Tonight, as I stood in the shower- sadly where I have most of my blog ideas and not a thing with which to write them down- it hit me! The answer to all marital communication issues. I am going to not only amaze you with my highly developed writing skills tonight, but I am also going to save marriages around the world because I have discovered the solution to biggest challenge they face: how to effectively communicate. Yes, I am that good.
Actually, this epiphany came to me as I was heading into the shower. This is important to the discovery, I promise. I feel the best way impart this wisdom is by using pictures. Not those kind of pictures. Geesh! My dad reads this blog for Pete's sake!
This is my bedroom... Well, some of it. I couldn't quite get a good picture of the whole room.
Please note it is never this clean. In fact, there is a gigantic pile of dirty clothes, laundry baskets filled with clean, unfolded clothes, kid toys, and too many un-mated socks lying just beyond the frame of this picture.
This beautiful bed that is
made everyday only made because I was going to take a picture and put it on the Internet, resides in the left hand side of the room. On the right hand side of the room you will find this...
Originally, this chair was used for feeding the boys when they were babies and reading stories as our nighttime routine. Over the years it has rocked stuffed animals and served as a place for time-outs. Eventually my lap became too small for the boys to sit comfortably when reading bedtime stories and the chair became more of a launching pad for little boys who wanted to fly across the room, so it was time for it to be re-purposed. It became... The Gaming Chair. You see, 4 feet in front of this piece of family history resides this...
On any given night from approximately 7:45 p.m. on, you can find me here...
sometimes reading high quality, rich literature. (That's smart talk for "cheesy fanfic", by the way.)
And Hubs here...
studiously killing terrorists in remote parts of the world that I can not name without having to kill you. I read, he games. It's what we do.
Most of you probably don't know this, but there are certain rules that go along with being a member of Game Club. #1 rule of Game Club: Don't initiate conversation during Game Club. I know this. I'm not a new Game Club groupie. And while I have read and understood Rule #1 of Game Club, there are times when it is necessary to speak. I know, I know. Is there really anything that is necessary enough to warrant interrupting Game Club? Yes, there is. Luckily I am married to a good man who loves me very much- some people might say he loves me more than Game Club. I feel pretty strongly he's one of those people who would say that, by the way. So if he's in the middle of a particularly dramatic moment where the safety of the free world as we know it hangs on his ability to get the kill shot, and I initiate conversation, he politely holds up a finger. No, not that one. The other one, next to it- his pointer finger. In our home this translates to, "Just a minute, babe. I'm saving the world. Please hold." And because I don't want to be responsible for world domination by evil terrorists, I wait.
When the mission is completed and my man returns from the dusty terrain of parts unknown, I know I have his attention. Mostly. Typically he begins another round or a new game (not sure what it's called- I'm not that good of a Game Club groupie it seems) but he lets me know he's ready to converse because he kindly takes one headphone of one ear and tilts his head slightly in my direction. These two actions translate to, "I'm listening now, honey. Please tell me the important thing you had to say. And thanks for waiting for me to save that village of innocent people before you proceeded to share whatever fascinating piece of information you have for me." See? We totally have this communication thing down already, right?
At this point, whatever little tid-bit I wanted to share usually is left unsaid. Not because he's not listening (I have the one-ear-head-tilt to prove it remember) but because either the moment has passed or I realized it was a pretty pointless piece of information and we move on. But there are times when I decide I would like to speak, and permission has been granted (again, one-ear-head-tilt) but I'm kind of in a difficult spot. One-ear-head-tilt does not always come with eye contact. Although listening, he's still watching the T.V. screen. Hubs is a smart man so I know he can multi-task almost as good as, well, me; but the eye contact vs. no eye contact ratio in our house is about 1:9. Just so we're all on the same page, he looks at me 1 out of every 9 times I am speaking to him during Game Club. Not the other way around. I find this a bit disconcerting for a few reasons. But the main reason is this...
If I am getting into the shower, there is never an eye contact problem. Well, let me clarify that. It might not be exactly eye-to-eye contact, but it's definitely eye-to-something contact. There is absolutely no question about whether or not I have his full attention. In fact, there ain't a terrorist clan in the world that can divert his attention in those moments. Of course I'm glad my man finds me nice to look at. I count my blessings for that fact on a daily basis. Knowing that he feels I'm something worth looking at even after knowing me for 16 years makes him a keeper for sure. And true, The Gaming Chair is approximately 2 feet from the shower door while the bed is roughly 8 feet from The Gaming Chair so it is a bit easier to make eye-to-something-contact when I'm getting into the shower than eye-to-eye-contact when I'm reading on the bed. But really? Every time? It's Pavlovian, I swear! The shower water turns on and the head not only tilts, but it turns as well! The shower door clicks open and suddenly there's instant eye-contact.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this highly scientific observation has lead to one of the most profound discoveries in the history of marriage research and it has yielded a fool-proof method for solving all communication problems that exist within the confines of marriage. Ready for it? Here you go...
Have every important conversation naked.
You'll have your spouse's undivided attention, complete eye contact, and let's not forget the head tilt and turn. And that's the cheapest marital advice you'll ever get from a "professional."
Experienced wives know how to talk to their men... naked.
That's just my normal.