I have a new theory that mean girls actually run the planet. And the worst ones are apparently invisible, too.

How else could you explain how my intelligent, hard-working and cleanly wife became possessed in the week before Easter as she prepared for us to host 20 family members for a holiday get-together?

I would come home from work during the week before the party and she had this itinerary mapped out that would make even Martha Stewart beg to go back to prison. I have guy goggles, I realize, so I don't understand this at all, but to see my wife overcome by a spell only Procter and Gamble could love is a little scary.

I now understand all these commercials from the 1960s that I used to think were ridiculous when women would freak out about ring around the collar, or be overjoyed that Ajax, a white tornado, was coming over to clean up their house, There is something deep down at the core of good women everywhere that lives in fear of the white-glove test.

I grew up with three sisters. I have been married to a woman for 35 years. And some of the smartest people I have ever worked with have been women. Sure all of the accumulated knowledge has helped me understand not to wear a brown belt with black pants or to mix a striped tie with a plaid shirt, but beyond that, this viewpoint confounds me, What happens to these women when company is on the way?

Clearly guys do not care if a house is not immaculate. I would venture to guess you would have to have rodents running across the counter before most men would say, "Yeah, it seemed a little dirty." Yeah, they might grumble if the beer is warm or the burgers are cold, but for the most part they go with the flow, So, then is it the women?

I am only guessing, but my wife seem to live in silent fear that if the house is not pristine, she will never live to hear the end of it. It has to be women doing the judging, and they must be the mean girls.

But I look around at all the people in my family, and none of them seem like mean girls. Just the opposite. I love them all, and they love us, If the bathroom floor is not waxed, will they look on with disdain? Will they look down their noses at a dust bunny behind the couch? Would they sneer if soap scum finds a small spot in the shower?

During the party, I looked at all of them closely. No one was taking notes and shaking their head in disapproval. No one was inspecting the linens for signs of unwanted wrinkles. I heard no whispered conversations about spotting on the glassware.

Yet every guy I know has a girlfriend or wife who is suitable for exorcism before company arrives. Their pleasant, well-balanced wife or girlfriend becomes suddenly crazed in the days and hours before company arrives, as if a bolt of lighting, more powerful than that white tornado, is going to smack them down for having an unkempt house unworthy for partygoers.

So it has to be the mean girls, or the most dreaded fear of all, the fear of possible mean girls, that has the power to change the world. And if that can turn some of the most amazing women I know into scouring, irrational Cinderellas for days at a time, then it is the most powerful force the world has ever known. Let's cut our defense budget and unleash this power on our enemies instead. We could clean up!

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