To an innocent remark I made about the expiration dates on milk, one of our weekend guests added, “Well, some people in our household never put the milk away!”
“Well”, replied the other, “that is because only one person in our household uses milk!”
And for the next minute or so we were hugely entertained by an amateur production of the Bickersons. Over milk, no less.
I howled. “I love you guys!”
Sally and I have always operated on the premise that if we are annoyed or irritated with one another, we express it at the moment. Given my natural grumpiness, lack of even normal amounts of patience and a quick and nasty tongue and Sal’s unshakable sense of righteousness and total refusal to take crap from anyone, we can flare up at any given moment. And don’t think for a minute that the presence of others has any bearing on our behaviour whatsoever. We consider ‘bystanders’ to be collateral damage.
But we ‘flare’ like a match. In a few seconds it’s over.
Please understand: we get along. We are at peace with one another 99.99% of the time. I love Sally with all my heart. And she has come to accept me as I am (which is the best I can hope for). We are good. Really good. But one of the reasons we are ‘good’ is that nothing is left to fester. We don’t harbour grudges. Basically we nip problems in the bud. In the moment. And in your face if you are there.
But we are never nasty. We just might scowl a bit and openly disagree. It’s all very civil.
We used to make some people squirm a little when we ‘disagreed’ in public. Now, most of our friends are used to it and some even chime in. “Oh yeah? I, have personally seen you leave the milk on the counter!”
“Oh, great! Now the guests are adding their two-cents. Don’t you people have enough domestic issues of your own? I’ve seen Bob track dirty mud all along the hallway and your cat thinks its butt and my face are friends! Don’t get me started!”
Frankly, I think it is healthy. I really do. People disagree. It is only natural. And, of course, some disagreements are serious and should be private. I get that. But sometimes the bigger issues are aggravated by the smaller ones and we have taken the position that the smaller ones have no right to infect the bigger ones. So we dispense with little ones on the spot. And, surprisingly, that has the effect of keeping the bigger ones at a solvable size. And we have managed to solve all of them so far.
That’s pretty good.
Sal and I have been together for 42 plus years. Known each other for 44 years. I think we have the best marriage I have ever seen. I give her most of the credit, of course. Because it is true. But I also think that we have, together, kept the relationship healthy and one of the ways was not to keep issues bottled up inside. Our weekend guests seemed to operate on the same premise.
I loved it.
Today, the wife wrote to us and asked, “BTW, pls ask JD how we were not “blog worthy”. None of our antics were enough? Do we really have to up the ante?”
The answer: Nah. You guys are blog worthy. You guys bicker a bit and it is good to see. And I just wrote about it. See above.
But, do you really want to see more of you in this blog?