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I found myself looking at toast tongs on Amazon today. Toast wha? Yes, toast tongs, a simple device that allows you to remove toast or other hot food from the toaster and not burn your fingers or, if you’re like me, electrocute yourself by sticking a knife in there. I never imagined I’d be shopping for such a kitchen accessory, but I figured in addition to the whole avoiding electrocution thing it could help me in an ongoing squabble with Charlie.

If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship and shared space with someone, you know how these go. Person A in the relationship does or doesn’t do something, and it drives Person B bonkers. Instead of simply changing the behavior, Person A continues on his or her merry way, doing or not doing that thing, and Person B is so annoyed by it each time that there just is no overlooking it. Thus, the ongoing squabble.

I must admit that in the toaster squabble, I am Person A. Every time I toast an English muffin, I have to go rooting around in there with my knife–the toaster unplugged, of course–to get the darn thing out. While our last toaster would pop up finished food with gusto, our current one releases the toast in a sadly halfhearted way. Charlie is convinced that even though the toaster is unplugged, I am risking zapping myself by doing this.

Image courtesy of digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net.

Now, in an unrelated squabble, Person A (Charlie) always forgets to put his seat belt on, and Person B (me) has to remind, plead, nag, and threaten cow bites in order to get him to put the darn thing on. This squabble has easily been ongoing for two decades, if not more. So in a flash of inspiration, knife poised over the toaster as I listened to Charlie chastise me, I came up with a deal. If Charlie would put his seat belt on every time without me having to say anything, I would no longer stick knives in the toaster. He agreed.

Of course, I have no way of knowing if he’s holding up his end of the bargain since we’re not always together, but I have faith in the reminder bell (fondly nicknamed Nag) that goes off in Charlie’s car if someone in the front seat isn’t belted in. (Oh, how I wish my car had the same feature.) So far, he’s been pretty good about it in my car, so now I’m doing a little toast tong shopping.

We’ll continue to have these little squabbles about a variety of things, because we’re only human, and humans can be annoying. However, in the case of the toaster and the seat belt, when I think about it, it makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy. These particular squabbles are borne out of love and concern for one another, and I can’t quibble with that.