She Says/He Says: Our Marriage’s 3 Dumbest Fights

After over 40 years of wedlock, you realize you can love someone and still drive each other crazy. You even learn no topic is too small, picky or ridiculous to have skirmishes over. Here are three of our latest and in my defense, I have to say… well, okay, I have no defense. But here they are anyway…

The 3 Dumbest Fights

The Bottomless Laundry Basket

When my retired husband stepped up to the clothes cleaning challenge, I applauded. Randy went from CEO to separating whites and colors with aplomb. There’s just one problem – things go into the laundry room, but don’t come out. The gathering of dirty clothes goes fine and putting them into the washer and dryer. Items come out of the dryer and into a waiting empty laundry basket. But here’s the mystery. The basket of clean clothes stays… and stays… and stays.

Sometimes a week or more goes by. I try and maintain my cool. His clothes in a basket don’t affect my own laundry. Still, this situation pushes all my perfectionist, obsessive, high-strung buttons. “Are you going to put your laundry away?” I finally ask, trying to sound light and breezy. Randy shrugs like he just thought about it. “Yeah, I’ll get to it.” I take a deep breath and bite my lip. “I’ll get to it” could mean this afternoon or two years from now.

The Renegade Liquid Soap Dispenser

Randy’s the most chill, laid-back person I know. While I sweat everything, he sweats nothing and yes, I’m jealous. But there’s one item in our house that my husband has a strange, overbearing fixation on. That’s the liquid soap dispenser in our guest bathroom. We’ve even had several passive-aggressive fights about it.

He’ll move the dispenser to the left of the sink when clearly it belongs to the right where the guest towels sit. This little black unit will be moved back and forth like a chess match. Randy has even (must take deep breaths here) added an icky plastic bottle of Purell to the scene. Who puts Purell next to liquid soap? Even in the height of Covid, we all washed our hands, right? What kind of barbarian walks into a bathroom and uses only Purell? (Okay, probably lots of people but whatever).

The New Salt & Pepper Shaker

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a little neurotic set in my ways. Randy recently bought a new, good-sized salt & pepper shaker for our living room, where we eat a lot of dinners. Its lovely and to my husband’s credit, I saw he put effort into buying something that would match: a nice wood tone, contemporary design.

Except for one problem – it doesn’t quite go. It’s a little off but I can’t figure out why. The other day I took it from the end table and put it on the floor, hoping Randy wouldn’t notice. Of course, he did. After having to fetch it off the rug, he naturally said, “Keep this on the table from now on.” Even I was too embarrassed to admit that this perfectly fine salt & pepper shaker was throwing me somehow. I finally solved the problem. I put it on top of the Alexa and somehow it blended in.

The scary part is I sense Randy’s starting to use psychology to deal with my quirks. “Let’s keep 5 chairs on the back porch,” he said the other day. I tensed. Five chairs were too squishy in this small space. They wouldn’t all fit under the table. It would look weird. “Five reminds me of a star,” Randy added. I thought about that. I guess a star isn’t too bad. Debate averted.

Later I realized my husband had used strategy. After all these decades, he’s learning to get his way and avoid dumb conflicts at the same time? What’s next? A big, plastic bottle of Purell in the living room? Must take deep breaths.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Hello everyone. This is Randy. I love my wife’s posts and I’m proud that she asks me to edit them each week. Today I am forgoing my role as editor to be my own legal representative in this court of public opinion.

Let me begin by level setting on Laurie’s standards. This is a woman who will be sitting in the living room reading and spontaneously get off the couch (as if she needed to catch a falling glass of red wine) to adjust the angle of one throw pillow across the room. A throw pillow. 

On the laundry, mea culpa. But it does get done and if it sits in the laundry room where literally no guests will see it, I don’t think it’s a threat to civilization and doesn’t qualify us to be on an episode of “Hoarders”. 

Now, on the soap and Purell debate, hear me out. We are talking about our guest bathroom. The liquid soap dispenser is either clogged or empty 95% of the time. I know that if I’m at someone’s house and it’s time to clean my hands, pushing down the pump with one finger on a Purell bottle, rubbing my hands together and instantly being clean is far preferable to the OCD ritual from the 1950s of turning on the water, adjusting the temperature, putting soap on one’s hands, lathering up, rinsing, turning off the water, finding something to wipe the hands and waiting for them to dry. It’s 2022, not 1962. 

On the scandalous salt and pepper shaker, Laurie makes her own courtroom confession with her simple line (note the use of italics): “it doesn’t quite go”. I refer you back to the previous “throw pillow” observation. 

That is all. I shall resume my editorial duties with her next post.

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About The Author
Laurie Stone
Laurie Stone
Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Connecticut. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Pick the Brain, and Living the Second Act among others. She also produces the blog ”Musings, Rants & Scribbles “, a site that explores growing up, growing older, and growing (hopefully) wiser.
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