#TBT This is one of my all time favorite blogs. It even makes my dog laugh--or maybe she's just yawning.
My husband thinks I’m bossy. The reason he thinks this is because I tell him what to do. But not in a bossy way. I would never do that. That’s not nice. I’m not bossy—I’m helpful. There’s a difference. I’m constantly trying to explain this difference to my husband, but sadly my point has yet to sink in. On a daily basis my husband states his feelings about my alleged bossy-ness using such helpful and nonjudgemental phrases like, “Honey, you’re bossy.” My response is always the same, “No, I’m not. Pick up your Star Wars toys.”
In my marriage, I have come to understand that my gentle “helpful” tendencies are often mistaken for more dictatorial “bossy” tendencies. Let’s take the helpful phrase, “Pick up your Star Wars toys.” Although clearly meant to aid my husband in the safe-keeping of his collectable toys, this statement can somehow (and surprisingly) come across as bossy. Star Wars toys left unattended can be tripped upon, stepped upon, or mistakenly ingested upon by one or both of our two happy dogs. Clearly, I wouldn’t want anything to ever happen to my husband’s precious toys! I want to help him keep Han, Leia, and Chief Chirpa all intact. It is out of this innate desire to help that, “Pick up your Star Wars toys,” flows considerately out of my mouth. I don’t know how my husband could think otherwise. One would think I didn’t want Star Wars toys cluttering up our house. One would think I didn’t want them sitting on tables or taking up precious cabinet space. Why in the world would one think that?
The similarities between these two dynamics became even more apparent to me just recently. My husband and I were out with some good friends and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter who happens to be the cutest two-and-a-half-year-old in the world. (I do apologize to all the other two-and-a-half-year-olds that read my blog, but in this case it is, in fact, the honest truth.) We were in a frozen yogurt joint happily enjoying our Island Banana soft-serve with pineapple and thin mint crumbs, when a man came by with a mop. This mopping man was diligently wiping the floor where all of us were standing when the cutest two-and-a-half-year-old in the world shouted at my husband with the cutest two-and-a-half-year-old voice, “Don’t slip!”
This extremely thoughtful and heartfelt warning made our hearts melt—along with our Island Banana soft-serve with pineapple and thin mint crumbs. It was then I thought to myself, “Hmmm…”
You see, this is exactly the very warning I would have given my husband, but the cutest two-and-a-half-year-old in the world beat me to it. Her warning was received precisely the way it was meant—loving and thoughtful. She didn’t want my husband to hurt himself on the wet tile, which prompted her to shout, “Don’t slip!”
She had nothing but love in her heart. How are my loving warnings any different?I know had I issued the very same warning, albeit in a much lower octave, I would have been greeted with furrowed brow, only to hear my husband say, “Honey, you’re bossy.” To which I would have responded, “No, I’m not. I’m helpful. Finish your frozen yogurt.”