Nothing irks me more than when I walk into the bathroom, grab my toothbrush, turn on the faucet, and pivot left to see my wife railing ten other people in the bathtub. It just LOOKS bad ― the tube could be so much neater.
Other people in long term relationships may find these little bugbears all too familiar. Perhaps their partner forgets to wring out the sponge after washing the dishes, or tosses their socks around the house all willy-nilly. For me, it’s that my wife squeezes the toothpaste tube from the middle instead of the bottom, and also shouts into a walkie-talkie, “Come on in, comrades, the sheets are fresh!” to prompt a gaggle of sex addicts to kick down our bedroom door and stampede the bed so she can peg them from all sides while I try to sleep every night. Against all logic, it just bugs me. I can’t explain why.
But after one too many sticky note reminders, I’ve accepted that she just won’t learn this silly toothpaste and not-violating-our-vows-and-joint-sense-of-trust thing. I love everything about this woman, and that means I will accept her flaws. Eleven of her flaws, to be precise: her ten cheating partners, Rita, Flawn, Dawniel, Elijahbeth, Schnood, Orstaniel, Mikshawnitski, Vincehnt, Hornnah, and Mixabel; and that one God-forsaken Crest tube. I won’t allow a pet peeve to crescendo into disdain like my friend Terry did with his ex-husband Nigel, only to separate over something as trivial as laundry sorting method and Nigel signing off the rights to Terry’s life when Terry could not give medical consent during a coma. I know they could’ve worked it out.
After all, it only takes three seconds for me to re-mallet the tube to get a smooth squeeze or to shoo ten nude strangers out from hiding in our daughter’s closet every morning. Sure, her small quirks annoy me, but they also make me love her.