The Dance of the Pepper Shaker

by Carol


When he pulled that pepper shaker out of the bag I almost laughed out loud.

Fourteen years earlier we stood on separate aisles of Target – me with crossed arms and him wondering if we would ever make it. With scanner gun in hand, I stared at the rows of salt and pepper shakers. Wooden? How could I possibly season my food with wooden salt and pepper shakers?

As Alan and I registered for our upcoming wedding, we hadn’t anticipated the sometimes-uneven start of zipping two lives together. After dating six years, we were more than ready to marry. I’d dreamed of this very event since our high school trigonometry class where we met and fell in love. We passed notes back and forth with doodles and flirts. But not one of those notes mentioned his family’s preference for wooden salt and pepper shakers. Wood!

While dark brown wood shakers marched across Alan’s family’s table, my family had glass shakers dance from plate to plate. Unable to make compromises, we stood at an impasse.

I couldn’t understand why it was so important to him anyway, and he was sure I was bull-headed. Wasn’t it the girl’s job to pick out all the home goods? Finally, he suggested we move on to a different section of the store to scan in our wish list.

I complied and followed him through the linens and towels stomping my feet inside. He’d point out something, and I’d aim the scanner gun and pull the trigger with as much attitude as I could muster. I would scan the things he selected, but he was going to understand I wasn’t happy. Not. One. Bit.

After meandering through several more aisles, Alan turned to me and said, “Fine. We can have glass shakers if it makes you happy.” My joyous skipping toward the kitchen aisle had him grinning.

It was then we both knew we would make it.

In time, I did learn to compromise, too. For the past fourteen years, we have continued the ebb and flow, give and take that a marriage relationship requires. So, when Alan walked in from the kitchen store fourteen years later with a red wooden pepper mill, I had to laugh.

Now, on our table the red pepper mill and the glass salt shaker have learned to waltz in their own special way. And so have we.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NIV

Email Author    |    Website About Carol

Carol is a sassy southern mama who loves Jesus and isn’t afraid to shout it. Ask her why she loves the Lord and be prepared to sit a spell. Carol encourages women to live out Matthew 25:40 by serving the "least of these." Learn more about becoming the Everyday Missionary at her blog Sheep to the Right or connect with her on Twitter.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Desiree Rutter October 23, 2011 at 9:45 am

That is awesome! I have a similar wedding registry story but you guys handled the conflict much much better than us! 😉


2 Carol Hatcher October 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Thanks, Desiree! ? You’ll have to share your story some day. 🙂 I’d love to hear it.


3 Chris October 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Hi Carol

Juist a quick note to say that I am so blessed to have stumbled across the 5 mins of faith (still can’t remember how I found it but happy I did). You have an amazing way of illustrating a point and I can’t wait for the next reading.
May God bless you.
I will tell all my friends to go on and read them too.
Chris Burdett


4 Carol Hatcher October 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Sometimes God has a way of leading us places for a reason. I’m so glad you “stumbled” by, and I hope you’ll return soon. In case you’re interested, you can sign up to have the devotions sent to you by email.



5 Susie Klein October 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Ha! Great story! When I got married we did not have the same system for registering as easy as they do now. I think there would have definitely been some salt n’ pepper shaker wars in the Target aisles if we had!


6 Carol Hatcher October 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

🙂 We all have our moments, don’t we? LOL.


7 Sarita Edgerton October 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

This is so true of marriage. I had to get used to the way he was used to eating from his family and he had to get used to the way our family communicates. He is still not used to that!


8 Carol Hatcher October 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Yes, it’s funny all the little nuances we never consider before we marry. And in the beginning, they all seemed like such a big deal. Now I look back and laugh at most of it. 🙂


9 Debbye October 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I often marvel about the things about marriage that no-one told me about! Who knew you would have to even consider pepper shaker wars in Target to be one of them? LOL


10 Kimberly November 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

hee hee. Love it! 🙂 In our pre-marriage flirting and dating, there was no mention of the fact it mattered if you used liquid or powdered laundry detergent. 😉


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