Musings and Amusings

Q is for Quaker Oatmeal

Q Letter

Hub and I eat a lot of Quaker oatmeal.

We stir a lot more oatmeal than we eat. Let me explain.

A couple years into our relationship, after we decided to get married, Hub bought an audio tape series called, “How to Have a Successful Marriage”. The lessons were all cleverly titled with words beginning with “C”, like Communication, Conflict and Chores.

The analogy used by the series narrator in the Chores lesson was “stirring the oatmeal.” Oatmeal symbolized life’s necessities, and stirring was the work we must do to provide our household’s necessities. Stirring can be done by the same individual every time, by both individuals together, or on some kind of rotating basis. But it must be done.

Couples with successful relationships figure out – together – which method works for them for each chore in their relationship.

Understanding, early in our relationship, the importance of identifying and taking ownership of routine, sometimes time-consuming and unpleasant aspects of every day life allowed us to do so in a way that was equitable, unemotional, and respectful of the amount of effort required to accomplish each chore.

Who “stirs the oatmeal” has changed through the years, depending on who has the time, the interest or the expertise for completing a task.

But we have always used that phrase, “stirring the oatmeal” to refer to our chores. “I need you to stir the oatmeal” when the toilet needs fixing, or “let’s stir today and play golf tomorrow” when we’ve got a list of chores that have piled up from weeks of neglect and all we want to do is play.

Corny? Perhaps, but it starts those “drudgery” conversations on a high note. For us, the phrase is a subtle reminder of that long ago fresh, new love when we would gladly have done anything with, or for, each other.


Note: Thanks for stopping! I should be back online tonight or tomorrow and will reply to your comments then!


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Comments on: "Q is for Quaker Oatmeal" (32)

  1. Great post for a brilliant idea. I think we’ve always done it without calling it that, so we roll our eyes or slump a bit when the chore conversation starts! 🙂

  2. Terrific analogy! And clever way to meet the “Q”uotient for A to Z!

  3. I love that analogy. Opens the door to communication without pleas or whining. And now I want some oatmeal. For real. Yum. 🙂

  4. How sweet that your husband bought audio tapes about creating a successful marriage! I like how referring to the unpleasant tasks as stirring promises fulfillment at the task’s completion. It all needs to get done if you want to enjoy the oatmeal! 🙂

  5. Hah what a great analogy I shall have to remember that one you always have some great words tucked up your sleeve!! Xx

  6. Such a good analogy. I do like that your husband was the one who bought the tapes in the first place but also that you’ve both took the analogy to heart and have lived with it ever since.

    Eileen @ In My Playroom (also doing the A to Z Challenge)

  7. Quacker is the best oatmeal. Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

  8. clever clever way to use the q letter. Nice to meet and connect through the atozchallenge.

  9. Good Analogy – I keep seeing your comments on scenic route so was curious – nice to meet you 😀

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susan. A to Z is such a great time to meet people; I hope you are enjoying it. I will visit your blog.

  10. What a great saying! I need to incorporate that into my vocabulary on a regular basis – although I have a feeling that those for whom it is intended will simply plead ignorance. Hey, nothing venture, nothing gained 😀

  11. Wonderful short pithy post. We do the same, and your catch phrase may become ours. Something naturally get broken into who enjoys what, and sometimes we also have to switch due to work loads. Excellent! I am going to reblog today!

    • Thank you, Katie! I hoped this one would strike a positive note for couples. We learned so much from that tape series, and Hub is such a terrific partner. I do appreciate your re-blog.

  12. Reblogged this on Zenkatwrites's Blog and commented:
    Sammy from bemuzin had a good short pithy blog about couples and dividing the chores . . . I found it to be one of the truisms of marriage. Enjoy!

  13. hocuspocus13 said:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.

  14. Interesting! That phrase was new to me, but I’ve certainly heard of “stirring the pot”, which is a negative thing, (ie. being a shit-disturber). “Stirring the oatmeal”, together or in equitable measure is certainly important for any successful relationship. Well said, Sammy! 🙂

  15. Just wrote a post but it’s not here (?)

  16. I love oatmeal! Great ‘O’ word. Have you tried steel cut oats? they take longer to cook, but are so hearty and healthy. I’m popping in from the a-z challenge and thought you have a nice blog here. 🙂 We’re more than halfway done! Come visit me, if you’d like:

  17. Hi Sammy; Left a comment yesterday that didn’t show up, so I’m trying again. 🙂 I’ve heard of “stir the pot”, but that’s a whole different meaning than “stir the oatmeal”. I like that! Definitely important in a relationship to share those oatmeal stirring duties. Well said. Have a great week.

  18. Suzanne Ong said:

    I think it’s great you guys use that analogy 😀 And plus Quaker oatmeals are yummy.

Comments are closed.


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