Sunday, March 14, 2010
He said; She said
Tonight my husband & I attended our first 'Marriage Class' that is being offered through our church. We were pretty hesitant to sign up and commit to such a thing because we feel like we have a pretty decent relationship and things like this have a way of stirring up trouble for us.
Enter Exhibit A......
Last year some friends gave us 'The Love Dare' book. (Wonder what they were implying?) We decided to give it a try and journal about it. Below is a compilation of the first three days from each of our perspectives ....
Be Careful What You Dare:
Our attempt at the Love Dare Book (From the movie, 'Fireproof')
Day 1: Love is Patient
The Dare: .... Say nothing negative to your spouse at all. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret .....
I should have taken one look at today's title and known this wasn't a good idea. Love is patient? You've got to be kidding me. I've been taught never to pray for patience and for good reason; God will try to train you. There's only one way to learn patience and that's through trial. No thanks. Never-the-less, I excitedly (and naively) read the 1st chapter out loud to my husband. He didn't think he'd have much trouble following that dare. (I didn't think he would either .... I'm much easier to live with than he is.)
The day was going so great. After a big pancake breakfast, we spent the entire morning in bed reading and watching college wrestling. (Let me clarify; I was reading. He was watching college wrestling.) But we were together and it was nice. I was just getting ready to crawl back into bed to take a nap when the day took an unexpected turn. My husband, motivated by the wrestling he was watching on television, and a sudden shot of testosterone, jumped up and picked me up in a 'fireman's hold.' I was upside down over his shoulder. Before I knew what was happening, he threw me head first onto the bed. When I landed I heard the sound of bubble wrap popping down my spine. (To hear him tell the story, he says “We were wrestling.” Let me assure you, I was not wrestling.)
Reminiscent of the time he caught my hair on fire trying to do an Ear Candling Kit or when he lowered the automatic garage door on my back when I was seven months pregnant, once again I'm lying there at the mercy of my husband and son as they debate whether to call the squad. De Ja Vu, you might say. Since I was in pain and had lost feeling in my right hand, I thought the squad might not be a bad idea. Then I remembered what I was wearing .... or rather what I wasn't ..... and calling the squad was out of the question. K came in to see what was happening and he told her that he was trying to figure out who to call to help mommy feel better. K suggested the Librarian. Bless her heart. Thankfully, my husband knows that response was due to my love for reading and not an inappropriate relationship with Adam the Librarian. Sadly, for a split second, I suspect my husband actually considered calling Adam. But then he decided on Plan C ..... the leftover Vicodin from my c-section.
I had him get me to a standing position before he went upstairs so I could see exactly what hurt. I could stand up, but my arms couldn't hang to the side without pain shooting through my neck and back. I stood there, bent slightly at the waist, with my arms hanging at odd angles. He told K to stand beside me until he gets back. K then asked, “What if it tips over?” He reminded her, “It's not a mannequin, it's mommy! So don't let it tip over!” (Wow.)
While I waited for my Vicodin, I noticed the Love Dare Book lying by the bed. Love is patient. Love is patient. Love is what?!? Does 'Love' put their spouse in a fireman's hold? Does 'Love' then torpedo that spouse head first into the mattress? Doesn't 'Love' realize that this is the year I chose my no-cussing resolution?!? I would have started screaming if the pain hadn't been so bad. That's when I decided to forgo the Love Dare (and resolution) for today, give him the tongue lashing he deserves, and start over tomorrow. Then I got scared of what tomorrow might hold. If he almost fractured my spine on Day 1, what in the world could he do to me on Day 2? Since I'm terrified of the unknown, I decided for my own safety it was best just to finish out what we'd started and I held my tongue. It was between gritted teeth, but I held my tongue. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I might have just earned my very first stone in my crown of glory in heaven one day. I don't have a tip to my tongue anymore and I lost 30% of my taste buds in the process, but I survived and more importantly, so did he.
I'm very proud of myself. I can honestly say that I didn't say anything negative to her all day. I even took care of her when she hurt her back and had to be on Vicodin all day. I also cooked dinner for her. I think this is going to be easy.
Day 2: Love is Kind.
The Dare: In addition to saying nothing negative again today, do an unexpected gesture as an act of kindness .....
I still can't go off about yesterday. Great. When the alarm went off for church and I sat up to searing pain running down my spine, it all came back to me. That wasn't a great start to my morning. When I went upstairs to get ready, I grabbed my washcloth, only to realize it was completely covered in clumps of drying toothpaste. (Love is patient, love is patient, love is patient.) I'm obviously being tested. But I held my tongue and didn't even try to find out which one of my children thought to use my washcloth to clean up toothpaste! (I don't really want to know.)
Thankfully, things got better as the day progressed and by this evening I was ready to do my kind gesture for him. I surprised him by packing his lunch for the next day and I feel really good about it. This little experiment might just work :)
Even though technically I did kind things for her yesterday, like cooking dinner and bringing her Vicodin, I still did a kind thing for her today. First thing this morning I noticed a bunch of toothpaste all over the bathroom sink so I wiped it all off with a washcloth before she got up. She never thanked me but I guess that's okay.
Day 3: Love is not selfish.
The Dare: In addition to saying nothing negative, buy your spouse something that says 'I was thinking of you.'
I didn't go anywhere today to buy him anything, so I improvised and surprised him by making him an ice cream sundae. Then I explained to him that I realize I was supposed to 'buy' him something, but since I didn't get out I still wanted him to know I was thinking about him. He immediately jumped up, ran out to his car, and brought me in a half-eaten pack of Ho Ho's and told me he was thinking of me too. I think I'll end my journal entry now.
I totally forgot today's dare until she brought me down an ice cream sundae. Luckily, I had bought a pack of Ho Ho's on the way home and only ate one. That was a close call.
.....needless to say we're not doing 'The Love Dare' anymore ..... why cause trouble, right?
That brings us to the 'Marriage Class' where right off the bat, he introduces us to the class and announces that we've been married for 16 years. When I corrected him that we've actually been married for 17 years he said, "Oh. I was counting them by Super Bowls." (We got married Super Bowl weekend, but that's another story for another time.) And guess what our first homework assignment is for this week? We're not allowed to say anything negative to our spouse at all......and he was quick to remind me of that when he gave our 2 year old his full cup of hot chocolate in the car and she spilled it all down her dress on the way home from the freakin Marriage Class! Suddenly, blogging seems like the best idea ever......