My husband is quirky. Yep, I said it. He’s quirky. And some of his quirkiness annoys me. He does things that I think are unnecessary and, in my opinion, a waste of time. I’m not complaining; just making a statement. My love for him FAAAARRR out-weighs my annoyance with his quirkiness, so I deal with it. If I had to admit it, I’d have to say that I my quirkiness probably annoys him too (IF I had to admit it! lol). But this isn’t about me, it’s about HIM…or is it?
The other day, I brought the laundry upstairs and proceeded to fold the basket’s contents. When I got to one of his Polo shirts, I secretly noticed him observing how I was going to fold it. I KNEW it was just a matter of time before he said something (I can always tell when something is on his mind and he’s about to say something. Do you pick up on that kind of thing with your spouse??). So in my mind, I sighed and thought “here it comes…”. While covertly eyeing his body language, I made sure I moved a little slower, giving him time to get his thoughts and words together. I turned the shirt this way and that, inspecting for something, anything. My thought: “is he still watching…? Yeah, he’s still watching…he’s about to say something, watch…” I smoothed out the wrinkles with my hands. My thought: “any minute now, he’s gonna critique me…” I flipped the shirt back over, buttoned the top button and smoothed down the collar…he inhaled (like he always does right before he has something important t0 say). My thought: “here we go, Niesy…brace yourself”
Brace myself, you say? Yes, brace myself. You see, Oli collects Polo shirts, and I KNOW that he has a certain way that he likes them to be folded. But I have to admit, I hadn’t been folding them that way. Nor did I care to, truth be told…NOR did I think it was necessary. Honestly, I thought it was a waste of time; he’s GONNA iron it before he wears it anyway, so why all the attention to detail?? Waste of time, in my opinion.
Anyway, he finally did say something, right as I began folding his shirt my way! He said, “You know, I have a certain way that I like to fold my Polos”. I slowly put the shirt down and gave him a “I don’t have time for this” stare. He continued, “I know it’s kinda silly, but I like for the horse to show when it’s folded…” Clearly not the way I had been folding them. Then he said, “C’mon…am I really telling you this?? You used to work at J.C. Penney’s; you should know how to fold Polo shirts!” I gave him his second “I don’t have time for this” stare of the evening. In my mind I was thinking, “This is stupid; besides, Penney’s doesn’t even sell Polo shirts…hmph!” That’s what I was thinking. What I said was something like, “Oh ok…like this?” and I folded the shirt – his way. He smiled and said something like, “Yeah! Like that. Thank you; I know it’s silly, but it’s what I like”.
Now by this time, my ruffled feathers had smoothed out, for the most part, and I was beginning to see this as an opportunity to do something for Oli that pleases him. It’s a small sacrifice that I chose to make which meant a lot to him. The way his shirts are folded is important to him – quirky, silly or not. It’s what he likes. Sometimes we just gotta do stuff that may not make a whole lot of sense to us, but we do it anyway – simply because the act of pleasing our spouses does make sense. So I chose to see him smile because I did something for him. It made me smile, actually.
Who knows, maybe one day I will understand his quirkiness. Maybe one day I won’t be able to see myself folding shirts any other way. For now, I’m just grateful to God for teaching me a lesson through a Polo shirt: Sometimes in our marriage, I have to say “I do” to things that I don’t understand. I don’t always have to understand in order to show love. I don’t always have to have things my way. It is better to give than receive. And what I give to my husband is what he wants – his quirkiness. Small sacrifice for me; big appreciation from him. I like it. Small gestures from me show him that I love him…that he is important to me…that what he likes is important to me…that his preferences matter…that HE matters.
I do – even when I don’t understand.
Oliver & Denise Marcelle are the founders of Denoli, LLC (speaking, facilitating, and mentoring/coaching). They have been married for 20 years and have 3 children.
Through seminars, a podcast, videos and social media posts, they offer a candid look into their own marriage, with the goal being to encourage couples and help them explore, grow and learn together.
It is their belief that all relationships stand a chance, if given the right tools.
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