To begin this post, please follow me down two very different trains of thought.
Train one: Three years ago, we got married! It’s hard to believe it was only three years ago. It feels more like 10 years… in a good way, of course. I’m feeling pretty lucky to be here, seeing as I tried to break up with Jonathan before we ever even started dating five years ago.
Train two: In a recent conversation with my brother, who is obsessed with the Meyers-Briggs type indicator, I told him that I feel like I’m always making lists or trying to organize things, but I can’t ever maintain any of it. He told me, “well, that’s a very common characteristic of INFP’s… you crave organization, but you will never achieve it, no matter how hard you try.” He’s such an encourager.
So, in the spirit of lists and wedding anniversaries, here are four things I’ve learned in the past couple of years:
- The ways you show your love for each other become smaller… but they are actually bigger. Before we got married, showing affection meant planning a big date night or buying a gift or driving 20 minutes in the most horrible rainstorm of my life to watch a college football national championship with Jonathan. (Texas vs. Alabama… I didn’t even understand a single bit of football yet at that point. I was smitten.) Now, it’s setting the coffee pot up so all he has to do is turn it on in the morning, or cleaning out my hairbrush before packing it in a suitcase alongside his clothes, or not falling asleep during the Iron Bowl. But the little things add up to even more than the big things, because remembering each other in the little mundane details of life are what shows the other person that they’re special.
- There are some areas that will just always be his domain, and some will always be my domain. The DVR is still his spot. I have a folder, but it still lives on his DVR. Nothing is safe. I’m scared to start watching a recorded show and then stop partway through it, because he can see that I started it. He might assume that I didn’t want to finish it and then delete it… even if it is Next Great Baker (which is better than Christmas for me every year). I just. Don’t. Mess. With. The. DVR.
But the kitchen is my domain. Don’t rearrange things, don’t try to organize things for me, and don’t use the wrong sponge to wash the dishes (there are three: the Normal Dishwashing Sponge, the Baby Related Dishes Dishwashing Sponge, and the Soap-Free Sponge). If I left the paprika out on the counter, then next time I need it I will know that it’s out on the counter. If you put it away, I won’t be able to find it, I’ll assume it’s all gone, I’ll add it to my grocery list and I’ll buy more. This is how I once ended up with three containers of ground ginger, two of allspice, and more cream of tartar than I could use in a year.
- When dusting shelves or dressers, you have to know what you can and can not touch. Bear Bryant bobble heads are safe. Books are safe. Snow globes with Bryant Denny Stadium inside are safe. Any kind of ball (be it foot or base) that is inside a plastic box is NOT safe… leave them dusty. Better to deal with the allergies than to risk dropping them or causing damage by breathing on them too hard. It’s not that I would get kicked out of the house or grounded from the Food Network or anything if something happened. But the sorrow that I would cause if I broke something would probably kill me dead. In fact, I rearranged some bookshelves with two boxed footballs and four boxed baseballs last week, and I held my breath in terror as I carefully moved each one to it’s new home. My plan was to not say anything about it… Jonathan wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t. But I felt so guilty for touching them that I confessed about 27 minutes after he got home that day. (He was okay with it… I still felt guilty).
- You keep learning things about each other all the time. Do people that have been married for 20 years know everything about each other? We’ve only been married three years, but just when I think I’ve learned all the little idiosyncrasies about Jonathan, something new pops up. He confessed to me only a couple months ago that he really doesn’t care for pasta + tomato sauce dishes. I didn’t know. I LOVE them. I would announce “Spaghetti for dinner! WOOHOO! YAY! SPAGHETTI!” and he’d say “spaghetti? Oh.”
I always figured he was just too tired to show me all of his excitement, but not until he came out and told me one day, “Lacey, you know, I’m just not really a big spaghetti fan,” did I realize that I should maybe cut the spaghetti back to once every few months rather than once a week (or once a day, which I would prefer).
I also learned that he uses my tweezers to pluck his eyebrows. One night just a couple weeks ago, he came out of the bathroom and asked, “Lacey? Where are your tweezers?” I stared at him open-mouthed for a long time before he asked again. So first, I had to get over the fact that he used them, and then I had to get over the fact that my tweezers had mysteriously disappeared. I guess the fact that my husband discovered that my tweezers were missing before I did shows a little something about my personal grooming habits.
Another new thing? The cleanliness of our floors is directly related to his happiness quotient. The floors in this house are lighter than the floors in either of the other two houses we’ve lived in, so you can actually see when our floors are dirty. Sometimes, things get a little rough and he’ll get a little flustered and floopy, for lack of a better term. A trip around the house with a vacuum cleaner and a mop, and it resets him. Unfortunately, I have also learned that I like vacuuming and mopping even less than I thought I did.
To even things out, I asked him what he’s learned about me recently, and he said “I learned that you like mayonnaise on your grilled cheese, and that you actually need more alone time to recharge than I originally thought you did.”
(I posted five things I learned in the first year here: The Top Five Things I’ve Learned Since We Got Married )