Think about someone close to you.
What’s one thing that drives you crazy about this person whether it is a loved one, significant other, spouse, family member or friend?
Or maybe there’s a few things?
As much as we would like to say, there is nothing. With time, most, if not all of us develop those pet peeves that can lead to inevitable arguments, disagreements, or situations.
The reality is they exist… and while compromise is a crucial part of any relationship, sometimes it is not possible. Instead, it may require some acceptance on our part.
Accept it!??! That one thing that drives us crazy!?!?! Oh heck no!!!
and hear me out…
The thing that drove me crazy for years was my husband’s love (aka obsession) for our grass. Perfect grass was not possible in the life of a family of two young kids and a Labrador. Yet, he spent hours relentlessly making sure that our lawn would one day be just that…perfect!
In fact, one summer his deep partnership with our lawn, required many weekend afternoons caring for it. Yet, after our basement flooded, we needed to have a lot of work done in the backyard to prevent future ones. As our backyard was beginning to have more and more of the perfect set up for a barbecue or summer party, one patch of his beloved grass was destroyed by the workers. Therefore, any parties, barbecues, or actually … anyone near that area of lawn … was forbidden for the rest of the summer.
I tried… I really did… but when your husband comes home and runs to greet his growing patch of grass before his wife and kids…
…I admit I lost it! (A few times!)
That was until I took on a poetry challenge. I love poetry and have been writing it for most of my life. It had been around this time last summer where I wanted to push deeper with it… to push for a dream of mine a bit more seriously, the dream to be published.
Therefore, I heard from a poet friend about an opportunity. It required me to devise a poem base don a prompt and model poem. If chosen, it would be published in an upcoming book. So what did I have to lose?
When I sat to review the prompts, one jumped out at me:
“For your own love poem, zero in on a single talent your beloved has.”
Right away, his grass jumped into my head. His grass! My pet peeve – his passion…
Could that really been seen as a positive thing? A talent? This obsession that drove me mad!
The task called for me to learn about this talent and turn it into a metaphor. Therefore, I sat outside on that late Spring evening, and asked him questions about terms I never knew existed. Or if I’m being completely honest, terms I never cared about. Or rather…never tried to care about…
Strangely enough, not only did a poem get drafted that was soon chosen to be published, but somehow something that drove me crazy for years turned a new leaf. Suddenly, I did not feel so crazed over it either…
Who’s kept receipts anyways
things you’ve learned over these years
growth you’ve sang into the grass
never doubting sun and rain to not agree
what steps to grow what patience set free
why throw dough to someone’s stranger
when you can spread the seed or at least
you’ll start using the rototiller
sweating over the inches
spreading over the daunting dirt
so many weekends to foster new year’s lawn
fertilizer for the poking patches
tall fescue perennial rye
manual hose automatic display
and tools I cannot even say
sun and water and more seed
depend on you
to know how to apply
and bring back to life
lean on you never to die
For more poems and excellent poetry writing tips from this collection, check out the following book:
“The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics” – Diane Lockward
In the meantime, try it out sometimes, embrace what drives you crazy about someone you love, learn more about it, and see what happens. I did not know it at the time, but it was the perfect way to combat or rather extinguish many potential arguments.
Try to find out why they love “that thing” so much.
We may always have patches of imperfect grass that call my husband to spend hours tending to it… that make me want to pull the hair out of my head…
but at least we can appreciate the beauty of its growth more…
…at least I can appreciate the passion and man behind it…
…and hopefully we can have a few barbecues in the meantime too…