There are plenty of dangerous minefields laying in wait for couples trying to get along. Usually it's money or family issues or household chores that cause the friction. But there are some very specific disagreements triggered by circumstances native to the Utica-Rome area that can get real ugly, real fast.

Here are The 5 Arguments That Can Only Happen in the Mohawk Valley:

1. Directional dilemma. You're going to The Turning Stone Resort & Casino. One of you insists on traveling all the way on Route 5. The other one wants to "just take the thruway." For the record: Google Maps estimates the drive from New Hartford to Verona would take 29 minutes via Route 5 and only 26 minutes on the thruway. Although, the distance is about a mile SHORTER on Route 5. It's a battle of time vs. gasoline consumption.

2. Wildlife preservation. Whether to (A) spare the soul of a small member of the plentiful animal kingdom that darts out in front of your car or (B) just run it over and avoid the risk of swerving off the road and into a ditch or a telephone poll. What's more important: that tiny, confused rodent or your insurance, your car, and the lives of everyone inside? Hint: there's no shortage of squirrels in Central New York.

3. Alcohol infraction: taking the last Utica Club or Saranac beer out of the fridge on a hot summer night. Have a good night's sleep on the couch, pal.

4. Food conundrum: hot or sweet peppers in your Utica greens? Marriages have succeeded or failed based on this fine distinction.

5. Winter worries. The decision to either (A) drive through the blizzard of the century in order to get to the Syracuse-Duke basketball game at the Carrier Dome you bought tickets for months in advance or (B) just stay home.

Of course, this is an argument with yourself that you know you can't win.

If you choose to make the drive, you end up crawling along in your car for like 12 hours with the abominable traffic and weather conditions, and SU probably loses the game. If you decide to stay home, the storm wobbles and we get only a "dusting," Jim Boeheim gets ejected for stripping down to his skivvies while arguing with a ref, SU wins it on a buzzer-beater in triple overtime, and you have to hear about missing the game of a lifetime from the obnoxious co-worker you sold your tickets to forever.

Here's hoping your life is free of these gut-wrenching Central New York conflicts. If you suffer from OTHERS, we'd love to hear about them for use in a follow-up post. Don't worry, we'll protect your identity.


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