The Rebuttal

A few weeks ago my wife and fellow blogger, Becca Chase, wrote a blog about the losing her keys and my “lack of mind reading” to help her in finding them. For some context, read her blog before reading mine.

So like the end of her blog states, I don’t remember this happening. I’m sure she’s lost her keys at some point or another but in this particular instance, I wasn’t on the ball.

I disagree. Wanna know how I know? Because I answered her question.

Her question was “Have you seen my keys?” My response was “No“. Direct question get direct answers (and all the guy readers begin to applaud like watching Joe Carter clear the wall and beat the Phillies for the world series). I don’t know if  I was reading a book, watching TV or staring out the window but I responded directly to what was asked of me.

Why couldn’t the question have been “Baby, can you help me find my keys?” or “Can you help me find me keys, babe?” or another question with the same words? Because then I would know the need and jump right on it. You see, once assumption comes into play (meaning: this person will know what I need and what I’m thinking) you always run the risk of being wrong. Yes, there are certain days when I know exactly what’s needed. Then there are days like the ‘key incident’. THEN there are days when I assume but get it completely wrong (There’s nothing better than doing something and instead of a ‘thanks, but…’, you simply see what you’ve tried to do simply get corrected, right?).

Basically, communication is the fuel on which the car of marriage moves forward for fun trips to the beach. No communication and you’re stuck on the shoulder of the highway, far from any exits. Guys need direct words. Without communication, men forced to think  and imagine what is wanted. And more often than not, it’s like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books or we begin to combine 9 different conversations (i.e. “She wants me to take the baby out for a car wash then buy flowers at the NBA 2K11 dry cleaners? And not get dinner? Okay…”) and we get it wrong.

Ladies, never assume we know what you’re thinking or wanting. Here are the basic results of that line of thinking:

  • We honestly don’t know so we do nothing

  • We honestly don’t know but do something, hoping it’s right, knowing it’s wrong.

  • We do the BARE minimum (aiming for that 60%)

  • We nail it, get over-confident and mess up the next one, destroy our confidence and do worse the next time.

  • We ask a lot of follow-up questions.

  • We then do the same things to you…

  • We respond with the “Oh you wanted me to do THAT” face…you hate that, we know. It’s ingrained in us, like laughing at farts, doing air guitars, loving gadgets and action movies.

  • We start assuming for you and going WAY over board. Sometimes it works…other times, not so much.

  • And the worst one that can happen is this: Purposeful ignoring or avoidance. (imagine seeing someone you don’t really like in the mall walking towards you. And instead of TALKING to them, you run into the nearest store, waiting for them pass, so you can continue on your way. Now put that action into your apartment or home, knowing that you’ll be at the table with that person in 15 mins…)

Now I’ve been guilty of all of the above and after going on 6 years of marriage to my Becca, I’ve learned that some days you get it and other days you find out about it on a blog:) But I love her and getting better at the little things makes our laughter stronger, our story deeper and our marriage that much more of an adventure.

But seriously, couldn’t you have asked me to help you find the keys?

P.S. Just yesterday, before posting this email, the following exchange took place.
Him: Watching TV while ‘Her’ is out shopping. The Kid is sleeping. He hears the door open and the rustling of bags. His back is to the door so He continues in TV watching.
Her:  Once she is inside says, ‘Wow, you could help me, you know?’
Him: (In his head) “Why didn’t you just ask? I can’t see your amount of bags…what if it’s a day of ‘I can do it on my own’?”. But he gets up and helps anyhow…love does that sometimes, i guess. PLUS he knew he should have in the first place:)
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2011…Painting a Picture

Dumb title…

I can’t even paint. In fact, I hate painting. I’m so bad at it that Becca took me off painting duty when we were (and by we I mean she) was painting Eliana’s room.

What I meant by the title is that I want to “metaphorically speaking” paint you a picture of what I want my 2011 to look like. No, this is not a late addition to the New Year’s Resolution Party. Nor is it a goals list. This is an if I could do a couple of these things really well, I’d be happy” picture. You see, I got really sick just before Christmas. pneumonia sick. In the hospital sick…wasn’t fun at all. And while I was recuperating, I realized that I really wasn’t taking care of myself in many areas.

  • I hadn’t done anything sports-wise or healthy in ages. Running stairs was hard.
  • I hadn’t really took time to read like I did in the summer.
  • I wasn’t taking care of my core soul.
  • I was getting bored and tired with everything and everyone (sorry if you were in that path…)

Now Becca and Ellie were the lifeline but I realized that I have to lead my home properly. That my wife won’t respect me if I’m lazy. And that my daughter will one day look for a guy who was like me. And if I didn’t like ME, I’d hate that dude…or really like him…but mostly hate him.

Anyhow…so as I got better, I started to do an inventory of my life, in a holistic sense (based off of Mark 12:28-31) and areas I wanted to improve with practical ideas on how. Then my buddy Josh suggested that I put it online to make sure that I did it or at least attempted to…so here’s my holistic list.

  • Feed my mind – This year, I want to read a book every 10 days. The type of books? Doesn’t matter. Listen to great music that inspires me. Take in a sunset. Paint. The last one is a lie.
  • Feed my soul – Really pray and get into the Bible. I’ve never been a sit down at 3 AM and get into the word guy. Sorry if that confession makes you question my Godly status. Hopefully the fruit from my life makes up for it? I’ve been really using the apps on my phone and iPod (and soon…the iPad) to make that a priority.
  • Feed my body – I’m looking at prices and my time to join the Ajax community centre. Plus I REALLY need to eat better. AND actually EAT!! I’d love to be 160 one day:). So working out…and playing more golf this summer. Went out twice. not enough.
  • Feed my heart – Dream a lot, enjoy company with my friends, make new friends, love my wife and daughter. Be passionate about who I am and what I do. Stay engaged in cool stuff.

The result of this picture: I’d be a better man, husband and father. And I’d live longer…maybe.

Think I can do it? What should I look out for? What are my roadblocks? Think you can help me do these things?