“One evening, my mom and I were wrapping presents and I told her that when I get married, my husband is going to help clean, do laundry, cook, the whole bit. Then I asked her if she ever got tired of doing the laundry and dishes. She calmly told me it did not bother her. This was difficult for me to believe. I began to give her a lecture about this being the nineties and equality between the sexes."
“Mom listened patiently. Then, after setting the ribbon aside, she looked me square in the eyes and said, 'Someday, dear, you will understand.'”
"This only irritated me more. I didn't understand one bit. And so I demanded more of an explanation. Mom smiled, and began to explain, ‘In a marriage, there are some things you like to do and some things you don't. So, together, you figure out what little things you are willing to do for each other. You share the responsibilities. I really don't mind doing the laundry. Sure, it takes some time, but it is something I do for your dad. On the other hand, I do not like to pump gas. The smell of the fumes bothers me. And I don't like to stand out in the freezing cold. So, your dad always puts gas in my car. Your dad grocery shops and I cook. Your dad mows the grass, and I clean. I could go on and on.'”
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“'You see,' my mother continued, 'in marriage, there is no scorecard. You do little things for each other to make the other's life easier. If you think of it as helping the person you love, you don't become annoyed with doing the laundry or cooking, or any task, because you're doing it out of love.'”
"Over the years, I have often reflected on what my mom said. She has a great perspective on marriage. I like how my mom and dad take care of each other. And you know what? One day, when I'm married, I don't want to have a scorecard either."
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Todd was unusually quiet on the rest of the way home. After he shut off the engine, he turned to me and took my hands in his with a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye.
"Anytime you want," he said in a soft voice, "I'll pump gas for you."
By Marguerite Murer
The Scorecard Part 1 | 2
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