Sharing by John Kulm

She said, “You never wash the dishes.”
He said, “That’s not true at all. I’m sure I have.”
She said, “I have to take care of you like I’m your mother.”
She said, “I am not your mother.”
He took that as a personal attack.
He took it as an attack on his manhood
and a little disparaging about his mother.

And if he only knew
what he should have done—
and excuse my departure to the didactic—
he should have agreed,
and said, “Oh my god, you’re right.
I never wash the dishes.
Not one—not one little salad bowl.
What is wrong with me?”
He should have said, “How could I do this to you?
Are you supposed to do everything?
What the hell.”
He should have taken up the crusade
and ignited into the same anger as hers,
and said, “You aren’t my mother.
You are NOT my mother.
I have got to cut the apron strings before they
strangle the life out of our relationship.
You have opened my eyes to the mother complex
I have unconsciously projected onto your psyche.”
If he could see she wasn’t angry at him, but rather
she was angry at the toxic behavior interrupting the
tranquility of their relationship,
then their shared anger could transform into a passion
to fight whatever came between them,
to turn their little corner of the world into a habitable space.
A couple of fearlessly pissed-off lovebirds
without any regard for peace and harmony,
ready to wake up and wash the dishes.