Time To Tell The Ketchup Story | Lessons on Unselfishness

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I know, all those germs, right?!

My longest running argument with my husband constitutes The Ketchup Story.

His Version: I stabbed him with a fork.

My Version:  What, I have to SHARE my ketchup?

This was the first of MANY lessons I, an only child, have had in sharing and unselfishness.

Only children never had to do that sharing thing.  There was no one to share with.  Our parents just gave us stuff and we…ummm…took it.

My husband was also an only child but he had a plethora of step- and half- brothers and sisters who ran in and out of his life growing up.  He did not have those “kind and loving” hovering parental units around to make him feel like he was the only important person on this earth.  As, of course, each child is.

God must have been doing the watching over that child, or he had some really phenomenal angels, based on the pure fact that in spite of all boy-in-the-woods, got-run-over-by-a-tractor childhood stories (where WERE the adults??), he lived.  In fact, he mostly raised himself (like wolves) and also honestly, I think he was born with the “give unto others” gene.

Which, let’s face it, little entitled only child me was not.

So, The Ketchup Story.

I was about 27 years old and we were just dating.

We dated for five years until I agreed to marry him, and we still bicker quite a bit, so as you can see we have had a lot to work out.  (That “mirroring each other” thing is real, I tell you.)

At this early stage seventeen years ago, we were sitting at a Ft. Lauderdale apartment, watching the news and having dinner.  Part of the meal included tator tots, which of course involves ketchup.

Knowing my husband, he probably made this meal for me.  At some stage, he ran out of ketchup and decided to stick his food in mine.  On MY plate.

This is the stage where he accuses me of stabbing him with my fork to stop him from sharing my food.

This is the stage where I distinctly recall being disgusted and appalled at the germ sharing involved in someone else sticking their food in my ketchup.  No stabbing ensued to stop this activity!

He has told me that he seriously debated continuing to date me at this stage because,”How could someone be so selfish?”

Since that day, we have shared a truly disgusting series of bodily exchanges.  And I don’t mean that kind.

We have jointly changed “four hander” diapers.

He has seen my guts splayed out on the hospital table – set aside to deliver our child – twice (no – I did NOT look – that’s what the sheet screen is for, people!  So we don’t pass out!)

He has helped me give IVs to cats, shot a rabid fox, and treated every animal that has ever traipsed through this place for some bloody event or another.

We have concocted food cocktails (laced with medicine) out of dog and cat food (yuck!) for said creatures and sat there side by side doing all manner of cajoling until it was ingested by the right party.

We have raced our children to the emergency room because they stopped breathing, were bleeding profusely, had broken limbs, or needed their eyes sewn back in (he held the kid, the doctor did the sewing, I did the words of comfort while somehow not really looking and only passing out in my mind).

We have cleaned up pee, puke, and poop from children, animals, and even sometimes ourselves.

My point is, sharing food is something I now do without giving it a second thought, because I have had to share much more than that over the years.  It no longer bothers me in the least.

I admit it, I am reformed and long ago saw the error of my selfish ways.

And yet…

And yet, to this day, seventeen years later, I still am hearing about that time I stabbed him with the fork!

And I still swear, I Did Not Do any such thing!

Moral of the story: you have to share your food, your physical self, your love, your compassion, and your fears with other people.  Even if you don’t want to and it doesn’t come naturally and you don’t think you should be so obligated.

You share out of love.

So if you have no one to share with, go find someone.  In fact, sharing of yourself IS the way we most commonly make connections with others.

I realize the moral of this story could be something more like,.”“This is what it looks like when you decide to get married, have children, and little pet friends.”   I can see how that might be a deterrent.

After everything I’ve seen and done, I would look at it this way – suppose you were ALONE dealing with all the little messes you alone created?

Isn’t it better to create MORE messes and have someone to share them with you?

That way at the end of the day you have someone else to tell you that you aren’t crazy, that thing really did happen.

Or at the very least, someone to laugh about it with.

Or hold hands with.

Or I don’t know – there is something to be said about it in there, somewhere.  I think.

