Despite the fact we’re in the lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day zone, I woke up this morning thinking about the few things that my husband and I disagree about. We’ve been together since 1989 (!) so we’ve learned to compromise and meet each other midway on many issues. Actually, we don’t fight about much. Just little things like these:
Quibble or Squabble?
Rory and I are into words – I mean vocabulary terms. I mentioned the idea of this post to him soon after he opened his eyes today, and the first thing we discussed was: Do we quibble or squabble? I thought we quibbled and he said we squabbled. Whenever we spat over words, we let the dictionary decide the winner. In the process of hashing out things, we improve our vocabulary.
Turns out that quibbling is when you raise trivial objections or petty arguments for the sake of evading the truth or importance of an issue. Squabbling describes when you’re engaged in an argument about something trivial. Not wanting to be evasive or dishonest, I agreed that that we squabble, not quibble. “I love squabs,” he jokingly replied.
Loading the Dishwasher
Long before we had a dishwasher, several older couples told us, “We still fight over how to load the dishwasher.” We didn’t have a dishwasher until about nine years ago and didn’t know what they meant.
When we did graduate to using one, we sometimes found ourselves rearranging how each other loaded the dishes. What position ensures that the dishes get cleaned? Where should certain dishes be placed to avoid chipping? Is there an optimal place for chopsticks and rice bowls? We’d duke things out till we realized that if something didn’t get cleaned, we’d just hand wash it. Duh.
Folding the Laundry
When we were dating, Rory would sometimes come over to my apartment and help me do laundry. He was appalled at my folding skills. I sorted just fine but when it came to the final follow-through with neatly folding up each article of clothing, I was awful.
Rory, on the other hand, made the clothes look like they ought to be on display at Banana Republic! He never worked apparel retail but he certainly can switch careers, if ever needed. He even keeps his t-shirts neat in the dresser drawer.
We decided long ago that I’d have my own dresser drawer. That way, I can freely mess up my once-nicely-folded up stack of clothes. Rory took charge of doing the laundry after we started living together. (Hey, I cook!) Whenever he asks me to help with the folding, I only get to take care of my clothes.
Setting the Thermostat
It’s winter so every morning, Rory hops out of bed and runs into the hallway to increase the thermostat and warm the house up. By the time I start working out, the house is cozy. However, there’s a heater vent right above where I exercise, which means that I get hit with the occasional blast of hot air whenever the furnace comes on. The result is that I get overheated and cranky.
For a while I was sneaking by the thermostat to turn it down and then he’d get mad because it felt too cold to him. We had several spats over the temperature until we figured out this strategy: He initially cranks it up, and before I work out, I crank it down notch or two so the furnace doesn’t come on while I’m sweating. When I’m done, Rory turns it up to a comfy temperature. We are both happy.
Writing about these squabbles makes me realize how ridiculously petty they are. However, at the same time, I realize that we fundamentally agree that the dishes should be clean, our clothes should make us look neat, and we should feel warm. We may dicker on how to arrive at those points but we do figure out a way to get there together. I suppose that that’s what makes a relationship work.
Do you and your partner spar on little things? If you care to share, please do.