Just Wipe It Off
Isn’t wonderful how our loved ones are completely perfect?
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.
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:
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.
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.