Before Krissy and I got married, we had a big fight over Kleenex. It may sound like an odd thing to fight over, but, for each of us, Kleenex was a very touchy topic.
I grew up with my mother’s words “Kleenex is a luxury” deeply engrained into my being and values. Why would you spend money on Kleenex when you could use toilet paper, paper towels, sandpaper, or your sleeve? I also have a pretty good immune system and can probably count the number of days I’ve spent with a runny sneezy nose on both hands.
Krissy grew up, well, using Kleenex and having Kleenex around. And her nose is runnier than mine.
So, at one point in our pre-marital relationship, she mentioned buying Kleenex, and I made some dumb comment about how “we won’t be spending our money on luxuries like Kleenex once we’re married.” It sounded really good in my head, and imagined her receiving it with a bit of laughter and acknowledgement that I, in fact, was correct.
That’s not exactly how the comment was received. Thankfully, we had some help from a friend who was walking us through the finer points of arguing well, and we quickly realized (she realized it quicker than I did, I lingered on the Kleenex thing for a while) that our tussle was actually about whether I could put aside my own interests and look out for and care for Krissy.
All that to say, 5 years later and two days into a cold/runny, sneezy nose, I’m really grateful (and my nose is grateful) that I learned early on that sometimes luxuries like Kleenex are worth investing in.