“Let’s make a pact,” suggested Kev on one of our frequent walks, where we discuss everything and nothing.
“What kind of pact did you have in mind?” I cautiously asked. A pact where we agree to not eat desserts on weekdays or not talk negatively from five to seven p.m., I can handle. But don’t ask me to quit overreacting, keep my house sparkling clean, or pass up a sale on dark chocolate. I’ll let you down.
“Let’s agree that we will always handle issues that arise in a mature manner,” he answered. His face was serious when he said it, too.
My knees buckled as I guffawed. “Kevin, in spite of our Valentine’s Day wedding thirty years ago, we have rarely handled things in a mature manner. What preposterous idea makes you think we can start now?” He must have agreed, because he hee-hawed along with me. We stood in the road and roared like two preschoolers discovering their dad’s underwear drawer.
Please don’t misunderstand: we are not idiots. We raised two responsible adults, we both hold down decent jobs, and most days we keep our sanity in this crazy world. We have, however, had our share of not handling situations in mature ways.
Like the time I got mad during an argument, and slammed the lid of the cookie jar down, breaking it beyond repair. Did I mention that it was my favorite cookie jar?
Or the day Kevin asked me to navigate him to a new friend’s house in Los Angeles, and becoming impatient, he grabbed the map from my hand. I should say he tried to grab it. I was so irate with him for implying I didn’t know how to read a map, I refused to let go. Two adults, one a preacher, the other a Christian School teacher, wrestling with a map in the front seat. Aha.
My favorite fight occurred on a Sunday night. I was enjoying the song service, and snuggled next to Kev as we harmonized on “Learning to Lean.” Kevin can harmonize with bullfrogs; he has an excellent ear for chords. But, when he adds notes where they aren’t written, and does ‘do-bop’s in my ear as I am worshiping, I become as hot as a waffle iron on a Saturday morning.
“Will you please quit singing in my ear? It’s bugging me,” I whisper, trying not to disrupt those around us. Kevin grins like he’s five and has just caught his first fish. Now I’ve given him exactly what he wants: the satisfaction of knowing he’s stolen my composure. On the next song, he continues his musical torture by making up stupid words to the song’s tune and breathing them in my ear. That’s when I lose it.
Whap! Slap! Sock! on Kevin’s upper arm. “Stop it right now!” I mutter, my voice growling, veins bulging out of my neck. Not even noticing my wimpy attempts at slaps, Kevin is in husband heaven, blatantly laughing. The older couple behind us could not be more delighted. To witness the preacher’s wife beating up the preacher during Sunday evening service is a rare treat, indeed.
So much for our “Maturity From Now On” pacts. At least our brouhahas serve as entertainment for our congregation. Happy Valentine's Day!