Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Friday, August 7, 2015

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Our friends Jim and Tracy don’t always communicate with each other in the most mature fashion.

Her friends and family would tell you Tracy is a little on the fastidious side when it comes to keeping a clean and tidy house. Some might even say fanatical, but she and I both know that’s not true. In fact, she recently went an entire month without cleaning her house. Well, except for a quick once-over in the bathrooms. And sweeping the kitchen floor. And wiping down the vacuum cleaner. I mean, who doesn’t do those things?

So Tracy was almost looking forward to spending the Monday of her August long weekend cleaning house. She knows it’s a more satisfying job when she can make such a dramatic difference. And that morning, she had discovered a large sticky spot on the hallway floor outside the bedroom door—probably where she slopped a little honey-sweetened herbal tea on her way to bed the night before.

“Good,” she thought. “That hallway floor is the last thing I clean. It will keep me going, knowing I’ll enjoy the satisfaction of mopping away that nasty sticky spot.”

But Tracy’s morning did not go well. When she tried pushing one of those snakey hair-grabbing gadgets down the bathtub drain, it stuck and no amount of yanking or swearing would free it. Meanwhile, Jim was off having breakfast with a friend. “Typical,” Tracy grumbled. “Never around when I need him.”

But, she remembered that nasty sticky spot on the hallway floor and it kept her going.

Awhile later, she discovered to her dismay that she’d started the water distiller without placing a jug beneath the spout. It took three large towels to mop up the water from the basement floor. Every time she turned around, something frustrated Tracy’s efforts and Jim had still not returned. By 10:00 a.m. her energy was already depleted.

But, she remembered that nasty sticky spot on the hallway floor and it kept her going. 

She pushed through, wiping and vacuuming and dusting and mopping. She looked longingly through the window at the sunny deck and the riveting novel she was half-finished reading. 

“I’d be done by now and relaxing on the deck if Jim would ever help me,” she grumbled. “Instead, I’ve still got three more rooms to clean.” But she kept the grumbling inside her head because she remembered that nasty sticky spot on the hallway floor and it kept her going.

Jim returned and managed to free the bathtub drain. At lunch time, he joined Tracy at the kitchen table for a bowl of soup before heading out to tackle his own list of chores.

“By the way,” he said. “I saw the mop standing there, so I cleaned that nasty sticky spot on the hallway floor. I was tired of my socks sticking to it every time I walked by.”

Tracy didn’t dare say a word. How could she? Jim thought he was helping, even though she would be going over the same spot again later when she mopped the whole hallway, only without the same satisfaction. How could she explain without giving Jim a perfectly reasonable excuse to never help again? He’d never understand the logic. What guy would? Certainly not my husband. I appreciate Tracy’s conundrum.

She kept her mouth shut and finished cleaning her house. 

This is why women need girlfriends. 

Or at least, a blog.

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