Every morning, I place my hand inside a small plastic bag and use my makeshift glove to pick up dog poop. On good days, Buster the Schnauzer kindly produces solid, log-like poops. On other days, he is not so kind. This is the price I pay for having a dog. Do I enjoy cleaning up after him? Definitely not. But it’s only a few minutes of grossness in return for my enjoyment of his endlessly amusing antics and unconditional love.
There is a little crap in every relationship.
My husband is cranky for a solid hour when he first wakes up, my children are genetically incapable of picking laundry off the floor, and my dearest friend is perpetually 30-minutes late. I cannot control these things any more than I can control Buster the Schnauzer’s bowel movements. And since I am rather fond of my spouse, my daughters, and my best-y, it would seem short sighted to separate myself from them in order to avoid such minor irritations.
It must also be pointed out that I produce a fair bit of crap myself. I talk too much (constantly), drink too much (occasionally), and react loudly to any situation involving the -isms (e.g. sexism, racism, Republican-ism). My hair perpetually clogs the sink in our upstairs bathroom, I claim all money found in the dryer as my own, and I will drain someone else’s glass of water if I am thirsty.
We all have crap.
I suspect that those people who loudly proclaim that they “don’t put up with any crap” are very lonely. I believe the secret to happiness rests not in avoiding crap but rather, in finding effective ways to deal with it. I cannot stop Buster the Schnauzer from pooping in the grass but I can make sure I always have a plastic bag in my pocket.
So I try not to have in-depth conversations with my husband in the morning. I pick one day of the week to insist that my girls clean their rooms and try to let it go the rest of the week. And I lie to my friend about the start times for movies.
I also do my best to minimize my own crap. I bought a snake-like device from Canadian Tire for getting hair out of drains, put a money jar on top of the dryer, and started lugging a water bottle around with me. And I recently kept myself from responding to a clearly misogynistic facebook post (although that damn near killed me and I know that I cannot maintain that degree of restraint long-term without dire health consequences).
Adjustments aside, I have accepted that I come with a little crap. For example, I plan to be buried with a mid-price Malbec (Just sayin’). And I suspect that I will always be a talker (I am from a long line of talkers).
I say a silent thank-you every day for the friends and loved ones who seem to find my crap endearing, or at least tolerable. And to those friends and loved ones, I solemnly vow to also tolerate their crap (and to find at least some of it endearing) because…
Love means never having to say you’re sorry… just for being a little crappy.