When ‘I’m fine!!’ befalls thine beating eardrums, here’s its translation: You’ve just agitated—although not yet entirely removed—a grenade’s detonation pin.
Set it down. Walk away.
Not that it’s all your fault.
But, it probably is.
Hubby and I quietly pride ourselves in rarely having disagreements. Fighting is not our style; it’s just not a typical practice for our personalities. Overall, we’re a really great match. Arguments? We’ve had four in the last 8+ years.
But four recently increased to five. And, friends, Numero Cinco was a dandy.
Yep, he yanked out that pin and said grenade (that’s me) erupted, as all small-but-mighty explosives will do.
Then, as timing would have it, I had to buy him a birthday card.
Have you EVER BOUGHT A CARD when you were MAD at your partner? With every sweet-nothing I read in each stupid card, the burning, lingering shrapnel of said earlier explosion glowed more intensely—as if my husband invisibly stood beside me, gently blowing his hot air to stoke my flames.
With each card message of: “You’re the best lover-cuddly-perfect-hunk-of-my-dreams” garbage I read, irritation bulged my eyeballs and I think a rhino horn began to form on my forehead. I know, so unattractive.
But it was still his birthday. He was still my husband. And I do love him.
But I did NOT like him as I stood with my rhino horn before a sea of cards—from which well-groomed, hornless wives with girlish grins selected perfect prose for their princes. Pllbbbbbbb.
Since I did not see any husband birthday cards insisting he extend ole’ wifey an apology, nor did I find any ‘congratulations for making me feel like crap’ greetings (these shockingly just don’t exist), I had to change strategies.
So I picked up a monkey card. And I learned something new: It’s impossible to look at a funny monkey card and think about poisoning your husband’s omelet.
I belly-laughed like a fool at that monkey—and my anger began to dissipate. Weird. I guess my husband was really okay for a boy. And definitely WAY sexier than a toothy monkey in sunglasses.
But, the card was too silly for the seriousness of during- and post-fight circumstances. So, I continued my search. Then, as if moving spotlights from a thousand car dealerships were guiding my search, I found ‘the one.’ Its words obliterated all intentions to rearrange contents in his dresser so he could never again find anything.
Yes, I bought the perfect, lovey card. And I apologized to my husband for my part of the argument. Why? Because I love my husband.
Yet, what remained was the elusive reciprocal apology, the delicacy of which cannot be taken lightly. Here’s why: my innate garrison of grenades is only further complemented by what’s been widely labeled as “Su(e)perhuman Stubbornness.”
And this genetic resistance has only ever been outmatched by one other human on this planet. It’s the guy walking around with unpoisoned eggs in his belly.
I knew he’d make me wait for the apology. And he did.
But then, guess what? Bingo! He said sorry, too. (I love that part of the story.)
We worked it through. We took turns talking and listening. We had a gin and tonic, my rhino horn almost completely disappeared, and all was right again.
Hey, every relationship worth a bean takes work. And sometimes it’s the bumps, detonations and erroneous forehead growths that best guide us all to real, loving fulfillment.