Thursday, I ran across this and thought, "Wow - I wish someone would do the same for us female types."
Well, Jag apparently thought the same thing, but took it one step further and threw down the gauntlet to several of us out here on the internets.
While my first instinct is to scramble for the shadows and let someone else step up to the plate (and by now, they very well may have, but I don't want that to influence me, so I haven't checked yet), I'll take the challenge.
So, for the other girls out there who might be interested in someone else's point of view, here goes nothing...
While I can't say I know what's best for everyone, I do know what works for us. I have found that there is a simple two-word phrase that is the key to happiness: "Thank you".
And just saying it is not enough. You have to mean it. That's the tough part for me, because that requires some letting go. You may find this hard to believe, but I have been accused of being a control freak on more than one occasion.
When your husband/boyfriend/significant other looks at you and tells you, "You sure look pretty today, honey", don't roll your eyes and complain about how the humidity is making your hair frizz and how the dark circles under your eyes have their own area code and your jeans feel like they're cutting you in half at the waist because you're as bloated as a dead possum that's been lying in the sun for three days.
You see, your guy doesn't see all of that. He sees the woman he fell in love with. Pointing out your flaws doesn't accomplish anything other than opening the possibility of him beginning to doubt his ability to choose the perfect mate.
So even though you may not feel glamorous and beautiful wearing his oversized t-shirt with no makeup as you pour him a cup of coffee -- to him, you are a goddess. His goddess.
So, accept his compliments. More importantly, believe his compliments, smile as you remember why it was you fell in love with him in the first place, and tell him "Thank you".
When your guy takes it upon himself to load the dishwasher, don't look at the half-rinsed plates leaning against each other, the over-stuffed silverware basket and the "top rack only" items crammed on the bottom shelf and sigh and mutter about having to reload the darn thing yourself.
Let it go.
He just took his time that could have been spent setting his fantasy football team's line-up and cleared out the sink and loaded the dishwasher to help you. Because he loves you and sees all that you do for him and your family and wants to help too. It doesn't matter that he didn't do it the way you would have done it. What matters is it's done. Besides, the 2 minutes it will take you to reorganize the dishwasher when you get out of bed at 2:30 in the morning because it's still driving you crazy is nothing.
Just thank him for helping with the dishes and ask if he's ready to go snuggle up on the couch and see what's on TiVo (even if won't be "Lost" for another 3 months).
I tend to be one of those stubborn types, who feels like she has to do everything herself if she wants it done right. But I'm learning that there's such a thing as "good enough".
It's good enough that my laundry is clean and folded and in my dresser. The fact that there was no bleach used on the whites (this may be a blessing in disguise, because they weren't all white, anyway), the Bounce sheet never made it into the dryer, and my t-shirts are in my sock drawer doesn't matter.
What does matter is my husband cares enough about me to want to help me out. And that's more than good enough. Besides, he's learned how to work the Downy ball, so there's always hope we can continue to make small steps.
Don't let today's obstacles get in your way. You're in this for a lifetime, and excuse the botched together string of clichés, but in the long run, it ain't nothing but a drop in the bucket.
Seriously, remember what brought you together in the first place.
When he gets home from work, think back to that first time he picked you up for a date. How your heart was beating just a little fast and you checked at least 4 times to make sure your mascara wasn't smeared, and "does this bra give me enough cleavage?".
When you see it's him calling, stop what you're doing, smile, and give your full attention to your conversation. None of this "Mmm hmm... oh, sorry, what did you say? I was just reading this email..." crap.
Write his initials in a heart in the margin of your legal pad when you're stuck in yet another meeting at work. Remember what it was like when the two of you had an entire lifetime ahead of you. Because you still do.
Focusing on what's not right and what's out of your control and being negative is not going to help your relationship (or your own well-being).
Don't look at the floor that needs to be swept and the diaper pail that needs to be emptied and the blanket of dog hair covering the bed. Those leaves on the floor are there because your husband was working in the yard, the diapers are a result of having a wonderful, healthy child, and there would be no dog hair if there wasn't a loving dog to go with it.
So, don't worry about what's wrong. Focus on what's right. What's manageable. So what if your infant son is wearing a girl's shirt? His daddy loved him enough to pick it out for him, and he was right - J.J did look cute in it anyway.
Thank you, baby - love you!