Marriage – Water From Your Sprinklers

by Sherry Riter in Communication,Marriage series,Relationship

water sprinkler
water spraying sprinkler

I’m not telling this story to slam my husband, but our relationship isn’t perfect and I’m sure yours isn’t either. This concept surely isn’t a huge secret. We are all human and have blips on the screen, bumps in the road, cracks in the roof – however you want to characterize it. Basically, we have bad days and this is a perfect illustration, so I’m going to use it.

Besides, my husband doesn’t read my blog any more anyway, so it will be our little secret.


I can name the times on one hand that I’ve locked my keys in my car and that is quite an accomplishment if you consider my age.

So picture this….

Alyssa and I had just spent an hour and a half with a photographer who is going to take her senior picture. Then I went to my therapy appointment where the good doctor was golden bronze from his week at the beach with his family. I don’t think I heard anything he said for an hour because I sat coveting his tan.

Sorry that I have so much tan envy. Yes, I’ve got it bad. I want to be brown if only for an hour.


I knew I needed to pick up my prescriptions, but I hadn’t talked to Mom yet and it was already 7:30 p.m.

While sitting in front of the store, surrounded by a semi-dark parking lot with my car doors locked, I talked to my mother for about ten minutes. Then I hung up, stuffed my purse under my arm, opened the car door, stepped out into the stifling heat, pushed the car lock down and slammed the door closed at the same moment that I spied my keys sprawled across the passenger seat.

I don’t know why, but I felt panic!

I immediately called my husband and he thought I was joking. Eventually, I convinced him that I really was locked out of my car!

So the white knight should come riding up on his stallion and save the damsel in distress, right?


Remember, it’s not always white lace and roses.

Tom eventually drove to be with me and called the guy-who-unlocks-car-doors-for-distracted-people. He got so mad (strike #1 because I was already stressed) when the dispatcher ask him if the keys were on the driver or passenger seat that I had to finish the conversation. Eventually I was told that the guy-who-unlocks-car-doors-for-distracted-people would be with us in an hour which meant that Tom and I had to….wait.

I got in Tom’s car and preceded to wait.

Quality time, right? Please, don’t make me roll my eyes at you the way Alyssa does when I remind her to “be good” when she goes out with her friends.

Let’s stop the story there for a moment and talk about a few facts:

  1. I work as hard as my husband
  2. I don’t demand a lot of him
  3. I have only locked my keys in my car a few times in my lifetime
  4. I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life lately
  5. I didn’t lock my keys in the car on purpose
  6. I’m a good wife
  7. I do many things for my family because I love them
  8. I am often inconvenienced by my family’s requests which I perform anyway, but often don’t get thanked

Back to the story…

Tom complained with words and body language the whole time we sat in the car and I felt like a huge aggravation in his life. (strike #2)

Regardless of the topic, he found fault with me and made sure that I knew I fell short of the mark. (strike #3)

By the time the guy-who-unlocks-car-doors-for-distracted-people got to us, I was leaning on my car alone. Tom was parked several aisles away in a mostly empty parking lot in the dark. Obviously, the interior of his car was too unpleasant for me. (strike #4)

Pause for a second.

Maybe you are wondering what the heck a sprinkler picture has to do with this story. I’m going to tell you, so don’t stress the gray matter.

Our actions affect everyone we come in contact with every day.

I lost my keys which affected:

  1. my husband
  2. the man on the phone at the 1-800 car-unlock service
  3. the woman on the phone that dispatched our service call
  4. the guy that unlocked my car

Just like a sprinkler that spits water all over the surrounding grass, our words, actions, reactions and nonverbal body language also touch other people’s lives all day long.

Let’s keep going and take it off pause.

At one point of the conversation with Tom in his car, I asked him, “Do you treat people like this at work?”

“No,” he said quite disgustedly, “I’m a professional at work.”

So let me get this right….

Tom had rather treat everyone that he doesn’t know really great because he wants to keep that professional image, but since I am just the lowly wife who keeps the home clean, has supported him while he has been jobless, shops for the groceries, cooks, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, it is okay to treat me with disrespect? (strike #5)

Something doesn’t look right about that picture.

