It was like a scene out of a sitcom:
Joe and I in a pre-marriage counseling session,
Reading through the vows we had written,
And then somehow getting into a huge fight
About who does the laundry
And who puts the clothes away
I could feel the corners of my eyes drawing back,
And I might have been hissing
As I accused
And reared back
And struck again.
A young guy who looks like Joe would with a beard,
Watched and listened—
I forgot he was there.
His alarmed eyes flicking back and forth between us
Before he finally interrupted:
This is good.
This is obviously something you need to talk about.”
Walking out to the car
Two strides ahead of Joe,
I made a decision to
And silently contemplate what business we,
Who have both failed once at marriage
And can’t even cooperate on laundry,
Have trying to do this again.
But as soon as we closed (me: slammed) the car doors,
Joe suddenly and uncharacteristically started
About his history,
And the harsh refrains that play in his head.
I softened in the driver’s seat,
Listening and asking questions.
This was new information to me.
(Will there always be new information?)
We stopped at an Ethiopian place by our house
And ordered a veggie sampler
And held hands across the torn plastic tablecloth.
“Babe, I want to be the
You’ve ever had,” Joe said,
And I started to laugh and cry at the same time.
We went home and went upstairs to our bedroom.
And Joe turned off all the lights
And I fell asleep to him
Putting the laundry away.
This just made my day for some reason.
“Fighting About Laundry” is an excellent title to the book of your collected essays.
Yeah. “Softening” is good.