The toilet seat left up doesn’t bug me that much. Socks and underwear discarded directly in front of the hamper aren’t my favorite, but no big deal. And for being an athletic guy, my husband smells quite nice most of the time.
It’s the banana peels that get me.
Strewn about on the counter, browning in forgotten, floppy disarray.
It’s one of my biggest pet peeves.
I don’t mind that he likes the potassium-rich fruit thinly sliced over his cold cereal or hot morning oatmeal. I applaud his choice of a healthy breakfast accompaniment.
But, oh. my. word.—How difficult is it to stride three short steps from the counter to the trashcan and properly dispose of your fruit’s inedible outer?
I’ve clearly expressed my frustration with this (almost) daily habit of peeling, slicing, eating, and LEAVING his bare banana skin straight on the granite counter. I’ve pointed out the courtesy and ease of discarding said peels in the appropriate and conveniently located receptacle.
But still, my smart, talented, funny, honest, handsome husband of nearly a decade does the very thing that makes me cringe.
Today was no different.
He left for work and I started to wipe high chair trays and rinse colorful Ikea kid bowls. Then from the corner of my eye I spied the thing I loathe.
He did it again.
I started to under-my-breath mumble my justified grumbles of inconvenience and bitter disbelief…until another thought interrupted my complaining.
It was the voice of my friend’s husband—the words Randy spoke at Alyssa’s memorial service.
He told stories of how his beloved wife would always leave her shoes in the middle of the doorway. How he would wake up early for work to find empty teacups filled with snotty tissues on the couch or coffee table. How he repeatedly asked her to put her shoes away and carry her cup and saucer to the sink, throw her Kleenex in the trash for goodness sakes.
Then Randy said the words that seven months later came flooding back to me:
The things that used to annoy me most are the things I will now miss the most.
I let his words sink in.
And my heart started to see more than the icky trash in front of me.
I started to see that what irritates us about someone is also what allows us to know them. And be known.
When Randy saw shoes kicked off in the doorway, he knew Alyssa was home from work. An empty teacup and pile of tissues signaled his beautiful bride had stayed up late, sipping her favorite beverage and wiping tears over another romance novel. These were signs that her husband could read.
He didn’t always like the way the signs looked, but he loved the one who sent them.
What Randy wouldn’t give to see his wife’s discarded shoes and dirty teacups again.
So instead of bemoaning the leftover banana peels, I’m now giving thanks for them.
Thank you, God, for the man who ate the fruit.
Thank you for providing nourishment for his day.
Thanks for allowing me to be home and able to clean up the small mess.
Thanks that I get to love and be loved by someone who’s flawed just like me. (Thank you that our flaws don’t define us—but your loving forgiveness does.)
Thank you, God, that our journey of knowing each other and growing together as husband and wife gets to continue for another day.
Thank you for banana peels and a much needed lesson in perspective.
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Randy, thank you for candidly sharing your heart and reflections about your incredible wife. Alyssa was a one-of-a-kind shining star—annoying habits and all. Your movie-like love story continues to bless those around you.
Chris, thanks for being my favorite guy and accepting me with my endless idiosyncrasies and irritating quirks. I still wouldn’t be sad if those breakfast banana peels made their way into the kitchen trash most days. But when they don’t, I will gladly help you out with gratitude that I’m the one who gets to.
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Linking up with my friends Jennifer and Holley. Click over to be blessed by other great storytellers.