The Tale of Two French Fries

Matt and I have some wonderful friends who once shared with us a fun story of something they learned within the first year of their marriage. This story has everything to do with french fries…but really nothing at all to do with french fries. Hang with me here.

I’ve taken a little bit of literary license here since I don’t know the exact details of how everything went for our friends, plus, I’m really just trying to make a point. Also, while telling this story, I’ll call our friends Gertrude and Hank, because shucks, thinking of fictitious names for our friends is just downright fun.

Gertrude and Hank were delighted to be newlyweds and as with all couples in love, they were eager to please each other in every way. As you can imagine, this desire to please each other was quite apparent when they dined together on french fries. Isn’t it always? I mean, this is the stuff Hallmark cards are made of.

Gertrude absolutely loves the fat, soggy type of french fries. Hank, on the other hand, much prefers the thin, crispy, crunchy french fries. And so, in this couple’s desire to show love and care for one another, each was sure to give the other the best, most tasty french fries.

Gertrude, because of her love of big, soggy fries, always placed the fattest, soggiest french fries on Hank’s plate. He cheerfully accepted them and sacrificially ate the plump potatoes, knowing that he would then be allowing his beloved to eat the choicest of fries – the thin, crispy, crunchy ones. Both Gertrude and Hank were thrilled to be pleasing one another by giving up what they knew to be the best of the fries.

And so it went for months, every time the couple ate french fries together.

Until finally, one day, Gertrude and Hank participated in a little bit of french fry communication. Somehow, the truth came out about each person’s french fry preference and their desire to give up what they each really wanted in order to please the other one. Lo and behold, in their effort to please each other, and in their failure to communicate, they had both been wrong in their assumption of what the other truly wanted. Thus, they had both been choking down french fries that neither of them really liked.

The End.

The moral of the story is that you and your spouse need to always be very up front about your french fry preferences. And also, you should communicate often about other, more important details in life and in your marriage. It is important to be selfless as you work to please your spouse, but for goodness sake, communicate.

Gertrude and Hank were doing what they thought was best for one other. They were both playing the martyr, sacrificing their own desires, in the name of love, for their spouse. But the end result was that no one was happy with their french fries. What a waste of good ketchup. ;)

Talk to your spouse. Be up front with your desires.  And for the love (or not) of crispy french fries, always communicate.

P.S. Gertrude and Hank – you guys rock. Thank you for the way Jesus shines through your godly marriage.

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  1. Meghan V. says

    My Mom always bought smooth peanut butter because she *thought* my Dad had said that was what he preferred. But in reality he loved crunchy peanut butter. This went on for years! Now I think they have their peanut butter all figured out! :) This post is a good reminder to communicate. Thanks!


    Yvonna Reply:

    It wasn’t very long after we were married my hubby mentioned his love for crunchy peanut butter. But after 11 years marriage he still can’t remember how I like my hamburgers :D


  2. says

    At least she didn’t cut off her hair and sell it, Gift of the Magi style. :)


    Gail Reply:

    That’s what I was thinking about Emily!


  3. Cari Walters says

    WONDERFUL POST!!!! I wish all newlyweds would get a lesson in communications…..and another reminder lesson 5yrs later and so on. Communication is something I always spout off about when Im asked why hubby and I are so happy! Breaks my heart to see people who are perfectly fit for each other get divorced because they assumed rather then asked…..


  4. Brooke says

    Thanks for the reminder. Communication is so important. Larry and I had ro really work hard at that, and still do, but esp in the first couple years of marriage. :)


  5. Yvonna says

    Wonderful post! I had only read the first three sentences and knew I just had to read to hubby. He said it is a very unique story and guess what we agreed!


  6. Kimberlee says

    That story sounds so familiar… It happened to us, too!


    Laura Reply:

    Oh, that’s funny! You aren’t even the Gertrude and Hank I was talking about in the story. :)


  7. says

    Seventeen into this adventure we are getting a little better at just this, blessing each other with the fries he/she likes the best. How sweet it is :) (and now he even knows I much prefer mustard to ketchup!)


    Espie Reply:

    I thought I was the only one who prefered mustard! My Hubby always places the mustard on the table when we have french fries. If we have guests, they always look confused, but I know why he does it–for me!


  8. Mary says

    haha Great post, great reminder. I had newlywed friends and the bride always took the heel of the bread. She and everyone in her family hated the heels, so she sacrificed and ate them because they had little funds and she wanted to be frugal. After several months of this, her new husband said “How come you always get the heel of the bread? That’s the best part.”


  9. Lisa says

    There’s this notion floating around that “true love” means you just somehow know what your spouse is thinking and feeling without having to communicate, when in reality one of the best and most loving things you can do for your spouse and your marriage is to TALK to each other and ask questions! I knew this was true in theory but still bought into the faulty notion early on in our marriage. I still do sometimes. We borrowed a phrase from a friend: define your terms. This does wonders for us when we’re disagreeing or getting frustrated in a discussion. What do you mean when you say “best french fry,” for example? Thanks for the cute illustration =)


  10. Danielle B says

    Uh hem.. can’t tell I’m hungry for chocolate. There’s a chocolate company called Gertrude HaWk. So I read this and saw Gertrude and Hawk. lol


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