Friday, October 26, 2012

Lessons from the fair

At the fair. Baby wallaby!!!!!!!!!!! 
Kyle and I kicked off the day on Wednesday with a 6-hour photo session with the incredibly talented Ron Brewer, of Ron Brewer Images in Surprise. We then trekked back across town to the fair, where we spent the rest of the day. As we were leaving the fair, Kyle commented on how many people had taken interest in our relationship throughout the day -

  • Ron, when I was taking a quick potty break, asked Kyle how long we had been together. (His response: five years.) 
  • When running Kyle's credit for his new mattress, the salesperson looked at me and asked our combined household income. ("Oh, no. We don't live together.")
  • An exhibitor pawning her Dead Sea Salt scrub in the Expo booth asked if we were married while she scrubbed my hands. 
He asked why, when other people were taking note of our interactions and commenting on how cute we are together, aren't we always happy. 

It didn't take me long to think of a response. We don't respond well when there's the slightest hint of conflict. But there's a little more to it, and these are the five things that came to mind. 

  1. It's the little things - a good-morning text message, a surprise coffee at work, picking up flowers on your way over, or just a call to say goodnight.  Making his favorite cookies, picking up some candy corn on my way over. Sometimes the smallest actions make the biggest impact. All are small gestures that won't put you out more than a five-spot, but that convey love and affection in a way that words don't. 

  2. Think before you speak. I was baring my soul the other night in a way that obviously put him a little on the defensive, but Kyle responded by calling me crazy. The last thing I want to hear when I'm emotionally vulnerable is something like that! The same goes for me. I could have re-evaluated my emotional tirade to tone it down a bit, I'm sure. 

  3. Apologize often, and sincerely. Sometimes all that's needed to rectify a situation is an apology! If you hear "I'm upset because," apologize for the action that caused that emotion. It could make a world of difference.  

  4. Put your partner first. You're in this for the long haul - at least that's assumed when you're in a committed relationship. Set that precedent for making them feel important. Plus, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And mama, if you're happy, make sure the mister knows how much you appreciate him. 

  5. Always be respectful. If you wouldn't talk to your coworkers the way you talk to your partner, perhaps you should re-evaluate your behavior. Be kind. All those 1 Corinthians attributes that love should be? Be mindful of those.  

And now I'm hitting the hay because the clock just passed midnight, and I think Kyle passed on his stuffy sinuses to me by way of a sore throat. I'm going to try to keep these five things in the forefront and see what a difference it makes.


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