Sir, are you aware that you're actually drinking Folgers Decaffeinated Crystals?
The other night, J and I had a fight. We don't make a habit of it, but sometimes tension mounts, and we have it out. For our recent one-year anniversary, I wrote J a list of "100 Reasons" I like him. I forgot to include this gem: I like that we fight fairly. We never spew spiteful remarks; we keep it clean. We typically deal with the issue at hand, talk (or talk loudly) through it, and come to some sort of truce. It's all very healthy, I assure you. We've both seen our way through tumultuous relationships, and I like to think that we have learned a thing or two along the way.
So recently, when J brought something up that was troubling him and I became defensive, as I do (I'm good, yet far from perfect), we retreated to separate corners for a good hour before reconvening. And by "reconvening," I mean, I went upstairs to the bedroom, where J was brooding, and pretended to pack my bags to return to New York.
"Where're you going?" J asks.
"New York," I say succinctly. We may fight fair, but I am dismayed by the separate corners, and so I respond in - what I hope is atypical - brat mode.
Of course, I don't immediately rush to 30th Street Station. We begin talking again, and we're each saying (or talking loudly about) what is bugging us. You can feel the tension melting away, and we both begin to lighten up, to see the ridiculousness of it all.
"You know, I have my faults," I assure him. "I am independent, and I get defensive, and I'm, I'm - stubborn!"
"Noooo," he says sarcastically. We both crack up.
Before I know it, we are laughing about my inherent clumsiness.
"You're upset because I am clumsy!" I tell him. "Because I am always breaking dishes? And then when I cut myself, you have to help me with band-aids and then clean up the glass?"
He laughs. "I love it when you break dishes, babe."
"You won't when they're yours."
"No. I won't," he says.
And the storm has passed. He hugs me. "You know," he says. "Sometimes you can just apologize. You can just come upstairs and say 'I'm sorry,' instead of pretending to run away to New York."
One of things on the top 100 list was that J is "infinitely patient." He'd have to be; I can be a handful. And you know, he's also got a point a lot of the time. I can feel an August resolution coming on.