I was trying to keep my voice down, because I wanted to keep going through the mechanics of the disagreement.  I wanted to stand there and make it exuberantly dramatic.  But I didn't, because there was someone in the aisle with us.  A young college girl, picking up school supplies for the summer semester.  She kept stealing glances our way, trying to figure out if we were actually having an argument, or if I was just being silly.

The truth is, Joel loves to catch me unaware as I debate over a decision that some might roll their eyes at.  You see, I haven't learned to be imperfect yet, but he's teaching me to roll with the punches.  He's teaching me to just shrug and not take myself so seriously. 

Because in MY world, it has to be perfect.  It has to go according to plan.  And when it doesn't, a tremor of anxiety runs through me and I become irritable and/or visibly upset.  I used to get upset - and he may argue that I still do - when he points these things out to me. 

I could bring up the example of how we each determined how we should be going though Paris' Louvre.  How I fumed and pouted until he gave me the map, and allowed me to lead.  How we walked every square foot of the Louvre that day.  It's one of our more famous examples of how we both like to control situations - but I'm much more set on it than he is.

I can deal with things that are unplanned or unexpected, but if it is *I* who has a plan in mind, and that plan does not go, well, as planned...it brings a raincloud right on over my head.

The longer I date Joel, of course, the less and less this becomes an issue.  Sometimes I have my bad days, sure.  But I'm becoming better at it (at least I'd like to think so).  I'm rolling with the punches more. 

So when he caught me yesterday afternoon, having a white girl dilemma about what kind of cash box I should buy for an upcoming garage sale - should I go with the $10 box with no room for bills on the top drawer? or should I go with the $17.99 box with the roomy dividers on top and space below for assorted items like checks - when he caught me doing it, I was embarrassed because he was totally right.  And I knew he was.  I'm only going to use this cash box once.  Just get the cheap one.  But I still felt like I had to prove my point, so I made it a little more dramatic than it really was, just to pretend I hadn't learned my lesson and changed my mind.

You might be surprised to learn I'm not an only child - I'm the eldest of two girls.  Sometimes I don't act like the older sister, and I totally know it. 

In the end, I picked up the $10 cash box.  But I held my ground on the price labels.  Doesn't everyone know that the best way to label garage sale items is with masking tape?  DUH.  ;)

I explained my multiple reasons for my masking tape decision, right there in the aisle.  And then it was his turn to pretend I was being silly (even though I was picking up the cheaper item!  on my own!), and our voices carried through the next few aisles, I'm sure, as we continued to poke and prod at each other's mental sweet spots.  We know each other well.  We walked out hand in hand from the store, cash box and masking tape in hand.

Leave a Reply.