Nothing grinds my gears 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. Maybe 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. She also waits until I snuggle into bed every night and then shouts into a walkie-talkie, “Come on in, boys, the sheets are fresh!” so a hoard of sex addicts can kick down our door and stampede our bedroom while she pegs them from all sides as I scream for her to please stop. I can’t explain why, but gah, does that irk me!
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, Daniel, Onyx, Flawn, Elijahbeth, Schnood, Vincehnt, MickShawnaseigh, Hornnah, and Mixabelluh; and that one God-forsaken Crest tube. I won’t allow a pet peeve to spiral into disdain like my friend Terry did with his ex-husband Nigel. They split because they disagreed about how to sort laundry and the fact that Nigel signed 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.