Ode to the Toothpaste Cap

Hail to you, oh toothpaste cap, we married folk humbly salute you. There comes a time when warriors must lay down their arms in surrender. You win. You overpowered us with your dark magic. You destroyed our day and our love for each other.

Smaller than a thimble, your potential for influence deceived us. Odorless and undetectable to our home alarm system, you snuck past the locks on our doors, a time-bomb hidden at the bottom of the grocery bag. You plotted your insurgence as you quietly ticked away, stuck between the bag of Fritos and a can of crushed tomatoes.

We thought you harmless when we placed you on the bathroom counter. You sat happily atop our toothpaste, doing your job as you watched us prepare for each work day and every goodnight kiss. Life was calm then. Back before paradise was lost. We knew where you were and therefore knew who we were: a happy couple with a fulfilled marriage. Then one day you skirted away.




Lost into the forest of make-up, hair dryers, cologne, hair brushes, and clothes on the bathroom counter.

We searched for you in desperate attempt to save our toothpaste and our marriage. Naked and without covering, the toothpaste became hardened into little evil globules. Brushing our teeth became a crunchy endeavor.

We got angry in your absence. Not at you, but rather at each other. Our anger turned to resentment and rage. In honor of your disappearance we lashed out in blame at one another. It was good you were gone at that point, because the things we said may have turned your white plastic face to a bashful red.

Into hiding you took our ability to rationalize. Our capability to communicate. And our humility. You transformed us into spiteful, indignant, and villainous ogres. Far more than any other object in the home, you held the power to blind and bind us.

You are a tiny death star, one that online dating services need to consider on their profile pages, such as, “I prefer the toothpaste cap ___ (On/Off).” Oh if we had only known. You warrant an entire session in premarital counseling, somewhere after “creating a budget” and before “dealing with in-laws”. That could have saved us.

It is too late now. We are on the ropes. The referee has started his count.

Congratulations, you lived up to your reputation. You deserve all of the credit you get in Marriage-dom. We anticipate the headline in tomorrow’s paper: “Crunchy Crest Leads to Another Failed Marriage.”

You win.

Thanks to you, we were able to hide what we really felt. You provided the distraction we needed. We fought about you instead of the real pain and loneliness in our hearts.

We sweated the small things. We made mountains out of molehills. Our personal Edens became more important than seeing one another’s point of view. We blew life out of proportion. Thanks to you, we moved toward independence rather interdependence. You allowed us to forget about God.

Had we found you, we could have put our differences aside. Had you not fallen into the abyss of our clutter, we would have known how to humbly talk to one another. But we cannot communicate our authentic selves without your presence, and so as our marriage deteriorates in your absence, we conveniently blame you and pay homage to your power.

Hail to you, toothpaste cap.

Copyright: stompi / 123RF Stock Photo



Luke Brasel writes about relationships, intimacy, parenting, and Christian spirituality. He is passionate about the intersection of theology and the human heart. He has a counseling practice in Nashville, TN where he helps people follow their pain to understand their story and recover their heart. When he is not counseling, teaching, or writing, he is learning more about life and love from his wife and twin daughters. You can read his blog at lukebrasel.com/blog and follow him on Twitter.

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