Little Murders* by Ginger Keller Gannaway
*A play by Jules Feiffer written in 1967
Marriage ain’t always easy. Three kids and 35 years together have made Gary and me balance understanding and comfort with annoyance and anger. Once when I yelled at Gary for leaving his used dental pics on the coffee table, he answered, “Sorry. I guess these ‘Little Murders’ really chip away at us, huh?” Then I thought how I let small annoyances turn into large complaints.
One Thanksgiving in an effort to stop me from obsessing about whether my husband would have enough leftover turkey gumbo when he returned from visiting his brother, Momma said to me, “Don’t you worry about Gary. Gary always takes care of Gary.” These days I sometimes extend that thought to“Gary only has eyes for Gary.” He, however, justifies his self-obsessiveness with, “I’m not a noticer.” ( Noticer – 1. The act of noting or observing; perception or attention:That detail escaped my notice. thefreedictionary.com)
So what if he ignores the whole world when he does his daily Sudoku or he can’t find ANYTHING in the fridge or he did not notice that he ate the last chocolate raspberry Haagen-Dazs bar from a box he “bought for me”? He also gives my 90 year-old dad countless rides to and from doctor appointments, always has a buck for the down-and-out guy at the stoplight, and cleans a stack of dirty dishes with no complaints.
His tendency to stop up a toilet, watch CNN constantly, dirty 23 dishes for one meal, leave his bike in the back of the car, and grab his mandatory 9 hours of sleep a night could be viewed differently.
- He’s developed expert bathroom plumbing skills.
- He stays well-informed on current events.
- He cooks with creativity and zeal.
- He stays fit and well-rested.
My mom’s dear friend once told me she used to fuss at her husband for leaving the kitchen cabinets wide open (one of Gary’s favorite hobbies). Then years after he had passed away, she looked at me with watery eyes and said, “What I wouldn’t give to walk in the kitchen and see every single cabinet door open!”
I used to believe all those Little Murders slowly smothered the love I had for Gary. Now I see they make pin pricks in my heart that make our love tough and real so we have enough strength to deal with the many “slings and arrows” of this life. Gary makes me smile at life’s idiosyncrasies and laugh at the love’s challenges.