The differences at home


I often make fun of the differences between my wife and I. Iím not so certain I do it all that well. But, I try.

And the idea Iíve found to be true more often than not is that there isnít some man and woman flow through our differences. For the most part they donít fall into categories and stereotypes. It isnít man or woman, old or young, toilet seat up or down or any other way of establishing opposition that you might care to create. Just two people, in a relationship, living together, and encountering differences.

This morning the one that stuck out for me involved the butter dish.

One most days, when my wife is done prepping her toast in the morning the remains look like an attempt to chop a log with an axe. Itís hacked all over. And, her approach drives me absolutely bonkers.

I wouldnít say I grew up with some sort of formal, deliberate approach to butter. But I donít know that I ever considered anything but slicing a pad of it off of the stick, top to bottom style (so to speak). I suppose if forced to explain it, because itís never something Iíve tried to explore before, Iíd say that unconsciously I feel itís almost cruel to the next person to approach it any other way. Be kind and keep the stick of butter neat for the next person.

Funny thing though. Both of us despise hard butter. Who the heck proposed the idea that chilled butter was some great concept? Of course, yes, sure, from a food safety approach it seems rather obvious to not leave the butter on the counter completely unrefrigerated for a few days. But tearing apart bread because the butter just wonít spread is not my idea of a classy evening.

The end result is that my wife will usually soften the butter for a few seconds in the microwave. And itís not some random attack that she delivers for the sake of her toast. Nope. Sheís just trying to get some of the softer butter wherever it may be. Thereís a method to her madness, and itís not that mad at all.

My parents pour really small glasses of juice in the morning. Terry and I usually go for larger servings. Just a random difference I thought Iíd note, because differences is where this stroll is moving. Not into right or wrong. Just different.

I donít think Terry has ever told me what kind of peanut butter to buy. She definitely has her preference of orange juice. There are battles where she takes stands, and others where the outcome really doesnít bother her. Itís a give and take.

Around the time we got married, we had a few friends and family arriving at similar points in their relationships. (Seems like weddings and such do take place in waves.) A few casual conversations would head toward marriage from time to time, with questions about expectations. And honestly, the answers depend on where your relationship is.

Will you be making new decisions about filing taxes and applying for car loans? Yes. Decisions like that will mean new thoughts and considerations.

But chances are good youíve been around each other. I didnít suddenly begin buying Skippy instead of another brand once we were married. Terry didnít switch to Tropicana after a wedding band was placed on her finger. The vast majority of preferences were out in the open from day one, and not subject to change because of the relationship.

Iím going to wrap this up because I think I hear her rustling upstairs and her day is about to begin. Sheís going to want some tea and juice. And Iíll try not to roll my eyes if she decides she wants toast.


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