Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One up

written February 15, 2013

Last night, while I sat on the couch feeding Everett, John was working on some kind of Valentine surprise upstairs in our bedroom.  I woke up still sitting on the couch holding Everett almost three hours later. 

"John?" I quietly yell from the couch (I know that's an oxy moron, but if you have/had babies you know what I mean).  I thought he had fallen asleep or something. 

"I thought we were going to watch that movie?  Now you will just fall asleep because it's so late!" 

He came down about five minutes later.

I honestly thought he went upstairs to finish writing his Valentine card to me or something, but when I woke up and realized he'd been up there so long I thought he must have been cleaning our bedroom, or changing the sheets (which have a ton of baby spit up on them) or something.

He had taken the day off of work and that is what I had hoped would happen, my Valentine dream gift; I would be able to finally get my room clean.  So, I was very excited at the prospect of having a clean room! 

However, when I entered my room at 2:30 in the morning, I was greeted by the same pile of clothes on the bed, the same sheets, and the same pile of books to step over.  To say I wasn't disappointed would be a big fat lie. 

I stood in the doorway of our room kind of shocked, "What in the world was he doing up here all that time?" I thought to myself.  I turn to go in the bathroom and I see this:

Twelve years ago we first met, Little did I know my life was set, My shirt had some holes, You thought you had too many moles, I've put on some weight and money is thin, But you still have a cute butt chin, Ups and downs, Laughter and some frowns, I guess what I am saying in this letter, Is I love you, You make my life better.

Don't shoot me, but honestly, I was a little disappointed.  I was so looking forward to my clean room, or partially cleaned room, or at least my changed sheets, when none of those things happened I was disappointed. (I'm telling you great expectations are our biggest downfall in life.)

I got in bed to nurse Everett and sarcastically told John, "Happy Valentine's Day, I'm so glad we were able to spend the evening together..."  I could not believe he had "wasted" at least three hours doing that!  "I didn't know it would take me that long..."  he replied.  I guess those little foam sticky letters were harder to use than he thought.

This morning when I got out of bed, I re-read his little note on the door.  It actually really was sweet, and I felt a little bit bad for giving him a hard time, and all of a sudden a thought popped in my head I had heard years ago,  "Spend your marriage trying to one up each other."

That thought stuck with me while I got Trevan ready for school, packed his lunch, and waited outside for the bus with him.  I looked at John's car frosted over and I got my idea! 

While John showered, I did this:

You can see where I had just started to scrape the windows regularly, then got the heart idea... Ha!

When he left for work, I ran upstairs and watched with anticipation out of the window so I could see his expression.  At first, I don't think he noticed it, then he started the car, came out and started scraping the windows.  "What!?  He's embarrassed to drive to work with the hearts on the car!" I thought... Not the reaction I had hoped for. I watched him scrape away all the hearts except the one in the rear window.  Right before he got back in the car to leave, he happened to look up and saw me.  He got that squinty smile on his face and blew me a kiss.

I know why someone said to try and one up each other, because obviously, if you spend your time thinking about the other person and how you can make them happy of course a marriage is going to turn out all right.

For me, it's the little things that matter.  I don't need a man to bring me flowers, I need a man that will clean up my work spread across the living room floor when I take a "five minute break" and fall asleep on the couch at midnight. 

Just like when we were dating, I woke my roommate up early to walk across the street with me to put fruit snacks and a little note on John's car so he would get a surprise on his way to work that morning.  It's always nice to know someone thought about you and took a little time out to do something nice for you. 

Sometimes I'm not the happiest with John, I mean two people that live together can't get along ALL THE TIME or agree on everything right?  There may have been a "few" times in the evenings where I have been upset with John, but not upset enough to not put my legs in his lap for him to rub my feet.  (I know, right?  He's a good man to still rub my feet and legs when he knows I'm upset at him...)  Maybe that's his way of one-upping me... So, it's likely he'll always be ahead in this little game. 

But, it's true.  How insightful that couple was who gave that talk on marriage and how they spend their marriage trying to one up the other?  You should challenge your spouse to this little game...

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