Discover more from For Better Or Worse: Tales From A Married Man
a story about a chocolate chip cookie
no cookies were harmed in the making of his post
Sometimes It doesn’t take much to make a spouse happy. On a routine trip to Marks & Spencer (a shop, I meant ‘supermarket’ chain out here in the UK. It’s a bit posh, my wife stopped me by the front door and asked me to buy her cookies. Very specific cookies, the kind of very specific that happens in marriage.
‘I want the chocolate cookie. It’s in the purple — not the blue — the purple packet. They sell it in pack, but I don’t want the pack. If you get the packet, I will end up eating too many, and you know I’m on a diet, so I can’t eat the entire pack. I want the small packet of two, near where you get the nuts, not in the shelf with the nuts but the one next to it.’
‘Do you know the name of the cookies?’ I ask.
‘You will see it. Right next to the nuts, not on the shelf with the nuts, but near them. You remember last time we went shopping and Nazareth (our son) asked for biscuits.’
‘Oh, the Christmas biscuits?’ I say, referring to the overpriced, but extremely tasty, biscuits, I only ever see at my wife’s house during Christmas.
‘Yes!’ She says, finger extended toward the sky. ‘Yes, they are right next to the Christmas biscuits.
‘So they are not the the Christmas biscuits?’
‘Right next to them.’
‘Ok’ I nod and repeat the instructions to myself; purple packet (not the blue one), not a full packet — she’s on a diet — and right next to the nuts.
Two hours later, exhausted after a shopping, somehow managed to remember the cookies. I picked up the purple packet cookies (she said, purple right?) and added them to the bask in triumph, because I usually forget these things. After two hours of restocking a house with two children, the entire procedure isn’t always seamless.
Upon arriving back home, I kicked open the door and found my wife hunched over a chopping board by the sink, where the smell of onions filled the air.Feeling like the 'husband of the year,' I crept up behind her with a packet of purple cookies in hand. My lips puckered. I planted a big kiss on her neck, and she spun around as I slammed the cookies on the kitchen counter.
My wife looked at me, then at the cookies, and then back to me. Her shoulders slumped, and her head shook in disappointment
‘I said, the purple packet’
‘This is purple,’ I protested, before picking up the cookies and thrusting them infront of her face.
‘Solomon, these are blue.’
‘No, it’s —’ I squinted and looked at the packet again. Shit. ‘They are blue.’
‘It’s ok.’ She said, in the same tone she uses to comfort our sons. ‘At least you tried.’ Her eyes filled with sympathy and she rubbed my head.
It wasn't the outcome I had hoped for, but I came to accept it. Disappointment is a part of life and although it shouldn’t be expected in marriage, it helps when it is understood.
Why am I ranting about cookies? Whenever I take time off this newsletter, even though it’s only been two weeks, I feel like I need to get my gears turning again. Anyway, back to the cookies, the cookies matter because in the past this conversation took a different path in our relationship. We played blame tennis: You’re instructions weren’t clear. You didn’t listen, Solomon. It’s only cookies. I wouldn’t do the same to you. Can’t you just apologise. For your bad instructions?
Where others see poorly colored cookies, I see growth. Perhaps we are in a better space in our relationship or maybe we have better things to focus on, but it feels good to know we are in a space where we don’t let the small things (like cookies) derail the foundations of our marriage relationship.
Fast forward a week later, I am wandering through a perfectly-lit Marks & Spencer aisle in South London and my eyes settle on a familiar sight blue/purple crinkled package shimmering on the shelf; the cookies. Bestowed with the chance of salvation, I don’t hesitate. The cookies make it back to my house and into the arms of pleasantly surprised and smiling wife. Two weeks late, but mission accomplished! The redemption arc complete.
A poem I wrote to speak yesterday:
yesterday it rained all day and i thought British weather. one minute it’s sunshine, the next minute it’s winter time.
we go from summer to Alaska, in the morning we are in Ghana, but by the evening it’s Russia.
eventually the clouds parted and I saw something amazing — i saw a double rainbow.
it reminded me of the reality of life.one day we can in the middle of the storm and the next we are surrounded by miracles.
if the lord create the sky and heavens above us, and he saw fit to make you and I, how can we not have the potential to be stars.
if the trees can rise to heights of where heaven is, and the waves can crush Evervest. how men not move mountains?
how can it not just take work and people who believe? after all it only took was a staff to part the Red Sea.
you were not created just to exist. you were not created just to live. your were not created like the insects and fish. humanity is different because we can make a difference.
people find it hard to be great, because they believe greatness is in their hands, it is when you clasp them together and surrender them to the sky. prayer and hope are the wings we need to fly.
when you are in trouble instead of looking down, look above.
because miracles are happening even on the rainy days.