So back to the sharing and unselfishness.

There are some people who are thinking,”Well of course I share!  How obvious can you be!”

There are others who are hoarding their ketchup bottle and have their fork at the ready.

Determine which one you are and go forth.


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  1. You go girl! I’m glad you’re sharing. I completely understand the readings situation. It takes a lot of energy to do them and I know you have much bigger things to do in this world.

    Can I add that for some reason, I’m getting that you would be remarkably good at group readings? We’ve never chatted before on the phone, but I’m just feeling that. You know why? Because you’re honest. I love that about you!

    AJ | OpenPsychic recently posted..What’s blocking your intuitive guidance?My Profile

    • Hi A.J.,

      Group readings, huh? It’s funny that you say that because a little birdie whispered something a lot like that in my ear recently. I will take it under consideration. Thanks for the vote 🙂

  2. Hi Julie,
    I loved this story! It made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of the time my (now ex) husband cooked cornish hens and almost killed me with food poisoning. He said, “I thought you were supposed to cook the hens for two hours at 180 degrees?” lol

    Sharing doesn’t come easy to some people. I guess it comes from a feeling of giving something away and the feeling you’ll have “less” afterward.

    The funny thing is the more we share the more ultimately have.
    “Counter intuitive” but true!
    Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition recently posted..The Simple Truth About MagicMy Profile

  3. Hey Julie,
    I came over from Angela’s share on FB. I love this story! I had 9 siblings on a farm and loved the pack of wolves thing! So true. You draw us in with your words, I was sitting on the couch with the two of you. I love how you describe your family happenings. We’ve been together since I was 17 and pregnant. 40 years! I’ve often wondered what happens to stories and memories like these when couples split. Who does one have to laugh with about old times? It seems like such a loss…Just wonderin.’ Nice post!

    • kdivasilver says:

      Tess, you’re absolutely right–losing someone to share the stories with is one of the hardest things about splitting from a spouse. You can still tell the stories, but the embellishments are gone.

    • Hi Tess,

      Thank you so much for coming over to read. That is a REALLY long time to be married! I’ll bet it has not been easy. You raise a good question – eventually one of the two will die or there will be a divorce, and then what? I have often been told to write a blog just about what happens every day in this family, because it is like a comedy. Or a tragi-comedy. I’d love to know what makes some couples carry on and see it through and others fall apart. I’m pretty sure the actual relationship doesn’t differ that much in a lot of cases, so what is the tipping point?

  4. kdivasilver says:

    Julie, I love the love in this post. You are very lucky. And basically what I’ve observed is that when people find it hard to share, it’s because they’re feeling a lack of abundance in themselves. I’ve seen it in me (and am working on that, consciously) and others, and have found that when I let it flow, the abundance increases.

    • Hi Kathleen,

      No doubt. You know, everyone says “you’re so lucky” but if you were here with me right now I am pretty sure you’d eat those words 🙂 My theory is, if you can’t laugh about it then all is pretty much lost. I would also like the secret to the whole abundance issue, in case anyone is listening…

      • kdivasilver says:

        I think the secret is basically to trust that it’s there. Its opposite is holding back, and when you do that, you cut off part — or all — of yourself from the stream of life, so there’s less of you involved in it, and thus less for everyone. Does that make sense?

  5. Oh Julie, you made my morning…I laughed out loud at your cheerful, yet pointed story. Some very clever someone once said something about a thousand candles can be lit from one and it doesn’t shorten the life of the candle. I’m too lazy to google it…it was probably Buddha!

    How wonderful that you now have these stories to reminisce about…isn’t that one of the fun parts of a loving relationship?

    Nice one. 🙂

    Elle recently posted..Who Else Wants A New Or Better Career?My Profile

    • Hi Elle,

      Yes, I think it WAS Buddha (or so you would believe from the little postcards on Facebook!)

      Thanks so much for coming by to read and comment. I am truly thrilled I made your morning 🙂 Nothing better than that.