Think about it you all…you got married because you LOVE each other and WANT to spend the rest of your lives together or that is what you said anyway. Don’t you think the right thing to do is SUPPORT each other ALL THE TIME? I mean, really, are your co-workers going to be standing by you when you are on your deathbed or will it be your spouse? If you spouse was abducted by aliens right now, would you feel guilty because you didn’t get to say one last apology for the brutal words you left at parting?

Be careful with the water from your sprinklers. Make sure the water doesn’t shoot out too hard or that you deprive the grass of the needed wetness to quench it’s thirst in the sweltering heat.

Are your water droplets welcomed or do people and your spouse want to put on raincoats and hold umbrellas to keep them away?

I’m sure I could have thought of another story to illustrate my point, but I bet you will remember this one a whole lot longer and it might actually make enough of an impact to motivate and alter poor behavior. Besides, the next day he apologized and I forgave him. Yes, that quickly and now it is over only to be remembered by millions of people on the internet scattered all over the world and in “my journal blog book” that will be printed for my daughter at the end of the year.


Yes, those are fuzzy sockies with green pajamas


Propping my feet on the desk and
feeling quite vindicated,

The Redhead Riter

I guess I better repent now…

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail October 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I love this!!! Great point but the humor has me smiling.

Some of my best posts are talking about my husband and his grand schemes. I am sure he could tell equally funny tales of me…Thank goodness, he doesn't have a blog!

Granny always said not to go to sleep mad. I try to follow that but some nights…


2 Donna1264 October 5, 2010 at 12:22 am

OMG! I love this post so much. I thought of my husband and myself whilst reading it and couldn't help but be reminded of something sort of similar, but not really. I don't cook, my husband is way better at it than I am and if there are multiple steps to take in the process, he graciously takes them. I, on the other hand, if it requires I do more than one thing other than stir what's in the pot, I refuse to cook it. Gravy, fine…mac & cheese from the box that I can handle…yes, I know, it requires more than a simple step and I go above and beyond to make it taste like gourmet homemade mac & cheese for my seven year old, don't ask me why, but I do…however, I digress. I successfully made Farina for my father this morning, with a little help from my husband on how much milk according to how much farina we had left over – you know 4 to 1 ratio…etc., etc. Anyway, it turned out perfectly and I added some milk and sugar and a little pat of butter and served it to my father. He actually ate the whole thing! I actually did good making it! LOL – I might be willing to try it again…and I may even remember 1 3/4 cups milk to 3/4 cups farina…or something like that…


3 Linda Fawcett October 5, 2010 at 12:37 am

I love your analogy! I was married to a man who was angry much of the time. A counselor told me that I should be happy that he felt comfortable enough around me to show his anger. I tried to understand this. And then there is always the part where God says we must forgive.
Your forgiving heart is very refreshing. Thanks for sharing.


4 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 5, 2010 at 1:24 am

you should become a counselor (and I'm not taking a swipe at Tom). You have great insight and give practical advice. byw, is that bella in front of your computer screen or fuzzy slippers?


5 The Redhead Riter October 5, 2010 at 1:28 am

LOL Teresha! It is fuzzy purple slippers to keep my tootsies warm and toasty! ? Thanks for the compliment. I always wanted to be a counselor and since I am so young, when Alyssa graduates I may go get a degree to do just that…it would mean no more Excel spreadsheets. Can I give them up? LOL


6 Kate October 5, 2010 at 3:52 am

Great points! When the Hubs and I went through Foster Care classes, one thing that really stuck with me was that we were told that we should treat family like house guests. How much nicer are we to strangers or mere acquaintances than we are to our own family members? Your post reminded me of that. We do need to treat our loved ones at least as good as we do people we barely know.


