Medea’s Wise Words by Sharon O’Donnell

You know how sometimes it is the little things that can send you over the edge — in business or in a personal life — and definitely in a marriage. Usually it’s not about just the little things, but those are the things than often create the arguments. I almost started an argument with my husband today about one of those things that is small in the scope of everything else. He was out of town, and I was doing laundry when I saw that my favorite pair of white denim jeans — which I’d hung over the shower door to dry since they can’t go in the dryer — had stains on them. At first I thought it was grease, but upon closer examination I realized it was hair dye stains — brown hair dye stains like that my husband uses. Every so often he will buy a box and use it at home, prompting myself and even our sons to beg him not to do it since inevitably there would be some stains left on the floor and sometimes on towels. A few years ago, I put aside one towel and designated that as the ‘hair dye towel’ — and it worked okay. Then when we got our bathrooms renovated, my husband decided not to dye his hair at home anymore because he didn’t want to take the risk of messing up the bathroom floor or shower. So he started going to a barber shop for this; however, when he is in a hurry, every now and then, he will still resort to doing it at home himself.

I had noticed the box of Just for Men in the cabinet, but I was busy at work and forgot about it. But it came back to me when I saw the stains. As I’ve told my 3 sons and husband many times, it is so much easier for a man to replace favorite clothes than it is for women. They each have a favorite kind of pants or jeans, and when they need a new one, all they have to do is to go to the store and get the same size, same style that is listed right there for them. However, if I find a style of pants I like, rarely will I be able to buy that same type of pants again the next year because the style will have changed somehow. This pair of jeans I’d had for about four years, and I knew it would be hard if not impossible to replace them.

And it’s not just about the jeans themselves. I also felt that my husband should remember how we’d asked him not to get stains on things after dying his hair and should, at the very least, be particularly careful around my favorite white jeans. So when I first realized what the stains were, I felt anger well within me. Anger about this toward a man I’d be with 29 years (26 of them married) and raised 3 sons with. That being said, this anger seems silly, but at the time, this kind of anger is real — and is probably the instigator of many marital fights.

While I’d been doing laundry, I had the TV on in our bedroom and one of Tyler Perry’s Medea movies was on. I was paying partial attention to it as I was going in and out of our room into the laundry area at the top of our stairs. As I came in the door with my stained jeans and picked up the phone to call my husband, a scene from Medea caught my attention. She was talking to a couple of relatives of hers — a man and a woman in their 40s with two boys – who had been arguing all the time. She basically told them that marriage was tough, especially between the ages of 40 and 50 because 1. you have more physical problems 2. Your kids are at a challenging age where they are into the teen years 3. your parents also are getting older and have more needs and 4.there is more stress on the job due to money needs, etc. She reminded the couple to remember how crazy about each other they used to be and to remember to treat each other well.

To me, this message from Medea was for me. I took them to heart. It’s so easy to get upset about things in a relationship that really don’t matter. I had another pair of white jeans, but I didn’t like it as well as the damaged one. Yet, I reminded myself it was just denim. I put bleach on it and washed them, but the dye didn’t come out. Then I went on-line to try to find another pair like them, but to no avail. I tried to find the humor in the situation. I thought again of Medea’s wise words. I decided to go out and shop for another pair. Later tonight, I will be watching another Medea movie on NetFlix.

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