Earlier this month, during our trip in Maryland, we were driving from Quantico to Baltimore. We were back “home” for a family funeral, and in-between car trips to visit family, I had a spontaneous idea.
I looked down at the GPS on my phone and noticed we were getting closer to the Tidal Basin. And I suddenly remembered seeing so many beautiful pictures of the Jefferson Memorial on Instagram.
“Do you mind if we take a little detour to see the cherry blossoms? I’ve never seen them in person.” I waited nervously for his answer. He replied with an unconvincing, “Sure, if you’d like.”
The way he said it told me he wasn’t really crazy about the idea, but if it made me happy, he’d do it. It had been a difficult weekend. I couldn’t tell whether or not this detour would bring a much needed respite, or if it would have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
There were a few things I didn’t know but Brian knew to expect. First, it would take 30 minutes or so of being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic to get around the Washington Monument. Second, we would have to drive far from the Tidal Basin to find parking on a Sunday afternoon. Third, that we would be fighting throngs of tourists in a popular attraction on a gorgeous afternoon.
The clouds parted during our walk towards the Monument, and neither of us were dressed appropriately for the sudden onset heat. What should have been a short walk suddenly felt twice as long, as we were both guessing which direction to walk. We were both parched and sweaty.
I could feel the tension rolling off his back in waves. I suddenly regretted adding this detour on top of an emotional weekend because I was afraid this would turn into an argument. In my gut, I knew he was thinking about how it was a dumb idea to do this on a Sunday afternoon, at the height of the cherry blossom festival.
I braced myself for what could have been an angry disagreement, but surprisingly it turned into a priceless bonding moment. One of those moments that brings you closer as a couple, and serves as a milestone in your relationship.
I grew to love him even more as he calmly explained that he’s learning to express his frustrations without losing his temper. I admitted that, while I’m trying to be more spontaneous, I’m also learning to pick up on his subtle cues of anxiety.
It sounds simple, but it represents over ten years of growth.
And then, he did something totally unexpected. He asked me if I wanted to take a selfie. YOU GUYS. This man DESPISES taking photos! My heart exploded right then and there. I almost cried.
A wise man once told me “You guys will eventually learn your dance.”
It’s taken us almost 12 years of being together to learn “our dance.” To know the other’s limits, and how long we can push those limits before all hell breaks loose.
I didn’t end up getting a picture with the Jefferson Memorial in the background due to the crowds. Plus, I knew that I had pushed my luck far enough, and if I insisted on another 15 minute walk, it would have ruined our “dance.” I decided against trying a “new dance move” and settled for
I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to do life with. I him this man so much.
Have you ever had to learn “a dance” in life?