7 Holly October 5, 2010 at 6:41 am

GREAT post!! Well said! Why is it people hurt the ones they love/live with the most??? Treating strangers better than loved ones is just… WRONG!! But it happens ALL the time… In some forms, in about EVERY home. I like the sprinkler analogy, too! ;D

When we first got married, I locked the keys a few times… Hubby started finding a place to wire a key where I could find it… Funny, after he did that, I never needed it. He doesn't anymore… But we do have extra keys in a cabinet to every vehicle so that if anyone calls, we just have to bring the key. ;D


8 Paula October 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

Oh fuzzy purple slippers? Is it that cold already in VA?
You have a very good point. I am glad he has the awareness and apologized. I am glad you are such a loving soul and forgave straightaway.
BTW, I love Excel!
Hugs arcoss the pond


9 Lou Belcher October 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

Yes, it always amazes me that we often treat strangers better than those we are supposed to love. I never have understood it. The only thing I've come up with is that we feel so comfortable with those we love that we allow ourselves to let our true feelings out… That can't be right, can it?


10 CinfulCinnamon October 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I know you were stressed. So was I at the end of your story. I felt like I needed to run over there to shave your legs and errrr feet….LOL Isn't it great? The relief we can feel just writing? Great analogy…



11 katlupe October 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

My husband recently did this himself when he went to visit his father. He managed to get the door unlocked himself because he had access to some tools at his father's. I used to carry an extra key in my purse just in case. Now I am thinking of doing that again.

Shame on your hubby! Doesn't he ever need you to do something for him? What if you treated him the same as he treated you? Knowing you though, you wouldn't do that to him.


12 Nick October 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm

ALWAYS kept a spare outside the car (use one of those magnetic holders). It's worth its weight in gold.


13 Green Monkey October 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm

at the time I am reading this… I have no idea where my american express card is. I'm trying to stay calm. I looked everywhere, it appears to have vanished. I thought about calling to cancel the card but the minute I do that it will reappear. instead……I'm reading blogs. I haven't read you in some time. sorry, I get distracted.

really enjoyed your message. the story pissed me off, but that was perfectly played on your part.

glad you made up and that life is good again.

i often pick on my husband for not communicating his emotions but when it comes to his actions, he's always extremely giving and loving. I won't go into details but lets just say that I have no idea how to start the dishwasher.

okay…now to look for that card.

Best to you, MONkey ME


14 The Redhead Riter October 6, 2010 at 5:25 am

Paula, it was quite brisk here this morning. No matter what the weather, my body is hot while my hands and feet are cold. I've got a weird body LOL


15 kelly October 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm

oh the similarities in our husbands and the disrespect and lack of common courtesies they have gained towards the women who love and care the most.
i am glad you made it home safe.


16 4W October 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I could totally relate to this post as last night, I wanted to have an impromptu date night, picked my husband up at the train and headed to our favorite pub. I asked him if he wanted to split a burger and he informed me he was not hungry but he would sit and have a beer. OK, thats fine, so off we went. I sat at the bar, he stood behind me. I ordered a beer and a burger, he ordered a seltzer. So at the end of my meal, the bartender said to him do you take your wife out to dinner and stand there and watch her eat and then pay for her meal often. While I found this funny in an awkward sort of way, he did not find it amusing. Funny, he couldn't understand what the big deal was, but to tell you the truth, his conversation matched his mood and even today I am feeling a little jilted.
I wish I could just get him to admit something is bothering him. "Whats wrong?" "Nothing" "Yeah right, I have been married to you long enough XXX(interupted) Yes, you have been married to me long enough" "What?" no response. OK, should I worry? Nah, he is in a funk and I refuse to give in to his stomp to own his grief. I refuse to turn on the waterworks that will definitely start the sprinkler. Thanks for this post!


17 Mel~ @ March 16, 2011 at 2:54 am

Yeah, My umbrella is open all the time. I think it has turned to steel and I have no idea where the unlock mechanism is.


18 Masnoh Wilson May 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

Love your blog…you write from the heart! I can be that sprinkler…God help me with relationships…the hardest thing in the world. Thank you for being so brutally honest, and by the way I am single:). Hopefully I’ll do better the next time around!:)


19 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 3:59 am


I’m glad you found the post helpful. I’m sure next time will be better! Remember that saying, “Older and wiser!” with the stress on the wiser! 😉


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