We started with a spider monkey. It became a nuisance until it grew to the size of a silverbacks Gorilla. No, I’m not actually talking about animals here so there’s no need to contact PETA, no animals were harmed in writing this blog.
Well, except for that spider I squished and insects and arachnids do not qualify as animals in my book. They have the entire outdoors to run free. When they cross the barrier into my domicile, I can not be held responsible for the consequences of crossing into an arachnid free zone. It would be the same thing if I crossed a fence onto a government testing site – enter at your own risk. Survival of the fittest, and biggest. That spider was no match for my New Balance tread!
Anyway back to the gorilla: we all have those pink elephants that we know are there, we just talk around them but never acknowledge. It takes someone new and unlearned in the practice of ignoring the elephant to bring up the uncomfortable topic. It started small, hence the metaphorical spider monkey. It was manageable, back then. But we let it grow. Ever notice how some things grow even though you don’t consciously feed them?
It’s like the weeds in my garden. Oh sure, I have to work to tend my tomatoes, but the Johnson grass pops up over night and invades with a voracity of kudzu! The gorilla is like that. It’s the kudzu gorilla!
We’ve managed to function around it, ignore it, overlook it, we’ve even trained ourselves to block it from our periphery. But it’s on the move again, having a tremendous growth spurt. I swear someone snuck in while I slept and fed the thing. It’s now morphing into an elephant. We can rebuild him. We can make him stronger, faster, oh wait that was the six million dollar man. But you get the point.
My daughter’s friend comes over and innocently blurts out “Mrs. M, what’s with the . . . (gorilla)?”
I was at a loss for words! You do realize how monumental that is right?
After a few seconds of picking up my dropped jaw and kick starting my brain again, I found a word “Uh, uh, uh” Brill! Quite the conversationalist!
After a big swig of my Gatorade, I finally got my brain and mouth to work together and in embarrassment admitted what was the “deal” with our gorilla. It’s a long, long story. One that is tediously ignorant in two people feuding over the small stuff. Anyone ever see the episode of “Raymond” where he and his wife fought over the suitcase? Yeah, it was on that level.
After realizing how foolish the whole matter was, after I heard myself explain to this naive 16-year-old that didn’t understand marital politics, it sounded petty and ridiculous at best.
With an exaggerated sigh, I slumped my shoulders and forced myself to move the gorilla to the garage, where it would go out in the trash. It had been in the way for nearly six months. I had asked HIM to do it, and He should have, six months ago. I realize that none of you probably EVER deal with stuff like this, right? I have to admit that after it was in the garage, I felt tremendously relieved. Why had it become such an issue? Why had I ever let it go so long?
I’m usually the one that rolls up my sleeves and says “Give it to me and I’ll do it.” I take responsibility, do what needs to be done because it needs to be done, normally. But this gorilla, this benevolent thing that grew from a simple spider monkey – I made it an issue.
This morning when I left for a meeting, I noticed the ‘gorilla morphing into elephant’ sitting in the spot where the trash cans belong. The trash cans were at the curb for our usual pick up. What’s the deal?
The peaceful calm that I had achieved by doing the long overdue grown up thing and removing the gorilla was now like a needle scratching across a vinyl record. HE had some ‘splaining to do! I was livid!
The hubs called at noon and you can bet your bottom dollar that the subject of the gorilla was brought up by yours truly. His response: “Well, I had to laugh. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away because, . . . well, we’ve both been ridiculous about it. I was thinking maybe we should keep it as a reminder to never let things get this out of control ever again.”
Awww! That was code for “I’m sorry” for those who don’t know about marital politics. After he said that I couldn’t be angry any longer. He was right, we’d both been childish and immature. We’d both allowed it to become the “pink Elephant”.
As I surrender to the warm fuzzies of my Dayquil induced slumber I want to leave you with this thought: we all make mountains out of mole hills; spider monkeys into gorillas. It’s so easy to take the low road and yet sometimes impossibly difficult to choose the high road. Especially when you’re the one who is usually responsible and you just want someone else to step up to the plate this once.
Being responsible isn’t always fun, it’s doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it just takes one person to move an inch to turn the pink elephant into a monument to keep for ages to come. I did the right thing finally, and even though I had the wrong attitude, it turned out to be a good thing after all.
Either kill the gorilla or bronze the elephant!