Why Do Salt Flecks on the Kitchen Counter Drive Me Crazy?

The tale of a ridiculous relationship peeve — and getting over it

Tatyana Sussex
4 min readApr 7, 2021


Photo by author.

I wiped up salt flecks from the kitchen counter, my husband’s constant souvenir of meal preparations. For years, the sight of random salt bits scattered across the butcher block surface made me as angry as a bear. ROAR! I’d stand on my hind legs, mouth open, bellowing my disapproval.

Why the hell couldn’t he wipe his shit down afterwards!

Over time, this question started to creep in: Why did I care?

Why did I, upon returning home from work to a husband who greeted me with a huge smile and a prompt kiss, choose to give the goddamn kitchen counter more of my focus than my gorgeous love-partner?

Days, weeks, months, and years passed. Still, salt flecks on the kitchen counter. Still, me getting irked to an unnecessary degree.

I knew my kitchen counter reaction was optional, but I remained full-on in it.

I bitched to my friend Laurie on a walk through Pioneer Park. Laurie is the kind of friend with whom you can share all the external/internal goings-on in life, put them under a light, and see them from all angles until you are cracking up at the ridiculousness of the entire situation.

When I told her that I returned from work more affected by the surface of my kitchen counter than my husband’s affection, she nodded resolutely. We did some swapping of our marital peeves — set to the theme of “I do all the work around here!” — and then started to laugh, because together we were able to see our dramatizations over something that wasn’t really true (I certainly didn’t do all the work around my house — probably not even half of it!).

This I’m-doing-it-all feeling crept in when I was at my usual evening pre-dinner spot: beloved kitchen peninsula, chopping vegetables and doing meal prep (after wiping down counter from salt droppings of course!).

From where I stood I looked directly at my husband in his recliner chair watching the news. Some nights I’d be purring away, happy to be in my regular spot, lost in slicing an onion as thinly as possible; other times, I glared at my husband stretched out like a…



Tatyana Sussex

Writer, coach, swimmer, late-marrier. Guide, companion, and explorer at the trailhead of Everyday Creative Coaching: www.everydaycreative.net