Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Acquiescence: Glue for All Marriage

Indeed, the Matron has determined that acquiescence is the key to marital tranquility and even, happiness.  Note: not bliss.   Acquiescence does not ignite.  It soothes.  

Please, do not confuse temperate, durable Acquiescence with moral collapse or God-Buddha-Oprah-Allah-Universe forbid -- caving.  No, no, no!!  To acquiesce is comply, to submit tacitly or passively.   One can acquiesce in complete stubborn and self-righteous disagreement.  Indeed, the Matron herself has acquiesced -- complied -- with the furrowed brow and folded arm.

What's the Matronly working definition of acquiescence?

Light at Night:  John likes things pitch-black, not a sliver leaking from a shade.  The Matron?  Windows open and moonlight streaming.  Early on, the benefits dark and light were much debated.   The Matron, then a Youngish Miss, was deeply committed to her airy nights -- the expanse of spirit the night light brought out to her.  John, equally smitten with night's silence and black tunnel  . .  . and at some point, the Matron simply -- relented.  She still likes the windows open.  When that man is away, those shades are up.  But she also likes how he burrows into bed, happy.

Wash cloths.     What are these things for?  Oh!  Creating more laundry.   The Matron has no need for the wash cloth.  Soap suds up just fine in her capable hands; she effectively lathers up.   The perfect wash cloth -- texture, color, size, suds-ability -- is pretty much the winning lottery ticket for her husband.    No real to-do would be made of these differing preferences, except that John insists that no bathtub or shower is complete without a stack of wash cloths nearby.  Each bathroom must have stacks of these squares of colored cloth.  If someone takes a shower, he likes to hear "boy, I liked that wash cloth today!"   Wash cloths annoy the Matron.  If indeed they are really sloughing off so much skin-gunk, then why should she touch yours?  But the bathrooms in their house are replete with the venerable wash cloth.

Dishwasher.  There is a right way and a wrong way to stack this.  John's way is right.  The Matron follows this.   She is in absolute complete disagreement but indeed, stacks those plates to the left.   Every time.  And the key -- with a little stab of happiness because her beloved likes it just so (and is oddly attached).

Attached indeed.   Sometimes the Matron considers just how steeped in Habit she is - how attached to the fold of a blanket in the living room or who parks which car where or what she eats for breakfast.    Imagine given free rein here!   Imagine no person or code bumping up against attachment to one's own desires.  This of course would require living alone or with servants.   Driving would be a nightmare.  

But the general idea often gives her pause - how much of a good relationship with a spouse (or anyone, for that matter) is thinking not only of that person's legitimate needs, but their quirks, sensibilities and proclivities and allowing their presence -- as much as we allow our own.

It's easy to wax philosophical about this, of course, when there's nothing to acquiesce to at the moment.  

The trick will be to carry this sanguine stance tomorrow morning when it's time to select a new color to paint the living room.  The Matron believes slate is ideal.   John a warm yellow.   It's a big enough gap that somebody will just have to. . . acquiesce.    Sounds so much better than caving --and it is.


Anonymous said...

Yes, once again you are so right.
People ask us a lot how we have stayed married such a long time (we have 42 years and counting). The answer is similar to yours, but we say tolerance.
This attitude has carried over into our lives outside our marriage. I call it cheerful and stupid. It is much easier to deal with people that way and helps with the blood pressure.
Now, are you going to relate the paint discussion so we can learn how to do this without umm...loud discussion?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Exactly why Mr. D and I are still married and why I keep buying Velveeta (ew) and allowing him to have cable television. It's always a navigation of negotiation.

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

For us it was the blinds on the kitchen window above the sink. Every day Jim would put them down. Every day, I would put them back up. Down, up, down, up until one day I just left them down. Problem solved. That is until I decide to get a screw driver out and remove them completely.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Perfectly stated. I have acquiesced over the music being played in his presence both at home and in the car. We share my laptop (it can be painful). Going on 25 years here.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Slate and warm yellow, two complimentary colors. Both? One over the other with a chair rail in the middle? OR . . . Most walls in one color with the remaining wall(s) in the accent color?


Stacy said...

Totally relatable.

Anonymous said...

I acquiessed up the wazoo and he never did. 17 years it took me to realize that imbalance.


Current love? We acquiesce together :-)

Anonymous said...

take them down!

Murphy's Mom the Ruby said...

Brilliantly said...hope to hear about the paint.