My friend Kim wrote a blog entry this week called 'Five Years of Happy Things' In which she responds to a writer's exercise prompt: "Something your significant other does that makes you happy"
She did a very good job talking, for the first time I can recall, nicely, about her significant other. Kim's quite a decent sort. In her essays she's usually pretty hard on herself but I'm too much the gentleman to argue with her self analysis. Either she is all those negative things she says about herself, or she's a terrible judge of character. Who am I to question that?
I was moved by it and motivated to respond in kind. However, where Kim's is all blah, blah, he buys the groceries, blah, blah, I'll go for the jugular, straight to the truly important measures of a healthy relationship. I'm a terribly emotional guy, sensitive too. I can spit out romantic ramblings with the best of them. Besides, I don't go grocery shopping, I'm not even sure who does. Sometimes I come home and there are groceries. I've never felt the need to call out the detective squad to track it all down. It's a system that works for me though, so I just don't put any more thought to it. It may even be the same person(s) that makes the bed and pushes that damnably noisy dust sucking machine around on the carpets every week, or month or however often it happens.. It's a working system and I'm not the nosy, busybody type. I'm mature enough to accept the way things are without pointing fingers.
Here's my response to the same writing exercise.
Something your significant other does that makes you happy:
She is indeed 'significant'. Angel is very important to me. I care what she
thinks of me, I don't ever want to make her angry or sad. I really can't
say that with as much conviction about anyone else.
2. She is certainly 'other'. I like the fact that she is not like me in many, many
ways. I don't think I would like me very much if I weren't stuck with
me, so her differences, I appreciate. What are her differences? First
let me thank you for letting me pretend that you actually asked that excellent
She's female. This may not seem like much to some people, but
occasionally it just works out better. I can't help it, I was born this
She's more organized, but not perfectly so. Sometimes her occasional bouts of forgetfulness serve to amuse us all greatly. The bill collectors, maybe not as much.
She has no real interest in any of my hobbies. That means I am free to pursue them (or not) at my own pace. It's never a competition.
She likes cartoons. I hate them, but she lets me turn the channel to something other than Sponge Bob if I'm in the room.
There's more, these are just what popped into my head. Back to the bigger list.
3. She makes me laugh.
4. She makes herself laugh.
She doesn't depend on me for construction projects. She's just as
handy, and usually more motivated than me, with a circular saw, paint brush, bucket
of grout, or a pile of lumber.
6. She doesn't nag me into 'enjoying' the same things as her, except for
broccoli. What it is with her and broccoli I have no idea, the stuff is
disgusting in every form.
7. She doesn't call me at work
eleventy-seven times a day like my cube-neighbor's wife. In fact it's
quite rare for her to call me at all. I wish she would call occasionally, she has a sultry and somewhat provocative phone voice. Sometimes I pretend she is someone else, a little more exotic and less familiar, someone secret.
8. She respects the fact that my job and the requisite long commute quite often wears me out completely.
9. She trusts me with the remote control, most of the time.
10. Her snoring does not keep me awake.
She does not expect me to be the sole source of her happiness. That I can
make her laugh occasionally, or if she's happy to be around me is icing
on the cake, not a need or demand.
12. She isn't really all that interested in what I'm thinking at most
points in time. This makes it easier for me since most of the time my
thoughts are banal, boring, completely misguided and usually about
something else altogether.
13. Absence of conversation does not drive her nuts. She neither expects
me to keep her constantly updated about every passing thought I have
nor does she wear me down with trivial and minute details about what
goes on in her adorably fluffy noggin. We can sit in a room for long
periods of time together without saying a word. Those in fact, are some
of our favorite moments.
14. And finally, the thing she does that makes me the happiest, is that
she still, after twenty five roller coaster years, loves me. At least
she says she does, which is good enough for me and which is more than a lot of people can say. We're
often buddies, confidants, friends, co-conspirators, partners, able
foils to the light-hearted, yet sometimes biting repartee of the other.
We both respect and enjoy our personal time and space, we both realize that
the others' tipping point is not the same as our own.
Oh yeah, she doesn't sweat the small stuff. Young'uns and ignorant
romantics may not realize just how very important that last bit is.
Sometimes the essence of happiness is merely the absence of unhappiness.
Or as she put it once: "Happiness is overrated, I'm quite satisfied
with being content."
That's another thing I like about her, rational and well-managed
expectations, perfectly matching my famously lackluster (inept?) social and
She makes it all very easy.