For most people, the Devil is in the details. For my husband and me He lives on the tupperware shelf.
We don’t fight about much, Mike and I. But that one small part of the kitchen can set off a major melee. And does, with depressing regularity. The issue is simple: Mike likes it tidy; I think such a quality is superfluous in a place of its ilk. After all, it’s a tupperware shelf, not a filing cabinet. I don’t go there to get my 2007 financial records. I go there for containers; I’m in and out. Many times a day. It’s what we in retail would call a “high traffic area.” Have you ever seen the sale shelves at H&M? I rest my case. Plus, when I go in there, I’m in a rush. It’s time for school, or work, or a trip to the zoo, and we’re running twenty minutes behind. So I don’t take care. I have the disrespect of the harried. This, in turn, causes me to scatter.
Which causes Mike, when he opens said cabinet, to find something inside that looks like the BPA-free version of Stonehenge. Which I think is kind of pretty, in a plastic sort of way. Mike, on the other hand, finds it to be an assault against his very soul. I’m not kidding. Sometimes, having seen its disarray, he’ll turn and look at me like Bambi after his mom’s been shot. It makes me feel terrible. But not terrible enough to change my ways.
So Mike re-organizes it. Again, and again. Many is the night I’ve heard him, late at night, methodically fixing the mess I have made. I’ve fallen asleep to the stacking of tupperware so many times it has an almost Pavlovian effect on me. Insomnia? Just grab a couple of sandwich containers and start tapping them near my head. Zzzzzzz.
I’ve told Mike I’ll try to do better, but the fact is, it’s hard to change when you feel, underneath it all, that the request is inherently unreasonable. I truly can’t see why chaos shouldn’t be the basic state of a tupperware shelf. It feels right to me. Normal. American. Like a Norman Rockwell painting, but with lids. So trying to force myself to act differently is a bit like trying to foist civilization on Tarzan. I’m smart. I can do it. But in the end I’d rather be swinging from a vine.
So Mike and I will continue to fight. I suppose we’re lucky that the subject is such a shallow one, at least on the surface. But I do worry that, as marital bones of contention go, it has staying power. Unlike finances, which can change, or sex, which I have no argument with anyway, tupperware stays the same. It’s eternal. It’s omnipresent. We will never not deal with it.
Perhaps we can find a bigger shelf. See? I’m willing to compromise.