“Your pancakes used to suck. They were horrible.”
So said my loving husband just two days ago, as I served him up some homemade pancakes for breakfast on a Sunday morning.
“You’ve mastered them now”, he said between eager mouthfuls, “They’re awesome”.
And he is so right. Before we were married and before I had children, my “pancakes” looked more like rpm microgroove vinyl records. Black. Flat. Hard. The only thing that made them even remotely edible, was a huge douse of maple syrup, and even then they sometimes hurt your throat going down.
But, like everything, after countless attempts at making them and tweaking this and adding that and taking away a dash of so-and-so, I can now make the most fluffy, moist and mouth-watering pancakes you’ve ever eaten. IHOP-worthy. When I announce that I’m making pancakes, everyone gets excited.
As we celebrated our wedding anniversary just a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about how many times my poor husband had to sit down at the kitchen bar and await being served disgusting pancakes before they started to actually resemble pancakes instead of drink coasters. I imagine that in the beginning of our marriage, each time I announced I was making homemade pancakes, he would inwardly groan and roll his eyes, but always belly up to the bar like a good sport.
I do believe at one point he actually said to me, “maybe we should just buy some Bisquik”.
But, he hung in there. He didn’t give up trying them and I didn’t give up trying to make them. Neither one of us threw in the towel on the pancakes and bought Eggos. I eagerly watched him try his first bite and he
dry-heaved gently stated that they were a bit too salty, or not quite finished, or that maybe he would just have some cereal. I sometimes felt embarrassed, or frustrated, even sometimes angry, but never resigned.
Pancakes are a lot like Marriages.
In the beginning, none of us knows what the hell we’re doing and we pretty much suck at everything: communicating, fighting, compromising, etc. It can sometimes feel like a clip from Dumb and Dumber. And I think both people have to have loads of patience while their partners work hard to get the hang of it. It’s like the blind leading the blind, and you just hope and pray that somewhere along the way, you learn that calling your husband an asshole probably isn’t the best way to get him to help you with the laundry.
In the beginning, I used to complain that he never did the dishes. As I was doing the dishes (how’s that for awesome communication?). No wonder he was confused. He used to complain that he had to do laundry, as though it were a chore relegated to me and me alone. No wonder I was livid. That was year 2. We were clueless and trying to rock-climb in flippers.
Now, I ask him to help me bang out the kitchen together, so that we can watch Orange Is The New Black. And when he’s sitting watching his favorite show, I give him a basket full of clothes to fold so he can make himself useful while he does nothing.
There is so much less nagging and blaming and arguing, simply because we’ve gotten more skilled at being married.
I’ve learned that, in marriage, patience is prudent. Both of us are rife with faults and, in a sense, even though we’ve both had to eat rock hard pancakes that left us more hungry than we were before, having stuck through it, there’s nothing more satisfying now than having those fluffy, moist, homemade pancakes soaked in warm maple syrup just melt in your mouth.