Let Me Be Your Motivational Antagonist

Posted on April 30, 2012


It’s kind of a big day around here.

After three long years, and an immeasurable amount of hours not paying enough attention to me and not giving me enough compliments, my wife finished her masters thesis.

We’ve been celebrating all day as though Mrs. Greatsby had accomplished something significant, although I feel I’m the one who deserves celebration since I’m the one who motivated her these past few years by giving her a hug each morning, looking her in the eye, and telling her as sincerely as possible, “I know all this work seems overwhelming, but keep this in mind: When you feel discouraged, and you’re not sure you can keep going, remember you can quit at any time.”

Yes, I’ve done my wife the trememdous favor of telling her she couldn’t do it and providing her constant motivation as her Motivational Antagonist.

As she uploaded her thesis and her finger hovered over the submit button, the boys and I counted down from 10 before she clicked. Then there was another screen asking her to confirm she wanted to submit, and that was a little anti-climatic but we did the countdown again. Mrs. Greatsby, the two boys, and I gave three cheers, hugged, and then I announced, “Congratulations, you proved us wrong. I’m not naming any names but three out of the four people participating in this hug never thought you could do it.”

I don’t feel guilty for discouraging Mrs. Greatsby because I know praise and support will only get her so far. She’s at an age and phase in her life when unconditional love is more likely to cause her to take it easy. She doesn’t have anything left to prove so the only way she’ll get anything done is to disprove an obnoxious jerk in the background constantly telling her she can’t do it.

Enter me, her Motivational Antagonist.

I’ve spent the last three years motivating her with comments like the following:

But why get a library science degree? Do people even use libraries anymore? Isn’t all the information we need already on Wikipedia?

I’ve got a library in my pocket. It’s called the Kindle.

Sure your thesis establishes your argument, but why is it so dry? How come I’m not laughing?

People only needed libraries in the olden days when we required evidence to support our facts. Nowadays people only need emotion and gut instinct to prove global warming is a scam.

Dewey decimal? More like do-we wish you would hurry and drop out of school so you can finally start reading my blog.


Congratulations to k8edid on another caption contest victory. See her prizes and submit a caption in the new contest here.

Posted in: Family