Daryl and I were at Ikea again. I was in tears again. Standing in the bedroom furniture section, staring at yet another bed-frame, we were dejected and forlorn, like two defeated soldiers.
When it comes to shopping, Daryl and I have completely different styles. I value efficiency and functionality. He values beauty and workmanship. Left to my own decorating devices, our home would look much like my college dorm room—scattered bookshelves, bright colors, and worn-in furniture. If we needed a new furnishing, I'd run to the store and be back in 15 minutes with a real bargain. If Daryl was in control, it would look like Pottery Barn, only with more books. And his trips to the store would involve a week of research, an analysis of wood grain and fabric quality, and a much heftier price tag.
After hours of indecision during this trip, I was furious. Was he trying to wear me down just to get his way? Daryl was feeling frustrated and rushed. He couldn't figure out why I was in such a hurry.
"I can't do this anymore," I said, attempting to hide my tears from the shoppers who unwittingly wandered close to our tiff. We had yet to agree on a single piece of furniture. Two days earlier we'd left Target barely speaking. It seemed as if we'd never resolve this silliest of conflicts, and our empty apartment was beginning to seem permanently bare. "I don't want to sleep on a mattress on the floor anymore," I whimpered.
"As I stood there, wiping my eyes with my sleeve, a voice in Daryl's mind—perhaps some wisdom from God above—spoke some clarity.1