Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two of Two

Needless to say I never got back to posting this yesterday. After my enlightening lunch events I spent the afternoon working on that extra long to-do list. Then we, Ken and I, took the dogs to the park, ate dinner, and watched a little TV. I had some little bit of work to do to prepare for a meeting today and then we hit the sack. Exciting, I know.

But never fear! Post two of two will finally get its fifteen minutes of fame.

About a week ago I was talking to my mom on the phone. She was giving me a recap of a seminar she had been to at church. As she was talking through the events, she came to a joke which went a little something like this:

A Diary Entry - The Same Day.
  "A Woman's Diary: My husband was acting so strange today. I was out shopping all day with friends, and I think he was mad that I got home late. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no. But he was being so distant and quiet. I thought maybe a nice dinner would help smooth things over. He agreed and we went but he barely said 5 words all night long. I asked him what was wrong and he said 'nothing'. The drive home was the same: just silence. I think he must not love me anymore. We went to bed and he fell right to sleep. I don't know what I've done wrong. I cried myself to sleep. I don't know what to do."

"A Man's Diary: Boat motor won't start. Can't figure out why."

By the time my mom finished the joke she could barely speak for laughing. Only at 25, and being married only a year I didn't really find it that funny. No. Actually I found it quite hopeless. She tried to explain why it was funny; clearly it applies to so many men and women that it is amusing. Clearly it's an indication that silence and brooding doesn't mean a man doesn't love his wife. Clearly.

At any rate, as this situation applies so broadly it can be no surprise to hear that it rung true for me as well. But that's not the fairy tale marriage I was going to have! What?!?! Never! My husband is going to be sensitive and caring and affectionate and in touch with his emotions.  And he is going to be all of those things even if it kills me!

So fast forward to Tuesday night. As I said, I moped around ALL day, and so when 9:30 rolled around I decided I would straighten up the house a bit. As Ken must get up before the sun every morning, he announced he was going to bed. I was tidying up the dining room, and as I was putting some mail in the office I walked past the bedroom door and observed that Ken was not sleeping but playing games on his iPhone. So I climbed in the bed next to him to give him some grief about it being bedtime, and that saying "I'm going to bed" indicates sleep, not fun and games.

What I had intended to be a short teasing session turned into nearly 90 minutes of teasing, joking, innuendos, laughter, grammatical errors (which lead to more teasing and laughter), and just plain fun. At one point I was laughing so hard that I was literally crying, and even after several minutes and Ken repeatedly asking "Are you done?" I was still tickled by it.

Those 90 minutes restored my faith in my dream marriage. They indicated to me that the lines of communication don't have to be cut forever just because Ken is a man and I am a woman. Granted, he wasn't writing me lines of poetry or serenading me with love songs. It wasn't that kind of romance. But it was the kind of romance we had when we first met. And the kind that endured while we were dating. It was a 90 minute reminder of the things that I love about Ken and the things that made me fall in love with him in the first place. When life gets in the way of romance sometimes it is hard to remember those things. When silence becomes the majority of communication it can be hard to know if you're being heard, especially when you know that neither you nor your spouse is good at taking hints.

I try very hard not to give out relationship advice. First of all, I have no idea what I'm doing, so who am I to give advice. I'm just winging it one day at a time. Secondly, probably the wisest thing anyone ever said to me about relationships came from a barely 21 year-old newly married man. He said "You know, it doesn't matter what other people say about our relationship. We are the only ones in it, and we know that it's real." After pondering on that I realized that really, the best people to give relationship advice are the people inside the relationship. But today, I have to give in.

Take my advice. Cherish those moments when the world drops away, whenever they happen to sneak in. Think about them often, and instigate them whenever you can so at the end of the day both of your diaries can be about the same brief, smiling moments.

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