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He Said, She Said

As I perused my daily dose of blogs I found Sarah’s post to be my must-read of the day! It seems those bath crayons given to the kids have found their way to her shower. She and her husband use them to leave notes of information and affection. What a sweet and creative way to keep in touch!

Figuring out how to communicate is such a challenge in any relationship. I don’t know if this is true with all men, but the Y-chromosome members of my household are not very receptive to subtle or even not-so-subtle hints. One of the older boys came home from a youth group meeting and said, “I think this girl was flirting with me. She programmed her phone number into my cell phone.” You think so?! Another time a high school son was perplexed when he got off the school bus. “This girl just keeps talking to me. I answer her questions, but she just keeps talking.” That’s right. She doesn’t care what your answers are. She just wants your attention. Reading the subtext is not one of their strong points.

Of course expecting the subtext to be read is a hindrance to communication as well. Have you ever set up a secret test for someone and then been hurt when they didn’t pass? For example, if he really misses me when he is out of town he should call every night. Now I never explicitly communicate this expectation to him. But if he doesn’t call, I am hurt. How reasonable is that?

I think about this as St. Valentine’s Day approaches. Early in our relationship I had certain expectations. My husband did not. We had what I termed our annual St. Valentine’s Day massacre. I wanted roses, chocolates, and champagne. He thought all the fuss over a day in February was silly. After twenty-three years we have evolved into a comfortable routine. On February 14 we exchange cards and I may make a special meal or dessert. He surprises me with flowers all year long. We remember to say “I love you” many times every day. I’ve learned to tell him what I am hoping for. He’s learned that even if my expectations appear inefficient and redundant to his engineering psyche, it doesn’t hurt to indulge me a little.


Christine said…
I like the bath crayon idea!

Hubby will be home this St. Valentine's Day for the first time in years. One year he was home (in the last three), but his team was in from around the country, so he ate out with them. One year he was in P.R.!

I really don't mind, to tell the truth. I realized that first year he had to travel on that day that I have got a man who shows his love for me in a million different ways all year long. Why do I need a particular day in February for him to show me? We try to do something nice together near that time (Feb. 14 is actually the halfway mark between anniversaries), but if we don't...oh, well!

My friend and I talked it over last year, and we decided that some people out there are (a) insecure and (b) not telling the people they love how they feel, thinking that waiting until St. Valentine's Day is okay.

Oh, one more thing. Have you noticed how completely COMMERCIAL this Catholic saint's feast day has become?? I mean, holy mackerel! Check out the array of gifts! The ads on the radio are awful, too! (Why get flowers when you can get a GPS system? - and I did not make that up!)

As for Hubby and me, we might go on a date (we need one!) when my parents are here with the kids this weekend. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if we took off, just the two of us, for a bite to eat alone. :)
Michelle said…
I'm the one who doesn't give two hoots about gifts on Feb 14th. I find myself questioning my husband to be sure he doesn't have something planned for me (which would make me feel guilty that I've done nothing much for him).

Every year he goes to Hallmark or CVS and buys a card for me from each child and himself. Full priced cards cost, what?, $2.00? $2.50? So he'll spend between $12 and $15 just on greeting cards! I wince at the expense, but am so very touched that he does this and makes sure each child signs it (if they are able) and gives it to me personally.
Sarah said…
Michelle, I love that! And Denise, I am glad you like the bath crayons idea. It adds a certain flair to showertime, that's for sure...

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