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Love Means Always Putting The Lid On The Q-Tip Jar

Updated on May 14, 2010


As Valentine’s Day draws nigh (how poetic of me, right?) I thought it might be a good idea to let you in on some of the secrets of a successful relationship. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight or penguins, there seems to be some commonality when it comes to being in successful relationships that no one really talks about. Sure, they’ll tell you to remember your spouse’s birthday or your anniversary (since gays can’t marry we use many different substitutes for our anniversaries, more on that later) they’ll tell you to greet them at the door naked wearing Cling Wrap to keep things sexy but they don’t tell you how to really stay in a relationship for say twenty-one years such as my spouse and I have been in (completely monogamous, I always throw that in because most people seem to think gays can’t be monogamous so it’s like dog years, instead of the twenty-one years we’ve been together, it’s really sixty-one at this point – no, not sixty-nine, get your mind out of the gutter). So, much like I appointed myself my family’s Gaytriarch, I’m going to do what a Gaytriarch does for you too. I’m going to give you some relationship advice. Love means a lot of things but really love means always putting the lid on the Q-tip jar – Don’t Get Me Started!

When people inquire as to my relationship and how it has lasted so long, straightees often make the mistake of going to an old question that needs to be done away with like the Ford Pinto, “Who is the man and who is the woman?” You see in most gay relationships I know, the duties are not broken down into one person wearing the apron and pearls while the other goes out and earns the daily bread. I think this can be said for straight relationships too as most couples struggle with both working and raising children (in my particular case we’re raising cats, two of them, and not doing all that great as they’re spoiled monsters) but you get the idea. When it comes to longevity in a relationship you really need to figure out what your place is in that relationship to make it work and the old Donna Reed lines of the man does this and the woman does that do not apply anymore (well not if you’re not living on a Mormon compound raising children like at a puppy farm). If you look hard enough, I think you’ll find that there are certain things you do that your spouse may not recognize you with an award or dozen roses but that they appreciate, even if they don’t know they appreciate it. Case in point for my household is that we have a glass cylindrical jar that holds Q-tips in our bathroom. Every day when I go into the bathroom, there is the lid to the jar, sitting beside the jar. Now as you know, Q-tips are small little cotton swabs that not only pick dirt up from everything from your ears to small electronic equipment but they also will pick up dirt and dust from the air, thus the cover to the jar that contains them. So the ritual in my house takes place every day. While he’s in the bathroom the lid comes off and when I go into the bathroom, I put the lid on. Not only do I put the lid on but I refill the jar. I don’t know that he’d even know where the Q-tips are to refill them to be honest because he’s never had to do it in the lifetime of our life together, nor will he, this is my job. While some may say, “that’s the woman’s job” I hardly think it can be boiled down to a gender classification when we’re just talking Q-tips here.

While some people might focus on the age old argument of, “Why should I always have to put the lid on the Q-tips?” in most cases it’s not about the lid at all. They’re really upset about something else or something having to do their own insecurities and they’re using an absurd piece of mundane everyday life to create an argument. People say, “Well, it was the little things that all added up to a big thing that made me not be able to be with him anymore.” WRONG! It was not dealing with the fact that instead of realizing that you’re going to put the lid on the Q-tips and he’s going to do all of the grocery shopping, you’re not dealing with the emotional side of things properly so you’re using the “little things” as a coward’s way out of the relationship.

It might sound ridiculous to you but I actually smiled the other day when I went into the bathroom and put the lid on the Q-tip jar for the eleven billionth time. Why you ask? Because when that lid is off, I know he’s home and I know that he probably didn’t think twice about the fact that the last time he was in there the lid was on, then he took it off and then it magically was back on the next time he went in there. He didn’t think about it probably but every time I put that lid back on, I’m showing him how much I love him and letting him know that he doesn’t have to do everything, that we have a partnership and some of the stuff he’s going to handle and some of the stuff I’m going to handle. So now that I think about it, maybe those people who say, “It was the little things that all added up to a big thing” had it right. I may not come in with cards and candy every day, I may not do the grocery shopping or cooking or a billion other things like he does (that shows me how much he loves me) but the lid will always be on the Q-tips, the cat food will always be in the cupboard and a I’ll do a million other little things too that will all add up to a big thing, a relationship where both of us can be ourselves and be with one another in a loving relationship for a very, very long time. Love means always putting the lid on the Q-tip jar – Don’t Get Me Started!

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      Chrissy 6 years ago

      I love it, the little things do add up to the big things. Nice article! (: