How Annoying!

My husband isn’t perfect.

That may come as a shock to those of you who know him. After all, he’s pretty darn close. But, it turns out, he’s human just like the rest of us.

Of course, I would have told you on our wedding day that he wasn’t perfect. I knew that—at least theoretically. But then we got married and moved in together, and lo and behold—would you believe my sweetie leaves black (or navy) sock lint on the bedroom carpeting (see evidence at right)? Shocking!!

At first, I just picked up the lint. No big deal, right? But as the months went by, it began to get on my nerves. Why should I have to pick up his lint? After all, we were both working full time. We had split the chores—why should this one be mine? A small seed of resentment was planted.

Over the next many years, I picked up an awful lot of black fluff. My seedling resentment grew into a large shrub of frustration and indignation. I was more than annoyed. How inconsiderate of him to leave this mess for me to take care of! Couldn’t he see how aggravating that was?

Once in a while, I actually mentioned how much it bothered me. He looked blankly back at me. What lint?

So I fumed and vacuumed and grumbled and bent over and got pretty bent out of shape.

Then the travel started. There was a computer conference in Las Vegas. There was a ministry meeting in Chicago. My sweetie hopped planes while I was solo parent at home.

At first it was just a week here and there—not so much, really. But that was just the beginning. It grew and grew until one year, with our kids in elementary and junior high school, he was gone almost a third of the year. Gone two weeks. Home three days. Gone three weeks. Home two weeks. And on and on and on. The longest was a six week trip to Seoul, Korea to help run a major conference.

It was just me in the bedroom. There was no sock lint on the carpet.

I missed him.

I missed his help with the kids and the housework. I missed his encouragement and appreciation and wisdom. I missed his cheerful willingness to run errands on his way home. I missed his hugs and kisses. I missed his solid presence encroaching on my side of the bed. And I missed his sock lint.

These days the travel has dwindled to almost nothing, and Pete is home most of the time. He still leaves lint around the bedroom, although not as much as before. I don’t know if that’s because he picks it up now, or if his socks have worn so thin they have no more lint left to shed. Still, every time I get out the vacuum, or bend over to pick up a little black fluff ball—or dirty laundry or pile of papers or computer charger (he actually is pretty neat)—I smile and remind myself, “That’s because Pete is home!”

It’s all in how we look at things.

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