In general, Matt wakes up earlier than I do each morning.
This morning, I heard him in the kitchen, putting away the dishes (how sweet is that?). Even though we try to divide our chores evenly, we still occasionally do the other person's chores for them.
Then I heard a dainty dish break. And I thought, "Oh no. It's our china! We've only had my grandmother's china for a month and we've already broken a dish! She had that for more than 40 years and she only broke one obscure piece!" We used our china for the Retro Prom on Saturday night, as well as the Time Bank orientation on Sunday, so it was all over our kitchen.
And then I remembered a story I read during tutoring yesterday (on Mondays and Wednesdays I tutor three 5th graders in reading for an hour): Martina the Beautiful Cockroach.
When Martina is 21 days old, it is time for her to marry. Her grandmother pulls her aside and teaches her how to use the "coffee test" to discern whether or not someone is a worthwhile suitor.
When a suitor arrives, Martina offers him coffee. As she serves it, she intentionally spills it on his shoes to test his temper. The angrier he reacts, the more ill-suited he is to be a good husband.
I won't spoil the good ending for you!
As I lay in bed, I forced myself to acknowledge that china is china. It's just a dish. I reminded myself that Matt didn't break it on purpose. He was actually being incredibly generous with his time by doing one of my chores! I reminded myself that at least we were actually using our china. It's better to use it and accidentally break it than to leave it in the cupboard perfectly preserved.
I reminded myself that a broken dish (even an heirloom) is insignificant in the grand scheme of the world's problems. I resolved not to get angry.
(In the end of this story, I learn that he didn't actually break any of the dishes. I also learn that I can hypothetically control my temper by not getting bothered by the small stuff.)