No really, I kind of did last week. Granted it was 3 am, I was drunk and tired after returning home from Fake Prom, but I still smelt it under my nose. I told Steph I was hungry and he offered to make me some toast. Seeing as how it’s a much healthier alternative than street meat – and we don’t really live anywhere near a hot dog vendor – I went for it.
What happened next borderlines on total over reaction on my part. I’ll get that out of the way right now.
So he makes the toast – very sweet of him – and when he passes it to me I notice that it’s overcooked. I prefer it on the #4 setting, a little crispy with some softness underneath but this was all crispy on his favorite setting, #6. I know, totally anal of me, but I’m sure you have something that you like made just a certain way, right? … Right???
Rather than just be drunk and happy with the food in front of me, my brain decided to go for drunk and crazy. I started going on about how Steph should know that I like my toast on #4 instead of #6. I was stressing how I almost always make his food exactly as he likes it without him having to mention it, while I have to ask repeatedly for him to do one little thing for me. I make the effort to consider him when doing these things without him requesting it. It’s just a little thing called effort that everyone needs to put into a relationship everyday to make it work.
On and on we went. About toast. And toast settings. And him not caring about me because I consider him more and make his toast perfect for him. Blah blah blah. How he didn’t see why it was important to me.
And really, it’s just bread. I am lucky to have it and it shouldn’t really matter that much how crisp it is.
Somehow, by the grace of the Pink Unicorn, we got our shit together. Perhaps we were starting to sober up. Perhaps we were actually learning something because we had a bit of a breakthrough.
I knew the toast setting wasn’t important. It doesn’t *really* taste that different on 6, certainly not enough to make such a stink about it. So I told him. I admitted that on the surface what I was complaining about was insignificant, a drop in the bucket, an absolute waste of our energy that should have been used for awesome drunk fucking. If it was so insignificant though, why was it still such a big deal?
Because the first few times it doesn’t matter. The first few times your partner forgets something or doesn’t make an effort – that perhaps you yourself would make for them – it’s ok. Everyone remembers differently and we’re not carbon copies of one another doing things the same way all the time. However, after more than a few times where I find myself noticing that something so easy I’ve asked for has been ignored it becomes so much more than toast settings, or wanting my hair pulled occasionally instead of stroked.
It becomes a case of feeling unimportant, insignificant, irrational, and unconsidered.
If he won’t even make my bread the way I like it, why would he care about anything that really matters to me?
All he hears is “My toast is burnt”, but all I’m trying to say is “You didn’t consider me … again and it hurts.”
We talked about toast for longer than any two humans should. He realized that we don’t react the same way to things and that he shouldn’t chastize me anymore for finding some things important that he doesn’t. He recognized that if something matters to me, it should matter to him – and vice-versa, no matter how silly we think the item at hand is. And that’s not to say that a toast setting is important, but instead that being heard when making a request is, no matter how big or how small.
You could insert many things into this conversation in place of toast. Steph hates it when I leave my clothes on the floor. I don’t want to keep doing it, but admittedly I do and I have to recognize that it’s important to him and something I should be better at. For you, it might be that you want to be touched a certain way, but your partner continues to ignore it. Maybe you’ve stressed that you would like to try a new restaurant but you keep getting the same old Applebees week after week after week. Perhaps you’d like a text message when your husband’s leaving the bar with his girlfriend.
Whatever it is in your life that matters, never assume that they know. How can we expect our husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers and friends to know what is important to us if we don’t tell them? If you agree that it’s something silly, don’t be afraid to say so but still stress that it matters to you. And for those reading on the other side of the equation, try to remember that what might seem silly, insignificant and small to you, might mean the world to the person asking for it.
Don’t even get me started on peanut butter jelly time.