notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Just Wipe It Off

Isn’t wonderful how our loved ones are completely perfect?

Just kidding.

My loved ones drive me crazy.

A single friend once told me she admires the way I so generously accept my husband’s faults. I laughed really hard at that one. I don’t accept his faults. They really irk me. (I love the word ‘irk’, don’t you? We don’t use it often enough.) Marriage does not mean you love someone’s faults – it means you love someone DESPITE his faults.

Oh, and HER faults. It’s quite astonishing that my husband loves me – despite my mass of insane insecurities.

But let’s not just talk about marriage.

All my loved ones make me nuts.

But, oh, how I love them.

But perfect?

I love someone who just never, ever feels good. This person complains constantly about headaches, stomachaches, backaches, foot aches, fingernail aches… whatever it is, the suffering continues.

I love someone who frequently criticizes someone else I love. Person #2 will start telling a story, and Person #1 will say, “Oh, no, it didn’t happen like that.” Person #1 just will not let Person #2 have his own memories.

I love someone who works part-time (out of choice) and yet cries incessentantly about not having enough money. Time is precious – and that’s what this person chose. So don’t moan about the bills mounting up.

I love someone who insults my taste. If I say I like a book, this person says, “I detested that book.” If I like a movie: “That movie was a waste of time.” If I like a song: “I hate, hate, hate that song.” (I get a lot of triple-hates.)

I love someone who will tell you about a TV show in such detail, it takes longer than the original show ever did (including commercials). And sometimes more than once.

But here’s the thing:

I don’t love these annoying bits of those people. I hate those bits.

I love THESE bits:

In no certain order:

I love someone who took several days off from work to drive a friend 300 miles during a family tragedy.

I love someone who brings a tool kit to my mother’s – just in case there is something that can be tightened up, loosened up, oiled up.

I love someone who makes me laugh till the tears roll down my nose.

I love someone who rescues dogs and cats – and children.

I love someone whose clothes are so cheerful, everyone feels better.

Which group of traits are more important?

I think of my loved ones’ faults like this:

Dirty Spoons.

Oh, we’ve all been there.

We go to a restaurant – sometimes a little hole-in-the-wall where the eating implements are wrapped in a paper napkin, sometimes an upscale restaurant where there is a plethora of sterling spread before you, and the waiter can hardly wait to bring you more.

And there it is –  wrapped in the paper napkin or basking in candlelight – a spoon with a dried speck of something stuck to the bowl.

And oh, we are so annoyed.  We are grossed out. We are ready to complain.

And sometimes, mostly when we are aggravated at something else anyway, we do complain.

But most of the time, we just discretely wipe off the dirty spoon.

And then the meal comes. And it is SO DELICIOUS.  Whether it is a cheeseburger or duck confit, it’s glorious. Our mouths sing. Our bellies celebrate. We toast our good fortune.

It’s perfect.

Even if the spoon wasn’t perfect.

So what the hell…

We love someone whose chronic lateness is an annoying dirty spoon.

We love someone who buys wigs for cancer patients.

The spoon is dirty. There’s no denying it.

But what a magnificent entree!

So just wipe off the spoon.

dirtyspoonrev

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

39 Comments

  1. Wish there were a “love” button to click for this. Why is it so easy to focus on someone’s negative traits rather than being thankful for and loving the good ones?
    What wonderful advice you’ve given us..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dianna… it is much easier not to pretend you don’t see the flaws. Let them irk you, and then concentrate on the good thins.

      Like

  2. Why do the most irritating traits come with people who are the kindest, most loving people around? I know…spoons. I’m wiping. Perhaps I should check my own traits.

    Like

    • Oh, I am glad my family and friends don’t mind wiping the spoon for me.

      Like

  3. Even a dishwasher misses a spoon, but hey, thats life. Lovely post Nancy.
    I wonder why Hubby loves me because I think I am so difficult to live with. He says he doesn’t see me the way I do. Why do I love him when he drives me nuts? Because he can still surprise me and make me laugh, he was prepared to take me on when I was at my worst, is totally loyal, dependable and reliable, looks after our friends and the elderly, and loves me for the person I am. Can’t get better than that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with Dianna up there — I wish there were a love button to click for this. Hell — I wish there were a love button to click for the whole world to lighten up! My husband is also my opposite in many ways. He doesn’t “get” my need to write, he can’t always follow my pretzel form of logic. He doesn’t get why I get sad when my daughter-in-laws parents take the grandkids for a week or weekend. Or why I like my mother’s recipe of ground beef, tomatoes, and noodles. But he was there when I was in the hospital for cancer and other things; he is at the hospital today for a good friend who is having bypass surgery. He is there for our kids and grandkids. And for me. So let’s all wipe off the spoon and get on with the love button!

