Yesterday, Nick and I had a very Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn moment. No, no — not in the sense that we’re breaking up, silly! But we sort of lived out the “I want you to WANT to do the dishes” scene from The Breakup. Except, I was Vince Vaughn and Nick was Jennifer Aniston…
… Let me start over.
Nick had a card that he had written out for his grandmother, and it was addressed, with a stamp on it, sitting at the top of the stairs in our apartment. That’s where we usually sit things that need to be remembered on our way out the door. The morning after he wrote the card out, I saw it still sitting there. Huh, I figured — Nick forgot to grab the card on his way to work. Guess he’ll mail it later. I went about my day and pretty much immediately forgot about it.
The following day, yesterday, it was still sitting there. Geez, I thought to myself, when is he going to mail that card? I ended up not leaving the apartment yesterday, so I didn’t grab it on my way out anywhere to drop it in the nearest mailbox, and it just didn’t occur to me that I should go out of my way to mail it.
Last night, Nick said to me, “Will you remember to mail that card tomorrow, or should I just walk down to the mailbox right now?”
Um, excuse me?
barked very nicely said, “I was never told that I was supposed to mail that card.”
He immediately knew that the way he had asked his question sounded accusatory, and he backtracked a little bit to redeem himself. After a little spattering back-and-forth, he said I was right, he had never asked me to mail the card, and he apologized that it came out the wrong way; then, he walked down the street to mail the card.
But it occurred to me later in the evening — why didn’t I mail that card for him? No, he had never outright asked me, but I saw it sitting there for two days in a row, and I ignored it. The mailbox is half a block from our apartment, and yes, it would have been “out of my way,” but I work from home and it probably would have taken all of 90 seconds of my time to take care of it. But I didn’t.
He wanted me to WANT to mail the card for him.
He does nice things for me all the time without my asking, but I did not extend the same courtesy to him. I felt like a jerk.
Hopefully I’ll learn from this incident and go out of my way to be a little more courteous the next time. Next time, I’ll WANT to mail the card for him.
Do you and your spouse ever have the “I want you to WANT to do the dishes” moment?