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