Friday, August 1, 2014

Keyhole Vision

We live in a very old house.  It still has the original doors. The kind of doors that don't shut correctly. Don said it is something about the temperature and the humidity bla bla bla.  All I know is that our doors don't shut.  They also don't lock.  Apparently in 1931 kids had enough sense to not just walk into the bathroom when someone was in there.  What is weird is that there are key holes.

This gives me the impression that they either used them to keep people out of the room, or in it. Either way it's kind of creepy.  I suppose some day we will get new doors, but Don is adamant about keeping the original ones.  The doorknobs are beautiful glass. When they aren't sticky, they are quite
stunning.  The people building the house didn't splurge on much, but by God they were going to have nice doorknobs.  They were on to something because 70 years after it was built a young couple fell in love with the house and focused so much on the doorknobs that they didn't notice the parts of the house that were falling apart around them.

The house has been a lot of work.  For 13 years we have been trying to get the place as we want it or need it, but by the time one project is finished another one emerges out of nowhere.  We grumble and stress but it is worth it to us to maintain it's original integrity and respect the intention of the house and the person who built it and choose the glass doorknobs.  It's easy to find the faults, but it is the small details that make it lovable.

Don was gone for six weeks for work. That is a lot of home projects he missed. I kept the house standing, but I missed him.  Yet, he has been back for about a week and I don't think he knows it.

I have a tendency to look at him with keyhole vision.  I focus on one thing, possibly two that he is doing wrong.  And because I can only have a narrow view, I can't focus on what he is doing right.

Yesterday I made this very clear.   When I met Don one of the things I adored about him was his laid back, easy going personality.  These traits were his glass doorknobs.  Not implying that he was falling apart everywhere else or anything.  But what didn't occur to me was that when we got married, he was still going to be the easy going, laid back person, but now my husband.   And these same traits I loved are what drive me cah-ray-zy.

Yesterday, we drove to Chicago and didn't leave as early as I wanted to because as I was loading everyone into the car I heard the blender.  He decided that this was a good time to make a fresh fruit smoothie. This includes cutting, cleaning, and blending fruit.  It's not a (let me grab a drink and go) type of thing. It's a 10 step process.   In addition to that, he decided to purchase an i-zoom pass but not register it.  We both know it's time we stop borrowing my parents pass, but who knew it took 3 hours to register a new one before you could use it? Well…...I did.  Which led to us searching the house (piggy banks) for change for the tolls. Again, not the thing you want to do when you have four boys waiting unattended in the car and now you are hearing screams because someone has spit in someone's ear.

You get the idea. I admit,  I'm not the world's most organized person, but I had packed a lunch for each of the boys including Don, and gotten them dressed and out the door faster than it was taking him to make this damn smoothie.  The first hour of the trip (it takes two) I let him (and the entire car) know how unhappy I was. At one point I even got tired of hearing myself complain but because I wasn't getting any sort of reaction I just kept talking.

By the time we arrived  I had managed to make us all in a bad mood.   When we entered the Shedd Aquarium Don took us up to a different door.  He had planned on purchasing a membership so we could go the entire year.  He had been searching for the email before we left and that is what was taking so long.  When we sat down for lunch, I realized I hadn't packed one for myself, he pulled out the smoothie he had made me.   I was so focused on what he was doing wrong that I couldn't see what he was doing right. Just like the house, its the little things that make a man lovable.

I was mad that I had to figure this out myself and felt like a complete ass, but that is where his laid back attitude is a blessing.  However, the i-zoom pass was still his fault.

It isn't just about him. If I focus on what goes wrong in the day like, my son almost falling into a stingray exhibit, I prevent the chance of seeing what went right . Like, the above picture that captured the tender moment when I was walking with Jack, so engrossed in conversation I didn't know it was taken.  Who knows if I would have even been able to focus on that moment if I hadn't seen the picture?

The person who took it wasn't viewing me with keyhole vision and it shows.

It is impossible to get an accurate impression of entire room if you are only looking through a keyhole. But when you open the door you can see it all.

It all depends on what you choose to look for. If you can find all that is wrong, chances are you can expand your view and find double what is right.


  1. Noelle, this is a delectable post. I can relate to it ten-fold. Hard to break the habit, but now all I have to do is think "keyhole" and that may help. Beautiful.

  2. Noelle: I hope a lot of married couples read this.