Relationships can be challenging sometimes, especially after the effects of cumulative time shared. And when oral communication fails as it often does, gestures become far more important. This is a small tale of failed communication and successful gestures that took place just this week.
I had nearly finished my morning routine when spouse stirred and shuffled to the kitchen for coffee. "Bonjour," he said as he passed me at my desk catching up on blogs before going to work. "Bonjour," I said as I got up to follow him to the kitchen. "Before I forget, can you ask Ed if he received my invoice?" ( I give classes at his work and Ed is the accounts payable guy.)
"You know how to ask. Do it yourself," came the reply, which I read as highly hostile, but which was more likely due to the fact that he had just gotten out of bed. I pretended to ignore the hostility and whined," Oh, come on, I don't have time this morning and I can't understand him on the phone and because...." But I didn't have the chance to finish because snipy bastard spouse said, "Because what? Why can't you do it? You're not a baby." (elongated sarcastic accent on the baby)
Then I raised my voice. (How did things degenerate so quickly?)
"I ask one fucking simple question, a fucking YES or NO question in fact and all you can be is shitty. Forget it. Just forget I said anything."
I stormed back to my desk and muttered, "Why is it always me who is the asshole. All I did was ask a question." (I can be pretty good at that "what? what are you lookin' at me for, I didn't do anything" self-deception thing)
After that it was the cold war the rest of the morning. The two of us stayed in separate rooms and for the next half hour until it was time for me to go to work. I left without a word, still pissed, and he remained silent upon my departure as well. No goodbye kisses.
I arrived at my first lesson and opened my bag to take out the class materials. And inside, right on top, there was a homemade sandwich from spouse in a baggy.
And then I smiled, and wistfully laughed, and everything was okay.