Iím all right, how about you?


One challenging aspect of living with teenagers is grasping their vast and superior knowledge. My teens know they know it all. I can accept this fact and even live with it, as long as they keep their opinions to themselves. When they express their ideas and expect to exert them on me, however, a certain amount of angst creeps in.


My teens believe they are right. Thatís their right.


Unfortunately their right is often in direct opposition to my wise and learned point of view. I also believe I am right, and we all are aware two rights do not make a left. It takes three rights to do that.


My household experienced the rare three rights phenomenon recently when my two teen sons agreed to disagree with me regarding a certain matter. We all wallowed in our rightness.


I should have known better than to engage them in discourse on the rights and wrongs of any topic. I avoid doing so with the men in my family. They are competitive and hate losing. To compound matters, one son is left-handed. Never argue with a lefty about being right.


The three of us stood at a standstill. They were right; I was right. We probably should have done the three rights maneuver, made a turn in the opposite direction and left the situation to right itself.


Itís hard to leave things alone, though, when you believe you are right. Am I right?


I forget what we were squabbling about, but their claim of correctness was acceptable to me. ďLet them be rightĒ is one of my lesser-publicized mottos. My impediment came when they found fault with my rightness. They accused me of thinking I am always right. Like thereís something wrong with that.


Of course I think Iím right. It would be illogical, unintelligent and inappropriate not to. I havenít met anyone who sets out to find an opinion they believe is wrong. What would it say about my sense of self-respect and self-esteem if I didnít think enough of myself to choose to believe what was right?


My sons furrowed their brows at my admission. Or was it a declaration? I could almost see their brains churning. Because they werenít sure, they couldnít be certain whether they were winning the argument.


If thereís anything more important than being right, itís winning an argument. Then again, what did I have to gain by pursuing this one any further? My guys werenít on the threshold of giving up, and I had stuff to do Ė like pet the cat and watch the weather channel.


I ended my filibuster by offering one last tidbit of logical information regarding the importance of semantics: believing you are right and being right are two different things. I always believe I am right, but I never know for sure. I could be wrong. We all could be.


Their jaws dropped at my disclosure. I grabbed the cat and the remote, and left it at that.