  6. Can’t think of a better story about love, sacrifice, sharing and giving to each other. Thanks for writing about the complete unselfishness of love Julie.

    Love isn’t just candlelight dinners, movies and travels together – this line of yours “We have cleaned up pee, puke, and poop from children, animals, and even sometimes ourselves” is what unselfishness and love really looks like:)

    • Vishnu,

      It’s true, isn’t it? That’s what a life together is. Or, maybe some people have other people to do those things for them, nannies and maids and such. I remember one of my son’s friends has two parents who are doctors. When I met the Mom, she asked me who took care of our house and acreage and I said,”Um, we do?” I guess I give on another planet from some but I think I would have really missed out otherwise 🙂

  7. This sort of made me feel lonely and wish I wasn’t single. I wish I had a partner at this juncture in my life. But, I don’t. And I can only hope that she will come sooner rather than later to keep me sane, mirror me and of course, experience all that life has to offer together – good and bad.

    Btw I loved your story. It’s so nice that you two have a history like this together to laugh about. LOL I can’t believe he almost dumped you for it. Good thing he had the sense to keep you! 🙂
    Lindsay recently posted..The Daily Awe’s 2nd blogiversary & birthday celebration!My Profile

    • Ah Lindsay, don’t go there. You know as well as I that with the bitter comes the sweet. I was a little bit surprised how some people took this Ode To Him and Me, very bittersweet. You don’t get anything if you don’t try, but on the other hand I was panicked through a lot of those experiences! I think the best we can say is we put ourselves out there and experienced life as it came to us.

  8. Todd | Channelingmyself says:

    Hi Julie,

    My 2 year old daughter is always grabbing food off my or her mom’s plate, she was doing to me the other night and all I could think was, “where have those little hands been that are now going into my food.” I’m like you, I yell at my wife when she tries to eat off my plate especially when there is the same food for her on the stove!

    I don’t know what the big secret is but I bet it has something to do with you, and unknown person and a reality show.
    Todd | Channelingmyself recently posted..3 Ways Meditation Can Help Your BrainMy Profile

  9. Oh, Julie, you had me laughing again as usual and actually tearing up at the end there, starting with “Isn’t it better to create MORE messes and have someone to share them with you?”. Yes! That’s my answer. You reminded me of a time when we were still dating when my husband took me to dinner at this fantastic French restaurant that overlooked the Bay (near San Francisco), all the sparkly lights, all the romance, and just as I got to my very last bit of chocolate mousse he swooped in with his spoon and before I knew it it was gone! Needless to say, he has NEVER done that again. I can get even more vicious about my chocolate than you can get about your ketchup, tee hee!

    And I’m so excited about your courses, etc.!! Sounds like a big move and a good one. I’ll be interested to see what develops and how you next decide to share your amazing talents.

    All my best. Patti
    p recently posted..Consciousness Tools for ManifestingMy Profile

    • Hi Patti,

      Glad you got a laugh, I aim to entertain and inform! Lots of stuff percolating over here. Simply need to get past some of the personal fallout before I can truly carry on.

  10. Indeed, sharing is a big one Julie. Whether we are sharing ketchup or life lessons we want the Law of Reciprocity working in favot. I love sharing the knowledge I’ve gathered from my personal life-lessons. When we share, we plant opportunities for those with which we share as well as for ourselves. This is an act of true human consideration. Everyone wins. It’s the Golden Rule, the Law of Reciprocity, in action. Nothing is more beautiful than sharing and receiving more of what we’ve shared.
    rob white recently posted..The Curse of the Conditioned MindMy Profile

    • Hi Rob,

      There are so many life lessons going on at my house that I feel we may have jammed a whole life’s worth into a short time frame. I am feeling a bit like Erma Bombeck.

  11. Now that was the most hilarious thing I’ve read all day! Maybe all month! I especially loved it because ketchup sharing is a sensitive topic in our family. My son James puts globs of it on everything and is loathe to share the ketchup bottle, afraid that one whole bottle might not last him through a meal! Thanks for a good laugh today!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..In a HeartbeatMy Profile

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