WARNING! THIS IS AN EMOTIONALLY EXPLICIT ACCOUNT OF A MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
Why do cats matter so much to me? Is it because I love cats? (I love cats! I think they taste just like chicken…) Hardly. It’s because I love my wife. Let me explain.
A few months ago I was pondering how to serve my wife better. I’ve consistently taught younglings either considering marriage or divorce that if a husband could discipline his mind to wake up every morning with the first thought being, “what I could I do to serve my wife today,” they would always enjoy a healthy marriage relationship. So, one lazy evening, from the comfort of a fully reclined laziboy, I casually asked my wife “Hon, what is the one household task you truly abhor?” She fired back quickly-“Cleaning out the cats’ litter boxes.” From that day on, from the comfort of a fully reclined laziboy, I swore that as long as I was in town, I would accept responsibility for cleaning out the litter boxes. For her. The wife of my eternities. It was a small thing that would mean a lot.
Why? Why would it mean so much to her? Because of the domino theory, which was initially applied to explain Communist insurgencies in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 60s. The domino theory stated that if Vietnam fell to communist insurgent forces, then the revolution would spread to Thailand, then Malaysia, Singapore, the Phillipines, etc. When applied to marital relationships in our house, however, it would go something like this: wifey carrying a load of wash down to the basement would glance at the litter boxes and find them suspiciously clean and fecies-free. She would smile for a moment, internally register a small degree of thanks for the gift of time and freedom from smelly shoveling she had been given, and continue on to the washer and dryer with a little bit of lift in her step. Later that day, the next domino would fall when I would come home from work and find her happier than usual. That would prompt me to help her with the dishes, and she would return the favor with a huge bowl of my favorite pasta chicken salad the next day, and well… the rest is history. More dominoes would continue to fall and we would live happily ever after.
However, no dominoes fell because I kept forgetting to do my part. I was letting the national security of our nation and my own selfish desires for 6 hours of sleep every night get in the way of remembering to clean out the litter boxes. My only recourse was to force myself to start thinking about the task on the drive home from work, with the hope that by the time I actually arrived home 60 minutes later, I would actually remember.
And I did. More dominoes will fall.