It’s the little things

We have all heard about how it’s the little things that can destroy a marriage. Little things that, like Chinese water torture, are incessant. “Why does he leave his underwear on the floor? Six feet from the hamper?” Drip. “Why can’t she squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom?” Drip…Drip… “Why does he leave his whiskers in the sink?” Drip…GAH!!
“Good” little things, on the other hand, create a bond that helps hold a relationship together.
My grandmother introduced me to good little things when I was, oh, ten or eleven. She lived a mile from us and I was welcome in her home any time. It was a safe place for me, quiet and steady. In her garage, just outside the kitchen door was a shelf, and on it sat cardboard six pack holders with glass bottles of Coke and Dr. Pepper.
She’d look at me and say, “Let’s have a snack.” I’d get the townhouse crackers out of the cabinet and set them on the counter by the oven. While I stepped out to the garage for two cokes, she’d get a block of cheese out of the refrigerator. I’d get two glasses, fill them with ice, and slowly pour the cokes while she carefully cut cheddar cheese into slices that just fit onto the crackers perfectly. She put them under the broiler in her oven and watched them carefully, pulling them out when the cheese was just melted and the crackers were golden brown. We’d sit at opposite ends of her kitchen table and savor our snack. One day she looked at me, grinned, and asked, This is our thing, isn’t it?” That was her way of saying “I love you.”
That’s what our good little things say. “I love you.”
John initiated our first “thing” on one of our early dates. He packed a cooler with cold beer and Ritz crackers topped with  pimiento cheese on some and cream cheese with olives on others.. I don’t remember where we went, but I remember eating and drinking these goodies in his truck. He declared it a “truck picnic.”
We have literally had truck picnics all over the country. When we drove across the US from Georgia to our new home in Montana, we’d stop in the late afternoon each day at a Cracker Barrel. I’d pull the Tahoe up next to the Hertz Penske moving van he was driving. I’d go in, order our meals and drinks. I’d climb into the warm cab of the van and we’d truck picnic, with Wooly Booger, our elderly fox terrier between us, enjoying tidbits.
These days, our favorite truck picnic is chicken strips from Dairy Queen. Often when we are in town running errands, we will whip through the drive through to pick up our lunches. There’s a shady out-of-the-way parking area, or if we are feeling fancy, we drive two miles to Woodland Park. These days Belle is in the back seat, enjoying snippets of chicken and fries. Truck picnic.
Another “thing” is our secret pet nicknames. John has a penchant for creating nonsensical words, and he has dubbed each of us with our own secret special names. I can’t tell you what they are, because then they would not be secret, but perhaps you have your own secret names?
When Georgia started the lottery, John began a new thing of putting some scratch off lottery tickets in my Christmas stocking. One year I thought I’d return the favor. I was shocked to discover that there were scratch off tickets that cost TEN DOLLARS. I went home and asked,”Did you know they sell TEN DOLLAR scratch off tickets? What crazy person pays ten dollars for a scratch off… lottery….. One look at his face told me what was waiting for me in my stocking. Oops.
We also have a thing for collecting malapropisms. Two of our favorites hearken from his law enforcement days. You’ve heard the phrase “He bled like a stuck pig?” One day another officer was telling him about a call he’d responded to. He told John that the victim bled “like a stuffed hog.” On a call of his own, he showed up for a burglary report. The victim reported that his house had been “ramshacked.”
Over twenty-six years, these good little things grow and expand. Ideally, they outweigh those other “little things ” BTW, yes, John and I also have our petty “little things,” but they are not the ones I mentioned earlier. For privacy, I did not list ours.
What about you? In the comments below, will you share some of your good little things?