A few weeks ago, a very beautiful person I know put forth the idea that she felt it was better for men and women to live together before getting married so that they would be aware of whether or not each could live with the various habits and peccadillo's we pay tribute to in the comfort of our own abodes.
Whether one agrees with her or not, the list of things that we need to know about each other before jumping into living together was quite a good one, even if it seems a little silly. For instance, Italian or Ranch? Potatoes or Rice? Scented laundry detergent, or hypoallergenic? Toilet seat up or down, and is there any room for compromise on that? Toilet paper from under or over?
As I said, the list may seem silly. But it is often the silly things that cause the most problems in our relationships.
Take, for example, the toilet paper argument. There was actually quite a lively discussion that went on about the state of the toilet paper. And the toilet paper argument is actually now, and has been since the inception of our relationship (and with an oldest child of 14, it's been quite a longstanding relationship) one that causes great friction for us.
We don't argue about money. He deploys a lot, I pay the bills. End of problem. We don't argue about the raising of the children; although he's more fascist about the whole deal than I am, I'm home with them more. Thus our children have been saved from having to grow up under the Von Trapp ideal of answering to individualized whistles.
We do, however, argue about the toilet paper. And not whether it comes from under or over the roll, either. No, our arguments tend to go more like this:
Hubby: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER PUTS THE TOILET PAPER ON THE ROLL IN THIS HOUSE???
And the short answer to that is - well, yes.
We are now three months into hubby's most recent deployment, and the toilet paper in this house hasn't graced a roll bar in all that time. In fact, the cardboard tubes on the roll bars are the same cardboard tubes that were put there the morning hubby left. Meanwhile, the Mega sized Charmin (four kids, you know. We up sized every time there was a new company offering) has been sitting in a position of honor on the counter.
And here's an even bigger secret I'm going to let out. The leaving out out of the toilet paper drives my adorable hubby so insane that I'll bet he'll be seized by a sudden and uncontrollable urge to take R&R, fly home, and put the toilet paper on the roll for us. All the while yelling, "AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO PUTS TOILET PAPER ON THE ROLL IN THIS HOUSE?
So perhaps I have ulterior motives here.
Because when you are in the middle of a deployment, all those silly irritations of every day life suddenly become more endearing than you could ever have imagined.