Day two of January blog a day: Two… things you should never say to your partner.
While there are many things that would probably be good to steer clear from conversation with your partner — “honey, have you gained weight” and “you’re starting to bald” included — my husband and I found that there are other more mild things we should also not say to one another. Both of the following short and slightly unfinished thoughts were written on our vacation in Fiji last June that I just never posted. Good thing I was saving them for a special day in the new year 🙂
#1. Your smile sucks.
Sometimes Colin and I take pictures of each other. I think he feels the need to do it because he is married to an Asian, and that’s exactly what Asian couples do when they’re on vacation. Of course, I have a draw to take lots of pictures because I’m the Asian one. Anyhow, it’s all quite a mystery but it means that he frequently Instagrams my face and I usually get upset that I look so fat in his pictures of me.
But today I’ve hit a new low. We are sitting poolside at the Westin in Fiji, which is a lot like the Nordstrom of resorts here in New Zealand’s Mexico. The sun has been snuggled into a feather down comforter of clouds for a few hours now, I’ve read the rest of my Anne Lammott book, Colin has used the restroom twice. We are slowly ticking off bullets in my imaginary “things to do when you’re bored or on vacation” master list.
I turned to snap a photo of my dear husband and he smiles all non-chalant and golden-boy-like and I make a mental tag to send it to mom and dad later as a token of our happiness on vacation. Then Colin turns to take a picture of me. I make my usual set of faces that tell him I don’t really want my photo taken in the oversized, barely dressed poolside state that I’m in. But I smile anyway because that’s what good wives do (and that was last year’s resolution). He takes the picture then pulls up his work to gander at it.
Then… he frowns (and he isn’t even good at frowning so the fact that I noticed this means something in itself). He turns to look at me and says, “your smile is not very good.”
Then I ordered a mojito because I’m not emotionally prepared to handle such casual criticism while I’m in my swim suit.
#2: You’re getting old.
My husband is getting older. He hasn’t arrived to “old” yet he’s definitely entered the in-between. I told him this the other day when we were sitting in the airport while our flight was delayed two hours. I don’t know if I was saddened by our flight being delayed and that’s what caused my offensive and careless comments for my husband’s aging face (of which he is truly sensitive like I just pointed out a pimple on his nose before his first real date), or it could’ve been my accidental irreverent optimism for the feelings of those around me. Either way, I said it aloud to my lovely husband who was so happy go lucky at this moment because he just returned from the trinket shop next door where he bought a really silly and dumb magnet for our fridge.
It was plastic and had the symbol for local Fiji beer on it. I knew I would never allow it on our fridge but it cost him only $1.95 so I let him keep it. He walked back with a suave demeanour like he just bought me a pair of diamond earrings or upgraded our seats to first class. Instead he opened a tissue paper pouch of cheap plastic.
That’s when I noticed he was looking older. So I told him that, because honesty is something we both cherish in our marriage (apparently, me more so than him). He was immediately very disappointed and put on his best frown (even better than the one he wore when he told me my smile sucks). He walked away to sit in the seat across from me and spent the next several minutes staring (probably into the dim future of getting old).
After a few minutes he told me I can’t say things like that. That it was like him telling me my boobs are looking saggy. Not like grandma but like a little kid was pulling on them too much and their elasticity was growing longer and thinner. His words: “and that’s just not nice”. And I thought to myself, well for 24 years old my boobs are a bit saggy. Probably from those years as a teenager when I used to sleep without a bra. It wasn’t til I was in college that my older, wiser brother told me that if I kept going to bed without a bra on my boobs would divide and sag to each side giving one another space to live in peace, like New Zealand and Australia. But Colin is right. It’s not very nice. And the lesson I’ve learned is to keep my honest thoughts to myself.
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Tomorrow… day 3: Bucket list.
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