Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

Such a cliché. Let me create a new image: the fuchsia chenille easy-chair with chartreuse tassels. Even with the lights dimmed, it’s there. It begs the question, “Where did THIS come from?”

So we are living with the chair. Between doctors’ appointments and medication schedules, we turn our backs and pretend. We toss clothes and blankets over it to disguise it. But it’s there. Garish. Gaudy. Loud. Hard to ignore.

I was reading Dear Abby the other day. A wife was asking Abby to take her side. She and her husband have a long-standing argument about Mother’s Day. The writer complains that her husband does not believe he should give his wife gifts on Mother’s Day, that his duty is to HIS mother, not his wife.

We had that argument once. In fact, when you read about marital spats, there’s really nothing new in most marriages. When you are counting down the days/months, these all seem so trivial. The trivial drifts to far-away locations. Our time here together is focused like a laser on WHAT IS IMPORTANT to people who love each other, who are committed to each other.

And so we go living the daily, the ins and outs, the tasks, the errands with that chair in the corner. And as a long-married couple, we have our ways. In 35 years, we’ve made peace with many of each others’ quirks. We’ve each learned to tolerate little annoyances. But they are STILL annoying.

So what do you do with annoyances if you want to live a normal life? How do you ignore the chair and act like your normal self? I guess you can’t. Normal’s definition is altered.

When this man I love is annoying (for example, and as I type it, I feel guilty..he’s ill, Lynne. Get a grip…he will say something; I will turn to go, get far enough away that I cannot hear and then he will continue with information. This will require a return for a repeat) and I begin to react, he quickly apologizes and then I feel like a rat. Why is it annoying? Can’t I just suck it up and ignore it? I think I should. But I’m human and all. The quirks are part of the man I love. They are sometime I will miss someday.

It makes me crazy. So to WHAT IS IMPORTANT we need to add some fun. Maybe Star Trek. If he takes me to this he really DOES love me….not his cup of tea, ever.

And he DOES love me. Mr. Spock? Are you there?


  1. I recently told my wife one night as we were arguing with each other, only to make up later, we should make a novel out of it. It's a concept we're both considering doing where whenever something drives us nuts, we'll write it down and try to write a humorous chapter on it. Then our task is to sit down and follow up with a chapter we love about the other person.

  2. an oddly beautiful truth about relationships... thank you for reminding me.. love, janis