Monday, March 18, 2013
There's a small lake near my house that people of all sorts walk around. You've got the senior center crowd, the rollerblading hotties (yes, they're still out there), and that nice man who always feeds the ducks.
And it's no surprise - you've also got your mommies. Handfuls of them. Bucketfuls even. More like Starbucketfuls, for it seems a coffee cup is attached to every hand or placed in the cup holder of every stroller.
And then there's me - a mom, too. But I always walk against the usual clockwise flow. It prevents that awkward feeling of being in a race with the person next to you. Which can get weird. You know - not as fast as the guy in front, but slightly faster than the the fat-burning boot camp ladies.
So what usually happens is I end up zooming past people, hearing little bits of conversations along the way. And one day, I noticed a theme - a man-bashing theme. Turns out people not only secretly dump their aquatic turtles at the lake, but openly dump on their husbands.
"And to think he wanted me to make a pot roast!"
"The living room walls aren't going to paint themselves!"
"Fantasy football my (bleepity bleep)!"
Hearing such juicy details wouldn't normally give me pause. But I've been reading romance novels lately - or historical Christian fiction, as they were - and it made me wonder: What's making pot roast lady so upset? And the paint chick? And the bitter wife of a sport fanatic?
Because I'm assuming their relationships started out with romance novel dreams. Ahh, romance novels with their fairytale wording:
"She liked the way his smile settled into a smirk. His dark hair, tangled from the wind..."
"A man who smelled like the sky and prairie grasses, the heat of the sun, wild and uncouth..."
"...with electric eyes, the kind that could spark her own hope."
"The nearness of him buzzed through her..."
And don't get me started on the taste of kisses. Oh, but please do get me started:
"He tasted of wine and dark chocolate...."
"...tangy, like ketchup and sweet soda pop."
Ketchup? Do most women, before they get married, really find ketchup - the smell of it, taste of it, look of it - somehow alluring on their man? I'm not so sure. Maybe in a romantic-afternoon-picnic sort of way? Well if that's the case, what happened?
I'll tell you what happened. A mortgage happened. Duct-taped dryer hoses happened. Losing a job happened. A kid pooping in your shoe happened.* Life happened. And it annoyingly happens with the person you married. The person I married.
Now I'm no expert, but I think Ruth Graham Bell is onto something when she said, "A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers."
And the Bible is crammed with wisdom, particularly Proverbs 17:9, "Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends."
So go ahead, make that pot roast. Let go of the unpainted walls. Get a pedicure during Fantasy Football draft time. And maybe, just maybe, letting your hubby off the hook will help him to "taste of some exotic spice, causing you to remember the delicious safety of being in his arms - a safety that shatters all the arguments you've come prepared to wield."
*Apparently I pooped in my dad's shoe when I was one. Life was good.