I have done something for my marriage lately that I am actually proud of. I don't know about you, but I find that marriage is sometimes equal parts connection/love/peace/fun and dismal realization of your own imperfections. I don't like the second half of that equation.
Anyway, I have been amassing pillows for about a year at the Goodwill and Deseret Industries in order to make my master bed a thing of wonder and beauty. As all good decorators would tell me, pillows are an inexpensive way to bring color and texture to your bed. Finally, I had a glorious concoction of pillows that would have pleased most decorators, even the most spendthrift (the accent pillows in front cost a total of $8--less than $2 a piece at thrift stores). My heart would leap with pride and satisfaction whenever I walked in and saw my beautiful, thrifty bed.
Isn't she lovely. Ah, yes.
However, about a month ago, my husband said something that caught my attention. He said: "I hate having all these pillows on the bed." In all fairness, he had said this before, but I had not really paid him much attention. I had sort of listened the way you listen to a two-year-old's temper tantrum "Yes, I know you want an ice cream cone for breakfast, sweetie..." Anyway, for some reason, that day was a day I actually listened to him and asked some probing questions. Does he hate having to throw them on the floor at night? Hate having to feel like he has to make the bed with them in the morning? Hate having them in his way when he wants to take an after-work catnap (don't worry, his catnaps aren't as frequent as Will Ferrell's George Bush). Hate the way they look? It boiled down to the fact that they get in his way and that his heart does not give the same sort of leap when he sees them. In fact, in sounded more like his heart would sink when he thought of dealing with the unwanted pillows every day.
Now, the selfish part of me thought, "Eee gads man, get some taste. Of course the pillows stay." But then I realized that he wasn't asking me to give up the pillows on my side of the bed. He just didn't want to have to deal with something that didn't bring him joy or satisfaction. Really, that seems pretty fair and reasonable.
So, this is what our bed looks like now:
You know, I really thought it would bother me every time I walked in my room to see my hideous Two-Face bed. But surprise of surprises--it doesn't bother me a bit. My heart leaps when I see my pretty pillows, and when I see my husband's plain, ascetic side, my heart leaps when I think of him :).
I am sure that we are not going to win any decorator's awards, but not having to go to a marriage therapy because of $8 worth of pillows: priceless.