the bath mat

by humanmama on October 8, 2011

One of the hardest things in life is to be married. To remain married, I guess I should say. Don’t tsk tsk me–you know it’s true. If you’re married, that is. If you’re not, maybe you think I’m exaggerating. But really, it’s so tough to be with the same person for days, years, and to just be happy.

If you’re me. I’m sure there are people out there blissful after 30, 40, even 50 years of marriage. And yes, the cynical part of me wants to say “I bet there are a lot of things those wives don’t know!” That might be unfair, but I think if you’re totally honest with your spouse there are a lot of things you disagree on, and I bet after a few years or decades that can wear on a person.

I always said I wouldn’t care if my husband left the toilet seat up. My parents were divorced, and it just seemed one of those television sitcom reasons for fighting–not worth it. Even better, Carpenter used to leave it up, but when we had our first daughter I said, “you better be careful when she potty trains so she doesn’t fall in!” and he never left it up again. Really–ever. I can’t remember one time–and ask him, he knows I’d remember if he did. :)

So there are the good times. The times when those little dumb things really big you but you can talk about them and work it out. Or the times when those things bug you, but you just say “okay, this is not a relationship-breaker, I can ignore this even though it annoys me.” The hard part of marriage is when you can’t ignore those little foolish issues, and they grow. And grow. And grow.

Carpenter and I have a little thing about the bath mat. There’s a white rug I leave over the bathtub that you are to place on the ground when you take a shower and throw back over the side of the tub when you’re done with the bathroom. And once, in a fit of rage, I said “AND YOU CAN’T EVEN PUT THE BATH MAT BACK EVER!!!!!!!!!!” I know, I know, it sounds silly, but when you’re married a while it’ll get to you.

You know the helpful “quiet list” I suggested yesterday? That’s my Thanksgiving preparation–remembering that there’s so much to be grateful for, you just need to take a moment to remember those things, and the rest of your stressors will slip into their rightful place as “not as bad as they seemed.” Sometimes I need to make a mental quiet list of Carpenter to remember why he’s still the best, and what I like about him so much. It’s a good exercise, and it can turn me from Bath Mat Nazi to Spouse of the Year, just like that.

Just so you’re wondering, every time Carpenter puts the bath mat up on the side of the tub now, he has to announce it. “OKAY!” he yells. “HERE I GO! I’M PUTTING THE BAAATH MAAAT UP ON THE SIDE OF THE TUB! OHNO! IT SLIPPED OFF BACK ONTO THE FLOOR! HERE I GO, I’M PUTTING IT BAAACK UP NOWWW!”

Perhaps I’m both Bath Mat Nazi and Spouse of the Year.

*p.s. yes, my bathroom is 80 years old and has black and green tile and a pale yellow tub.

"The Preferred Bath Mat Placement"

"Bath Mat on floor, wet, sloppy"

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Sara e October 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

I laughed out loud at this one. We have the same battle in my house, except I have just resigned myself to fixing the rugs constantly and not expecting Lanky to put them in the “correct” position. :-) I also request that the bathroom door be pushed closed at all times to prevent the hair of our black dog from flying in there, but that is a losing battle too :-)


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