Pour Your Water Last (and Other Things Marriage Has Taught Me)
Sitting down to write this post was not a conscious decision. The words came to me while I was in the shower, debating over which shampoo to choose (I chose Redken, for those interested). It was Christmas afternoon and Chris, although sick, was thoughtfully making us homemade cinnamon buns in our tiny, warm kitchen. It's times like this that I feel super fortunate. It's times like this that I am glad I have learned to pour my water last...
Chris and I drink a lot of water. (I promise this has a point.) We have a tiny pitcher that we love and fill and refill. One day, Chris looks at me with wide brown eyes (that I describe as M&Ms) and says, 'You always pour your water first.' I am immediately embarrassed. He is not being mean. He is just observing. And, he is right. Every time I waltzed to the fridge, I got myself some water, then hastily tossed the Brita back in the kitchen. Every time Chris went to the fridge, he would bring the pitcher to me first.
It was stupid. It was small. But, it mattered. From that moment on, I poured Chris' glass before mine. It's hard to explain, but it changed how I do pretty much everything.
I've been married a whopping 14 months and don't consider myself an expert in anything, let alone in marriage. But here's what I've learned so far from one of the most patient human beings (my Mr. Marciano):
You are an Island
This sounds crazy. And maybe because it a little bit is. Sure, you're trying to figure out how you and your partner work together outside in the real world, but sometimes it's needed to stay in your bubble. Together. Sit on the couch and watch a show you don't think you'll like. Discover and rediscover your partner again and again because your partner is you too.
The people who matter will understand why you have to isolate yourselves sometimes. As for the people that can't? They don't matter.
Put Your Phone Down
'Drooooooop it. Drop it.' This is what we have always said to my dog when she has picked up something that she should not have. The same needs to be said to me when I have my phone in my hand. Over the summer, Chris asked me for a phone-less week. One week of my undivided attention. Yet, still, somehow (out of habit?) he found me with my sandy, sunburnt hand glancing at a list of notifications on my iPhone. It's hard. It's really hard. But what's harder is realizing that you're spending your actual, physical life in a virtual, photo-centric time warp.
This does not mean you have to live an Amish lifestyle, lighting candles, churning butter, and discovering gossip via the grapevine. It just means that if your partner is speaking to you, make eye contact. They're right there. In front of you. Don't take it for granted. Chris has always said that while working retail he learned the customer in front of you takes precedence over the customer calling in. Your partner is the customer in front of you. Don't take the call.
Will This Matter in a Year?
Will it? If it won't, then drop it (obviously my favorite term). Are you annoyed from working all day and cranky about the solitary sock laying on the couch? That's okay. You're entitled to be irritated, but don't start a fight. The sock is a sock. And work is work. If you're feeling that sleep-deprived hanger creeping in, just ask yourself if what you're angry about really matters.
At the end of the day, respect is everything. Chris may not agree with my cake obsession and dad jokes, but he respects both. Plus, he pours my water first. Whatta guy.