What I'd done wrong was no longer the point. It wasn't about apology, making up or explanation. All that counted now was winning.
"This is pointless." I sighed. "You're not in the right mood to talk. OK. I'll come back later."
In a single swoop I'd claimed the moral high ground, belittled her feelings and made myself out to be the last remaining reasonable person left on Planet Earth.
"You can't stand being wrong, can you?" retorted Mel. "You're not man enough to admit when you've made a mistake."
The moral high ground that I craved so highly was all Mel's. She'd pinpointed my insecurities and cast slurs upon my masculinity. I was in great danger of looking stupid.
"Whatever," I sighed exasperatedly.
Argument shorthand for "I'm pretending that I can't be bothered to argue with you. "I'm bound to win now," I thought spitefully, and then Mel started to cry.
-- From "Mr. Commitment" (Doubleday) by Mike Gayle
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