A few years ago I took a day off work to deep clean our carpets. (I really know how to have a good time, huh?) I rented a steam cleaner from the local Home Depot, and went to work on the stubborn spots on the stairs, the ground in dirt in the hallway, and the strange dark spots on the rugs. There was still an hour or two left on the rental when I finished, so I decided to clean the couch’s upholstery too.
I pulled the pillows off the couch, cleared out the year’s worth of quarters and food remnants hiding under the cushions, and then started my work with the steam cleaner. I’d just about finished up when I noticed something dark pushing up through the tight little crevice where the back of the couch met the seat. I gave that mysterious something dark a little tug … and out popped a black, lacy bra. Size 36 DD.
Now if you know me, or have even seen a photo, then you know that the only double Ds in my life are Dunkin Donuts. This. Was. Not. My. Bra.
Holy crap, right? Because you know immediately where my mind went. And it wasn’t pretty. How the heck did that thing get wedged into my couch? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the answer.
And just as quickly as I went into panic mode, the answer came to me. I knew exactly where the bra came from. That couch was a Craigslist special that I picked up from a house full of Wrigleyville college boys five years before. And boy do I wish I’d steam cleaned it earlier.
Here’s what it boils down to: I trust Cliff explicitly. I won’t say he’s never looked at another woman (that’s probably testosteronely impossible), but he’s certainly never brought one home to our couch. He values fidelity as much as I do. And while it’s too arrogant to say our marriage is affair-proof, I’d still bet everything I’ve got on it.
But in an unguarded moment, all that trust temporarily slips away.
This isn’t just about sex. That may be the area where trust is most valued, but in reality we communicate our trust in one another in a thousand different ways. I need to trust his parenting ability enough not to tell him what to feed the children or how to clean their stuff. He needs to trust my technical skills enough to communicate exactly what the cable company’s customer service rep said.
Do we sometimes let each other down? Sure. But mostly we earn each other’s trust. Now those college boys in Wrigleyville: I wouldn’t trust them at all.
Photo credit: Adapted from Anathea, via Flickr.