Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celebrating Our Talents

In many a good relationship, each person will bring something unique to the partnership. The trick is to nourish these differences, to foster a trusting environment where each person feels his/her talents are appreciated. Not to toot our own horns, but Alan and I do a pretty good job of this. We recognize that we possess complementary skills, and it is our celebration of these differences that makes the foundation of our relationship.

For example, Alan is a fantastic runner. He can run and run and run, and then when he's finished with that, he can run some more. I, on the other hand, yearned to be a good runner, but after running in a few races over the years, had come to terms that these knees were made for walking. Still, though, if we were ever left to fend for ourselves in the Sub-Sahara, his running technique would come in handy in chasing down prey for our dinner. This is not something to be taken for granted, so whenever I can, I let him know that I appreciate his knack for running. One year we were training for the Wharf to Wharf 10K and decided to go on a run around the lake together. As I huffed and puffed along, Alan bounced along beside me. Every few bounces he would sprint ahead and then double back to keep me company for a bit. Sometimes he would offer helpful tips like, Right foot, left foot or Relax or Lengthen your stride! After about 20 minutes of Alan's incessant cheerleading and energetic running (as I willed my body not to drop dead), I let out a scream like I had never screamed before. I mean the man was not even breaking a sweat. I had to do something, but notice that I did not tell him to stop running. After all, I like to be supportive.

While Alan is the runner in the relationship, I am not without my talents. I can find anything Alan's misplaced, as long as it's in the duplex. Have you seen my left shoe? he might ask. And there it will be in plain sight, wedged right behind the toilet. Or if he can't find his sweater, I will locate it hanging on the dish towel rack. This week he has been desperately searching for his reading light, a clever little invention that clips right onto his night time reading and that saves me from harsh overhead lighting while trying to fall asleep. On the fourth day of his searching, I finally decided to lend a hand out of pity for his poor detective skills. As I positioned my glasses on my face, he taunted, "Oh, you think you're so smart, do you? You think you can find my light, huh?" And after letting me know he appreciated my help, he slipped into the bathroom to finish brushing his teeth.

"Where did you last leave it?" I asked. I scanned the bedside table. Nothing.

"If I knew where I left it, I wouldn't be looking for it!" he laughed, as if I were the most ridiculous person he had ever met.

"Oh, is that so?" I asked, buying some time. I could hear him gargling, so I decided to look in the space between his side of the bed and the wall. A place almost too painfully obvious for his reading light to have fallen, a place where a rational person would first look... a place where Alan's reading light would be. I reached my hand in and pulled out not only his reading light, but the book he had also misplaced from weeks ago. I held the light in the palm of my hand, and waited for him to come out of the bathroom. When he finally appeared, I stared at him and said, "Bow to your master!" I said it in a way that indicated I appreciate your talents and as he did a series of bows at the foot of the bed, I could tell he appreciated mine as well.

10 comments:

kat said...

Fantastically written! What a fun post!

Also... I could be wrong, but Alan looks rather tall... My boyfriend is around 6'1" and boy, I swear, one year he ran a half marathon (with only a couple weeks training... and no exercising before that) and made it look like it was nothing. It's those long legs I'm telling you!

Cham said...

Aww so cute!
These knees were made for rickshaws. Or the two-person carry by cute firemen. That works too.

MunkyBt said...

I too am quite the bloodhound when it comes to my hubby's lost stuff, although I can never seem to find my own missing items, particularly when I KNOW exactly where I left it. I would assume Allen (my hubby) misplaced these things for me, but if that were the case I would have no trouble finding them. Must be the cat. He's in league with the devil & takes pleasure in torturing me whenever possible. He once spring boarded off my throat when I was half asleep, and then proceeded to strut around the house prouder than a peacock. Evil bastard.

Erin P said...

Great post. I think it's the ancient hunter-gatherer roots...men run around and hunt animals, women know exactly where to look for things. I can do that too, while my husband and son can be within 3 feet of something, actively looking for it, while it's partially visible, and not find it.

Little T said...

Thanks for giving me another something to add to my list of what I am looking for in a mate!

Jessie said...

this is so true and really cute!

Daniella said...

Are you perhaps hosting any upcoming webinars that teach the skill of the "Bow to your master!" in a way that indicated I appreciate your talents"?

I feel like I keep doing it with the emphasis on "you are a pain in the butt sometimes" and need to fine tune. : )

SOL said...

Definitely true and definitely an enjoyable read! BTW, I always love MunkyBt's comments--they are hilarious!

Curious Character said...

Hee hee hee. My Mum calls this the man's "potatoes for eyes" syndrome. I'm not built to be a runner myself, however if we are ever swamped by a tidal wave I could definitely FLOAT my way onto drier land. :-)

2busy said...

I am the misplacer in our relationship. My dh is always finding something for me.

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