At some point in marriage, one must embrace the things that simply cannot be agreed upon. One must stop fighting, and start dancing.
My husband has a strange affinity for dish towels and bath mats. I hate them both. Though fuzzy on the feet initially, who willingly puts carpet on the bathroom floor. Especially with children who lack aim, and will drip for ten minutes while yelling for someone to get them a towel in a stubborn effort to avoid drying off and going to bed. As for dish towels: aside from the fact that rooster heads and sunflowers (the go-to dish towel print found in a store near you) are just not really my thing, they always smell like sour milk. We don’t even drink milk.
So my husband and I tango.
He buys a bath mat. I throw it away. He stocks up on dish towels. I throw them away. Neither one of us ever mentions the coming and going of these items. We simply binge and purge in silence.
I believe that not allowing a pet to sleep on your bed is shamefully cruel. My husband swears dog drool on his pillow makes his eyes swell. He claims that the dog on his side of the mattress is a sign of disrespect. He points out that the sheets are clean, and believes an oversized pillow on the floor should be enough for any hound.
So we sashay.
I climb into bed at 9 pm and the dog snuggles up on my husband’s side; head on pillow, bum underneath the sheets. My husband wanders in from swing shift around 1 am. The dog opens and quickly shuts one eye. My husband commands that the dog move to his own bed, the dog pretends to snore. I sleep through the exchange and awake to find my husband on the couch. The event is never mentioned. I tell the dog what a good boy he is, my husband rubs his eyes and buys new bed sheets. We address the subject with the dog (in ear shot of one another), but make no direct comments.
We will never agree upon how many dishes
can should be crammed into the dishwasher, or if the food particles are necessary for the soap to grip. We will never see eye to eye when he claims that, despite tight finances, Monster Energy Drinks are a need and not a want. We will never honestly make peace with the proper rules of bed making; last one out or taking turns?
We just dance.
Last weekend the kids and I went to Seattle, the dog slept on my husband’s head every night and he let him. But only for the weekend. I returned Monday to find a new bath mat on the floor. He claimed the dog picked it out. This weekend, he will be gone. I will enjoy the bath mat while he is away because it will remind me of him. Come Monday, while he is at work, I will toss it in the trash.
We will waltz.
The amazing thing is, we will also laugh. When we stop arguing and dance there is joy. We joke about his fetish for bath mats . . . I even filled his stocking with dish towels this Christmas. He chuckles when he comes home to find the dog and I snoring in unison . . . he will give the dog a bath before he leaves this weekend so the sheets stay clean.
In the bible, dancing corresponded with knowing joy. God’s people danced when they saw that He had turned their mourning into laughter. They danced when God delivered them from oppression. They danced when they knew God’s blessing. Worshippers of Baal danced at an altar in an attempt to get their golden idol to respond. David danced before a living God in response to His love. We don’t dance in hopes that our God will see our afflictions, we dance because He already has.
We often argue with God over our current circumstances; “they smell of sour milk and make our eyes itch.” Yet, He promises in Jeremiah that He will comfort our sorrow and that we will dance again. Even now; we can praise His name with dance, cease to argue, and find joy.
Really . . . He deserves a spot in the bed.