October 2007 - Sincerely Sire Newsletter

My Pot

The other day Roe stormed out of the house as she said this: “I’m sick and tired of you thinking about nobody but yourself!”…which right away made me think of nobody but myself.

This particular argument—why did I say this particular argument?—they all end up with me apologizing. As a matter of fact, truth be told, all arguments with Roe are futile and hopeless from the get-go—at least they are from my bobbing and weaving ducking point of view. I will lose. I will apologize. I will grovel. I know this, even as I am convincing myself that this is the argument that I will for sure, positively, finally, without a doubt, win—because on this one, I am right!

So, last night when she asked me about my pot I knew I was in trouble, but maybe—just maybe, this was the one—the one I would win!

“So, what’s up with your pot?” she said as she menacingly lifted her head from the pillow in the bed next to me. 

“My pot? What are you talking about?” —I knew what she was talking about.

“Why have you stopped washing your pot?”

“Oh, you mean my little black pot that I cook my oatmeal in every morning.”

“Yes, that one,” she said.

“Well, I figured since I’ve been really busy lately, more busy than you, you could wash my pot.”

“I’m not going to wash your pot.”

“Why not? Do you want me to be late for work?”

“You won’t be late for work.”

“You know honey, I was thinking you should not only wash my pot, you should make me my oatmeal too. I bet a lot of wives make oatmeal for their husbands.”

“Well, I’m not going to make your oatmeal and I’m not going to wash your pot.”

“Does that really bother you when I leave my dirty pot in the sink?”

“Yes, it does.”

“Well, then, I’ll tell you what. I’ll wash my pot, but I’m not going to make your coffee and bring it up to you in the morning anymore because I won’t have time. I’ll be too busy washing my pot.”

“Then I won’t wash your socks and your underwear.”

Hum, this was true; she did wash my socks and my underwear, and I wanted her to continue doing so. And besides, from a purely business point of view, washing my socks and underwear was more work than making her coffee and washing my pot. I decided to come at her from a different angle.

“You know, if you really loved me, you’d wash my pot.”

Bored and unmoved she replied one last time, “I’m not going to wash your pot.”

I knew it was the last time because approximately two seconds after she completed her declaration, she was sound asleep. Some people end arguments by throwing something or stomping out of the room. Roe ends them by going to sleep—almost instantly. It’s weird but very effective.

So, I’m laying there in bed thinking to myself, what does it mean that she won’t wash my pot? She should love me AND wash my pot! I’m right on this one. I know I’m right. I’m the man of the house and she should wash my pot.

So, the next morning the moment of truth arrives. I’m not sure if I’m going to wash my pot yet, and I don’t want to needlessly put myself in danger—in case I decide to wash my pot—so I make her coffee and bring it up to her. She has an early morning appointment, so she gets up and goes to the office. I get up and go to the gym. When I get home from my workout I, as usual, get my oatmeal started on the stove and then go upstairs, shower, shave and get dressed. By the time I come back down my oatmeal is ready. I scrape it out of the little steel pot and into my bowl and toss in some raisins and a splash of nonfat milk. I then, as always, put my oatmeal-coated pot into the sink and fill it with water. 

I eat thinking about whether or not I will wash my pot.

I easily convince myself that it is not my ego or arrogance that stops me from washing my pot. It’s simply that at this point in my regular morning routine I’m all dressed, shaved and ready for work in my work clothes. I don’t like to wash my pot after I’m in my work clothes.

Will I wash my pot when I get home? Yes! Of course I will. It’s just that if she comes home before me and sees my pot in the sink, it drives her crazy. She can’t stand it. The woman’s home is her Barbie Doll house. Things have to be PERFECT around here! I’m not kidding. But I’m sorry Roe, I’m no KEN! I like a few dirty dishes in the sink, some newspapers on the counter and a pair of old shoes under the coffee table. Makes me feel comfortable.

I honestly don’t know how we’ve lasted thirty-two years. It’s truly amazing. As a matter of fact, a good friend/slash therapist of ours once described our marriage as, and I quote, “a dovetailing of pathologies.” That really bothered me for a long time, until I realized one day, that, to one degree or another, that’s what all marriages are, and, if it’s going to work forever, which it’s supposed to, it’s 50% pure luck, and 100% hard work.

Logically, of course, marriage makes no sense. I mean you’re really expected to live with a person, that one special person for thirty-two years? Fifty years? For the rest of your life—till death do you part? You live with that person with all their faults and insecurities and eccentricities and hang-ups and pain and sorrow and grief? And you listen? You hold their hand and you listen? You stay with that person and that person stays with you—forever? Why? Why not just leave the pot in the sink?

Because, I reminded myself, she has washed all my dirty pots…and spoons and forks and my eggbeater too. The detergent she uses is an old one. It’s been around forever, but it still brightens up everything it touches. It’s like magic. Maybe you’ve heard of it—it’s called LOVE. It’s hard to find, but just one drop can last a lifetime.

I used some to wash my pot.

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