I can’t go to sleep with the closet door open.
I can’t function without my morning shower.
I can’t eat bread after it’s been in the fridge.
A few weeks ago my husband, Chris, decided it was time to get a new chair for his office. Thinking this was a good opportunity for some family fun we loaded up our girls and headed to Staples where we played a game of Goldilocks by testing every chair.
“This one is too hard.”
“This one is too soft.”
“This one is just right.”
At last Chris found his perfect chair and proudly brought it home. Together, he and our daughter, Aletheia, assembled the chair and put it in place.
A few days later, after working on our desktop computer, I was surprised when Chris called me down to his office. I could tell he wasn’t happy.
“Did you leave my chair this way?” He asked.
“Um, what way?” I said.
“With the arm of the chair stuck under the desk. You need to be careful not to leave it this way when you get up. I’m afraid it’s going to leave a crease.”
“Okaaay,” I said, trying not to laugh. In my mind I was convinced he was crazy, but I knew better than to say so.
A few days passed.
“JENNIFER…,” his voice bellowed from the depths of his office. “Can you come here please?”
He stood beside his chair. “What’s up?” I asked.
“You did it again,” he said.
“I did what again?”
(Blank stare from Chris.)
“Oh, you mean the chair?” I said.
“Yes I mean the chair. You didn’t listen to a thing I said, did you? You better take this seriously. If you don’t stop I’m not going to let you sit here anymore.”
“Okay, okay,” I said. “I didn’t mean to. I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry. I’ll try to remember next time.”
Chris and I have been married eleven years. I thought by now I had discovered all his quirks and that he had discovered mine. As it turns out we both have a lot of learning to do. And this hoopla over the chair is no exception.
By the third time I used the new chair Chris’s message had gotten through loud and clear. When I was done with my work at the computer I pushed the chair away from the desk and stuck the following note to the armrest:
I love our life! I love your quirks. I love you!!! (And if respecting your chair is one way to show you, then as you have spoken so shall it be!)
In the end Chris’s quirkiness over his prized office chair taught me a valuable lesson. Loving my husband means loving his quirks; it means making something that is important to him important to me too.
It is a reflection of the way God loves us, wholly and completely. (God, who, created each and every one of us. God, who, knows all our quirks.)
When someone you love drives you crazy, when their quirks make you want to strangle them with something other than a bear hug try looking at them through the eyes of love.
Through eyes that love the whole of the person… office chairs and quirks included.