Monday, February 13, 2012
Operation Be My Valentine
In Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project she focuses on her habit of nagging. I thought about this for a long time and realized that, whatever you might say about me, I'm not a nagger. In fact I'm the opposite of a nagger.
I'm a Not-listener. Which, as I considered it, seems like the unacknowledged step-child of nagging.
We don't have a tidy little phrase for the Not-listener but I would guess that Not-listening is just as pervasive as nagging. I'm careful to say Not-listening because it's something completely different than ignoring. Not-listening is the phenomonen where, in good Carol Brady style, when my husband arrives home from work I say,"Hi honey, how was your day?"
And the moment he begins to answer I stop listening. It's not that I don't want to listen. My intentions are always good, but while my husband is telling me about the details of his day, any of the following things can be happening (and usually three of them are happening simultaneously).
1. Anywhere from two to five children are sliding down the basement stairs on pillows, shrieking with the kind of delight that is the verbal foreshadowing of injury.
3. Someone can't find a sock.
4. Somewhere in the house, something is burning.
5. My mother is calling the house phone, then my cell phone, then my husband's phone, then texting.
6. I've just noticed someone has tracked peanut butter from the breakfast room all the way to the hall.
7. Someone is injured (see item #1).
8. It's occuring to me that decorations for Halloween/Thanksgiving/Hannukah/Christmas/Valentine's Day/Birthdays/St Patrick's Day/Passover/Easter/Fourth of Freaking July need to be either put up or taken down.
9. The doorbell is ringing and people are wanting me to sign a petition, buy a magazine or wondering whether Child #1 or #2 can play.
10. Someone is running through the house without pants, giggling wildly.
Okay, I confess to being the main offender in item #10. But in spite of this list, I started to wonder if there wasn't some way I could do a better job of listening.
If I manage to listen and respond to my children, friends, blogger buddies and the small village that follows me on G+, it seems like I should be able to do the same thing for the man I married.
Stop by on Wednesday for the full scoop on operation "Be My Valentine"