We are standing in the bathroom, brushing our teeth and discussing the strange stain on the white soap dispenser.
“I don’t know,” I tell him. “It’s some weird red thing. All I know is it definitely wasn’t like that when I left this morning.”
I wasn’t that concerned about it. It was just a talking point. But now he seems to think it’s my mess. And I’m absolutely sure it is not. And this is a hill I’m suddenly prepared to die on. All I really know is it’s red and weird and definitely was not there this morning. He turns on the light.
“It’s not red. Look, it’s purple.”
“It’s not purple; I literally—” Oh. It’s purple. “What could possibly be purple?”
Then I remember my morning. I was on my way to give a presentation about The Smile Project, wearing a blue and white dress and brown open-toed sandals. While brushing my teeth, I noticed my chipped purple nail polished toes. So I grabbed my purple polish, filled in the patches, and was out the door.
It’s my mess. I step closer to the sink, tucking my bare feet under the counter. I rush to the bedroom determined to hide my toes under a blanket before he can put two and two together.
I prop myself up with my pillow and grab my book, feeling perfectly satisfied that I had gotten away with it. I wouldn’t have to admit I was wrong!
A voice tickles in my ear: But what if you did?
I know it’s just nail polish. I know it doesn’t matter that much. I know I can clean it off in the morning. I know he does not care at all.
But I’m proud and I’m stubborn and I don’t want to admit that I am wrong.
But what if I do?
He walks in.
“I have to tell you something.”
I snake my leg from under the covers.
“I have purple nail polish.”
And there is laughter.
I tell him I rushed to bed to cover the evidence.
More laughter. Joy.
Maybe some arguments aren’t worth winning.
Or maybe, by letting go of my pride and stubbornness, I did win after all. Maybe, the real victor is the one who gets to end an evening in laughter and love.