Well, it turns out that when your children are grown and have kids of their own, nothing at all has changed.
Here you and your spouse are, all alone, and you discover that deals are still not only required, but the art has been honed and perfected over the years. If you're a Christian it's even more of a fine art form because deception and trickery are out of bounds (this, of course, is only theory to many Christianettes).
What made me think of this subject at all was when I was doing one of my many daily cleanups after DH (Dear Husband) and noticed that there were several tiny piles that neither of us had touched. Without any discussion - and no thought needed - we (at least, I) knew what this was all about.
For instance, on the dining room table was a box of Swiffer refills, a birthday card to his mother, a grocery list, two tiny tubes of Super Glue, a broken chip off a china cup, an empty prescription refill bottle, and an ill-used kitchen towel. I suspect DH knew what all of this was sitting there for, but he won't make a move on any of it until 'the deal' is offered up.
The Swiffer refills: I will put one refill on a Swiffer mop if he will mop under the bed. I clearly come out ahead on this one, but we both note the advantage: to be used when needed.
The birthday card: I will write a note and address the envelope if he will go so far as to personally sign his name on the card.
The grocery list: That's for him. At various times each of us, or both together, have done this. Right now he does it. I've forgotten the 'deal.'
The Super Glue: Super Glue is like gold at our house. Every time we buy it, we buy two ... one for him; one for me. (He loses his and steals mine.) One of these tubes in the kitchen has a straight pin sticking in the end of it, which I have checked for three days in a row to see if it will still come out of the tube - so far, so good. The other tube is glued shut; if he can get it loosened, I will put a straight pin in it, too, and give it to him (this is a freebie ... or so he believes).
The broken chip from a china cup. This is actually a bargaining chip! I haven't decided exactly how it will be used yet. It could be involved in an accusation that he broke it (which, in all probability is actually the case) - and I could get something more important out of this than merely gluing it back on. This is just one possibility among many. This could well be considered a trump card.
An empty prescription bottle. This one really shouldn't even be considered a 'deal.' On his way home every night he passes the pharmacy in Lockeford, and he always stops to pick up things like this on days when he isn't overly busy. However, it has a very small potential for becoming a part of a deal, only awaiting the ingenuity of either of us with the initiative to up the ante on this humdrum chore.
The ill-used kitchen towel. Now, this has considerable potential. What has happened here is that he took one of my new kitchen towels and used it on the engine of the old motorhome. It is now full of grease and grime. To be succinct, it has been destroyed. Need I say more? (Actually, if he was really on his toes he might initiate a deal out of this; chances are good, however, that I will hop on this one.)
Marriages probably don't rise or fall on such deals, but they can certainly add interest and keep people mentally alert, perhaps even stave off Alzheimer's :-)
Uh-oh. Just noticed a button from one of his shirts lying on the floor. Hmmm.
but it was fun to write!