish your husband’s work.
Most marital calibrations of speed are self-explanatory. Is there any question what “garbage” speed or “couch” speed means when it comes to males? I think not. They are intuitive concepts, and not worthy of my considerable social scientist skills. I live for challenges.
For instance, I recently solved the unit of time that measures how long my wife takes to get ready in the bathroom or to go to the mall and back. See, Albert? All men would have thanked you profusely if we were able to rate women by “putting on their make-up” speed or “mall” speed. Similar to psi, as in pounds per square inch, these speeds are best expressed as vgp, i.e., the number of video games that can be played while waiting. .2 vgp is a keeper; 1.8 vgp is a Kardashian — run. You can thank me later, guys.
Unfair, you say? Well, how about a relationship speed that tears at the fabric of every couple — “apology” speed, perhaps the slowest speed known to domestic partnerships. The timer starts simply enough with the dreaded question: “Does this dress make my backside look fat?” Men being men, we answer “yes” on occasion because we assume our partners seek the truth. Wrong — and what we fail to appreciate is that the apology timer just started. In fact, recognition that the apology timer just started may take several dog years, a dichotomy known as the Theory of Marital Relativity. Unfortunately, the snail and the turtle are of no help here.
Personally, I use an adapted version of the equation to calculate the area of a circle, A= πr2, in my marriage, where r2 is the radius of my wife’s backside (squared), π is the number of sweets consumed by her in the past month, and A is the speed of my expected apology for answering truthfully. Guys, unless A equals zero, say “I’m sorry” regardless — and by the way, it never does. Trust me on this. Your apology doesn’t have to be sincere, just very convincing. I suggest you practice the words daily; they actually begin to taste better over time.
Perhaps my greatest contribution to marital harmony, however, is my body of work on the fastest speed known to humanity. It is observed most frequently on Sunday mornings when couples are lazily sipping their coffee together. One looks down ever so briefly at the newspaper and then looks up only to find that their partner is gone. Poof. The room is empty. The Bermuda Triangle? No. You just experienced the speed at which your significant other leaves the room when nature calls. In my household, the phenomenon is affectionately known as “potty” speed.
The speed is theoretical only because you can’t measure what you can’t see, but the mathematical equation is commonly expressed as P=mc2, where c is the number of coffees consumed (squared); m is urgency of the impending “movement;” and P is potty speed, the theoretical speed of departure. Poor Albert, he was solving for E, not P. He was so close to greatness. My Nobel Prize is surely just a matter of time.
As I wait for the announcement, I am working to solve an equation to measure the bodily reaction of lottery ticket holders when they learn that they’ve won.
This is a different potty speed altogether.