Sep 10, 2018

Marriage & Appliances

PC: Sarah Straeter Photography


Opening up the fridge, needing something for lunch, I rummaged around looking for the leftovers I placed in a Tupperware over the weekend.


Shoving containers aside, I thought to myself, “Ok. Time to clean out the fridge. This has been here for three weeks. No one is going to drink this. When did I put this meat in here to thaw? Gross.”


I pull out the container I was looking for and popped it into the microwave. Closing the door, I punched in “3 minutes. 30 seconds.”


Ah yes, perfect,  just enough time to go fold a few things in the laundry room.


As I was carefully folding my husband’s crisp, white t-shirt, I heard a *POP* in the kitchen.


Gosh darn it. I forgot to pop the little tab on the container. And food had exploded all over the microwave. Our clean, like-new microwave.


As I stood there grumbling over the food splattered all over the shiny surface inside, a part of me wanted to leave the mess. I’d have to grab a wet cloth, stand up on my tippy-toes stretching my 5 foot tall body as far as I can and utilize some elbow grease to remove the food debris. I hadn’t been feeling good this week, so it would be okay to come back to it later, right? Ugh, but then the food would be dried and caked to the surface.


As I stood there, for the first time debating whether or not to take care of it, I realized our microwave was 7 years old. And it still looked brand new as if it were just unboxed from the Sears store. My husband and I have taken such great care of it all these years.


I panicked. What was wrong with me?


Were my microwave and I going through a 7 year itch? Why did I suddenly not want to take care of it?


As I stood there, silly as it sounds, having a talk with myself over this microwave, I realized that my marriage too would soon be 7 years old. We bought all of our appliances in 2011, the year we got married.


7 years ago.


Not quite a decade but long enough to go through a heck of a lot together.


Some highs. Some lows. All challenging.


There were times when things got hard and there were times we were having so much fun that we made marriage look easy.


But let me tell you this, an easy, like-new marriage takes work.


It requires standing up on your tiptoes, using a little elbow grease and taking care of things as they surface before you find the debris caked on so hard you can’t remove it.


Marriage is a lot like an appliance. They don’t make ‘em like they use to… you know, that harvest gold Whirlpool refrigerator that JUST WON’T DIE so you grandmother continues to keep it out in the garage to store Capri Suns for the great grandkids.


Appliances today are cheaply made and require care, a lot of maintenance and sometimes a good warranty plan.


But marriages… they don’t come with a warranty plan. There is no swapping out when something breaks.


You have to fix it.


You may have to fix it on your own or you may need some outside, professional help and that’s okay.


We all weren’t born to know how to fix appliances and we certainly weren’t born knowing how to have a perfect marriage. That’s why they have appliance repair guys. And marriage counselors. And books. And podcasts. And conferences. All devoted to all things marriage.


Just don’t seek counsel with the appliance repair guy.


What I do know, is we are all capable of wiping down the inside of a microwave when food explodes.


And for goodness sakes, we can all clean out the three week old leftovers from the refrigerator.


What have you done lately to maintain your appliances… errr, marriage?


...because when you take care of something, it will last.


Unless it’s a factory lemon, of course.


Happy 7 years today to my favorite appliances....oh, and that husband of mine!

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