When you’re in a relationship, compromise is your middle name. Like it or not, we have to adjust ourselves to those we love, and they to us. If we didn’t, there would be a rash of homicides.
Yup, relationships can be murder.
I happen to have a very wonderful relationship. That is, until the toothpaste gets low in the tube, the soap bar is reduced to a sliver and the toilet paper roll has one square left … for me. Seriously? People have gone on rampages for less.
Not a big deal, you say? I beg to differ.
My significant other finds a way to squeeze toothpaste from a tube that is already flattened beyond belief. It goes on for days. And days. I have no clue where he learned this skill set, but I do know that I have no desire to go to the school of toothpaste squeezing. We spent our first year together arguing over it. I would simply throw it out, insinuate that he was cheap, and he would become angry, calling me wasteful and lazy. Harsh.
It gets worse. It wouldn’t be uncommon to find a sliver of soap left in the shower for me to use. I’m talking itsy bitsy teensy tiny sliver of soap. The size of which could feasibly disappear on a person’s body if they weren’t careful. I eventually learned to check the soap tray and have a spare at the ready. But until then, the fur flew.
The straw that broke this camel’s back was the toilet paper roll. The one that was left caringly for me that had only two squares barely hanging on to it. There are few places that we are more vulnerable than in that little room, where after doing our business, we find 2 squares dangling when it is clearly an 8 square occasion. Such moments are what epic fights are made of.
Compromise. Finding that delicate balance between sanity and reality. Theirs, not yours. And then making peace with it. It’s great training ground for war mediation.
It hasn’t helped matters that we are both only children, came from poor backgrounds and each of us more stubborn than the other. A ticking time bomb of angst.
The crazy thing is, this man is the most generous man on the planet. He would help any friend in need, whatever the cost, and I have only to look at something and he would want to buy it for me. It wasn’t about the money. It was, pure and simple, about the waste.
When you grow up poor, you either become super aware that you shouldn’t waste a thing, or you become defiantly confident that you no longer have to scrimp to the last drop of anything again. We represented both sides of the spectrum.
Once we stopped the yelling and started the listening, it turned out to be an easy solve … eventually. Never mind that there was blood on the walls, doors off their hinges and silent treatments that were deafening. And all because of toothpaste, toilet paper and soap.
Nowadays, he squeezes to his heart’s content, while I simply start a new tube. I keep a stack of toilet paper rolls in the corner of the commode area, so he can enjoy the last square while I start a fresh one. And soap slivers are a thing of the past. I set it aside for his use and I enjoy a fresh bar.
I’m not sure why it took so long to discover the way to civility. The need to be right isn’t anyone’s best trait.
And so, this is a story where love (and common sense) wins out in the end. I’d like to think that we are not the only two fools that fight over such trivia. Every emotion has a story behind it. We have but to care enough to listen.
I’ve often hear it said that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. But in reality, it’s the small stuff that drives us utterly mad. It is the details that the devil is in. And man, can those small details run amok on your peaceful existence and otherwise intellectual outlook. We became raving idiots. Ouch!
I love happy endings. Especially when they come with a full toilet paper roll, a fat tube of toothpaste and a new bar of soap!