About a year ago, during a marriage counseling session, the Husband mentioned something which bothered him.
“Carla’s birthday is coming and I have absolutely no idea what to buy her.”
This surprised him.
This, to him, showed a greater disconnect between the two of us than he’d thought.
This was absolutely no surprise to me.
I couldn’t identify what I wanted. I wanted nothing.
It isn’t I don’t like material things (I have an addiction to eyeglasses which would impress Elton John).
It’s just outside of my love of ostrich jerky I’m less about wanting more (stuff) and more about wanting…something else.
I didn’t know what the else was (in general. for my birthday.) and said as much in the session.
I understood how, for him, not immediately thinking Oh Carla would *love* this! felt like a sign of doom for our marriage.
Since I didn’t have an answer for him, however, it only made me want to dig deeper (in general. for my birthday.) and discover what I wanted.
I’ve spent the past eleven months since that session pondering Love Languages.
I’ve paid attention to what types of (finger quotes) gifts (unFQ) made me feel heard.
I’ve noted when others used their language with me, was able to appreciate the gesture yet recognized the language didn’t match mine.
And then I left town for a few days.
I attended a conference. I learned. I laughed. I thought not much about what was happening back at home.
From schoolwork to meal prep I knew the Husband could handle it and I’d take over when (he left town and) I returned.
I landed in Austin.
I returned home.
Sitting on the counter were these beauties:
I adore the slim, seedless wonders.
I write while I simultaneously snack on them.
I walk around the house and grab one each time I pass the kitchen island.
I don’t drink enough water and these water-laden treats help me hydrate.
It wasn’t an understatement to say I was shocked the Husband thought to buy some when he went to the grocery.
It also isn’t an understatement to say upon seeing them I realized cucumbers are my love language.
I like my Fiat. It’s not my love language.
I don’t find love in the Husband unloading the dishwasher—he lives here (and when he travels he’s not here to unload).
I don’t feel sappy sentiment when the Husband sits outside to watch the Child and friends swim so they don’t drown–he’s her father.
I was more touched by the purchase of the Persian lovelies than I would have been by jewelry or a car.
After my realization I began to notice other acts of love around the domicile.
Always seemingly small stuffs, but small stuff which was really big stuff to me.
Indications of someone thinking about me, whether I was present or not, and making an effort to make my life easier.
Gestures like the Child pre-filling the Doodle’s afternoon scoop of food in the morning before leaving for school.
Each time I opened the dog food container (invariably in a hurry to get to my next task) and saw the scoop already brimming with food I felt loved.
I sensed someone was living with the backdrop of What could I do to make Carla’s day better & brighter? and that felt great.
Have I shared my realization with the Husband?
I haven’t. I tend to be the person who jumps in too soon instead of holding a thought *in*, exploring it and sharing only after that.
I still need to clarify the Language in my head (and my birthday is rapidly approaching).
I don’t know I can (yet) define for another (outside of cucumbers & dog food scoops) what my Love Language looks like.
But I’m getting there.
And yet, thanks to the Husband, I’ll be snacking along the way.