Saturday, August 29, 2015
Today I am grateful for compromise. If young people entering into permanent relationships were to ask my advice on how to stay together, (which none have) I would say, “Compromise”. Okay. . .so why the picture of Tupperware or whatever you want to call that plastic storage dish nightmare?
When my husband retired and I was still working full-time, I resented coming home to an unmade bed, dishes in the sink, or a dishwasher full of clean dishes. We had words. “I can’t make the bed with you still in it.” He sleeps like a cat on Benadryl. “I hate making that bed. It’s impossible,” was his response. “And what is so difficult about emptying a dishwasher?” I’d ask. “I don’t mind emptying the dishwasher,” he said. The man makes me crazy. “Then why don’t you ever do it without being asked?” He doesn’t think of it. That not thinking thing pretty much sums it up.
Today I told him that I can trace his pattern through the house as if I were running NCIS-Lansdale. If he’s been in a bathroom cabinet. . .it’s standing open. If he got dressed. . .the closet light is on. If he cut bread. . .there are crumbs on the counter. If he had toast. . .the toaster is still pulled out and there is butter slime someplace and usually I don’t find it until I wonder what that gorp is on my shirt. Don’t get me started on the toilet! You get the picture. Nothing earth shaking and I’d rather have the frustration than not have him, so we compromise. I clean up after his trail. And we’ve (I’ve) set a few rules. . .er. . .compromises.
Now that I am retired, too, I will make the bed. Most days. Sometimes he makes it and then I’m thrilled. (Even if I have to secretly straighten it up before getting in at night.) I don’t always care if it looks like a body is still in it, but sometimes I do and then we have “enlightenment” sessions. He does not like these. I get a kick out of them.
Now he empties the dishwasher. But since it’s his official duty he hates it, so sometimes if I’m up early I’ll do it just so I can see the gratitude on his face. Life is full of simple joys. One day when he was emptying it, I heard soft plastic dishes bounce all over the kitchen and lids were flying like Frisbees, near the cabinet where they are kept. Through the blue streak of curse words, slamming the door shut, he said, “I’m not going in that cabinet again and you can’t make me!” Never a dull moment in our house.
So now he doesn’t have to put the plastic crap away. He sets it on the counter and I do it later. And we stay married. See, it’s all about compromise! You’re welcome.