    Like

    • My husband is always there for friends and family. Always. Makes a lot of other things unimportant, doesn’t it?

      Like

  5. Love, love love it !!! A triple LOVE. I have lots of “dirty spoons” in my life and LOVE every one of them. You are such a good and honest to the core writer.

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    • Thank you Doris. I like not pretending they aren’t dirty spoons. They’re dirty. But the germs won’t kill you!

      Like

  6. What a great analogy. Thanks for putting things in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I absolutely loved this and I am definitely going to be thinking about wiping off the spoon from now one. Someone once told me that if I looked at all the things my family did good and bad as love notes that it would change my perspective of my family. This came at a time when me and my husband were just married and trying to blend two families into one. They left dishes in the sink…love note for me. Someone got straight A’s, love note. Left the toilet seat up in the middle of the night and I fell in, love note. I have to admit, it sounds crazy but now as my kids get older and will be leaving the house soon, those love notes mean so much more and I don’t seem to be as annoyed and I focus my attention on the happy love notes.

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Susan

    You sound like your Aunt Evelyn!

    Like

    • ….who always had a calm and loving attitude towards everyone!

      Like

      • Susan

        That’s so right – but she also had her moments that I think she only let me see…

        Like

  10. Isn’t it strange how things can come along at just the right moment. I know that I have been guilty lately of only seeing the bad bits, a combination of tiredness after the house move and worry about my father has turned me in to a less than patient person so thanks…. I’m off to clean up my cutlery drawer and polish those spoons!

    Like

    • Don’t even worry about the spoons! Get a little sleep! I am so short-tempered when I am tired. Treat yourself as kindly as you can.

      Like

  11. Beautifully said. People can be funny, annoying and lovable all at the same time..

    Like

    • I find that annoying and lovable may not always occur at the same time. I just always hope that the annoying bits are over quick, and I can go back to the lovable ones.

      Like

  12. How lovely life would be if we could all just wipe the spoon and get on with our day. Really enjoyed reading this. Thankyou.

    Like

    • Never let a less-than-perfect spoon or person spoil the whole day.

      Like

  13. I also adore the word ‘irk’. Almost as much as I adore ‘pith helmet’ (!)

    Like

    • Oohh, now I have ro find a way to use ‘irk’ and ‘pith helmet’ in the same sentence. Maybe with ‘guffaw’ too. I love ‘guffaw.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooooo. Me too, she said with a hearty guffaw.

        Like

  14. I love the emphasis on the good, and the acceptance that good men have greater value than the sum of their flaws. Makes a change.

    Like

    • I try to remind myself that the things that annoy me are usually pretty trivial.

      Like

  15. I chortled at this: “Person #1 Will not let Person#2 Have his own memories” I think we all know and love someone like Person #1

    Like

    • I actually know THREE such people. Why not let someone remember things in their own way?

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m with Dianna on this one. There needs to be a love button. I am going to borrow/steal your dirty spoon analogy every chance I get.

    Like

  17. Yes you are in love and your explanation of it is beautiful. We should all be so lucky

    Like

  18. I read somewhere that marriage is a three-legged sack race for the rest of your life.
    Just sayin. Love ur spoon analogy.

    Like

  19. I love this. I absolutely love this!
    I know exactly how you feel and you don’t have any of those three hates coming from me today!
    I love my loved ones, but they drive me mental. In fact, I think I fought with all of them yesterday at least once. And about what? Who is welcome at my 30th birthday and who is not. Person #1 says person #4 is bad and doesn’t belong.

    I love them anyways.

    Like

  20. A timely reminder …. perfect is over-rated, anyhow.

    Like

  21. beautiful and well said… Love my loved ones, but also drive me completely insane!

    Like

  22. facebookersgonmad

    I love how you wrote down the irks and the loves in a perfectly balanced way… and it’s true… I love my husband so much and between the irks and loves, we go on about our days not worried about dirty spoons… I think that concept should be given in pre-marital training…lol… and parenting classes… he he he….
    Thank you for this post… it’s awesome!

    Like

  23. I love this post. This post is very true. We all have that one person in our lives that has to be right and won’t let anybody else be right or won’t accept that they themselves are wrong. But what I really loved about this post was just overall how true it was. You don’t just love the faults in people. it’s just the person themselves you love, but because you love them you push past those bad parts of them and love them for who they are.

    Like

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