My friend Alvin, the conservative vegetarian, says the Internet doesn't need another blog that deprecates men. I'm going to do my best not to, however when I score an Olympic gold medal in the 100 Metre Jerkhole, I'm going to say so. Otherwise I'll just end up doing it again. The scene begins with me loading our yuppy dishes into our yuppy dishwasher in our yuppy suburb of Atlanta. You can see already that I'm a real person, with real problems. I stood there putting in plate after plate, getting more and more hacked off by the minute. My wife had already loaded most of the dishes before me and I was just topping them off and finishing the job.
The problem is that Dewdette and I were raised to load a dishwasher in two distinctly different ways. Obviously I think my way is "right." So as I was putting those last few dishes into the dishwasher, the correct way (cough), I couldn't stand it anymore. My inner jerkhole came out to play.
"Why do you insist on loading the dishwasher this way?" I demanded.
She didn't respond.
"Don't you know when you do A, B, and C it causes X, Y, and Z?" I continued impatiently.
"And have you even considered points 1 and 2? I mean... Come. On." I concluded with an exasperated grunt.
I was in a crappy mood. I don't remember why but I had probably stayed up too late the night before toying around on the Internet or playing video games. I'm extra cranky when I'm tired.
Once I finished spewing my word-vomit, she looked over at me and said something that cut me to the core and completely disarmed me. In a quiet voice she said,
"The way you are talking to me right now makes me feel like this is the most important issue to you in our marriage."
Just thinking about it now, as I type this, I can almost feel the wave of guilt wash over me again.
Immediately, I knew she was right.
Immediately, I knew I had to apologize.
I mean, I love our marriage! And I am well aware that we have significant issues that we are working out and making progress towards... but for crying out loud the dishwasher thing isn't even on the radar! What was I thinking?
Sydney and Savannah,
I don't know who you will marry one day. I don't know if you'll marry a selfish jerk like me, or worse. Maybe years of being exposed to my outbursts and temper tantrums will turn you into insensitive jerkettes.
I do know this. If you are in the wrong you should apologize as soon as humanly possible. And if your spouse is in the wrong please, please, please confront them about it in a quiet manner like your mom did with me here. I'm a work in progress. Chances are, your husbands will be too. How you handle yourself with them will either bless them or curse them.
This is just one example, out of countless others, where your mother's grace towards me has helped me get to a place I should have been all along. I'm so thankful for her.
Eventually, later that day, I did apologize to my wife. Let's assume that it's as easy and fun for me to apologize as it is for you. It's not pleasant, but it is necessary.
So what about you, reader? Has your inner jerkhole come out to play with your unsuspecting spouse lately? Go apologize. Or have you been the victim of a drive-by word-vomiting? Did you handle it with character or did you vomit back?
It only takes one to break a cycle.
Be the one.