The honeymoon phase is over. The butterflies are extinct. Your life is full of have-to-dos, should-dos, traveling for work/single parenting, small people with reoccurring fevers that only peak on the nights you've hired a babysitter for date night, and multiple house showings....because your house is for sale.
Your house isn't for sale? Oh, wait...that's me.
Yesterday my husband and I literally had THIS fight:
"You're always on your computer!"
"I'm on my computer because you never talk to me!"
"Well I don't talk to you because you're on your computer!"
"Well I'm on my computer because you're watching your scary zombie shows!"
"Well I'm watching scary zombie shows because you're always on your computer!"
You can see we had a pretty fast one-way ticket to Nowheresville with this conversation.
I honestly couldn't tell you the last time we had such a spin-in-the-mud type of argument. But what's been different in the last month? Our plates have been fuller than ever.....tipping the scales is the FOR SALE sign in our front yard and what that means with 3 young kids and a dog.
In the last month our relationship has been seriously lacking in the connection department.
So instead of continuing the INSANE conversation above, I chose instead to focus on what we both wanted....and, essentially, we were both screaming for quality time with the other. We could either continue the blame game, or come up with solutions.
When I'm busy I stink at making plans for fun. I started texting everyone we know to make plans for fun in the near future. Connecting with our friends is important...and we've let that slide big time.
As a therapist and relationship coach I'm always encouraging couples to do things together that both of them have never done before. Us marriage therapists call these mutually exclusive experiences (MEEs). MEEs, especially when there's a shared goal, force both people out of their comfort zones, make them work jointly towards common goals, and work to strengthen connection. Research proves the correlation.
It's why all those team-building meetings you've been on have included zip-lining.
So I jumped on Facebook and started scrolling through the events I'd been invited to, the events that were "popular" in my network, and the events suggested based on my history of events attended looking for different and unusual things for us to consciously plan for...to put in our calendar....to schedule a freakin' babysitter in advance.
Date nights have fallen by the wayside in this busier-than-normal time....but I knew that the standard date night just wasn't going to cut it for us right now (you saw the argument earlier, right?).
And THIS is how we stumbled upon Zach Smithey and his Easter Art Hunt event (#easterarthunt). His website is crashing at the moment with all the traffic...might want to check it out later.
He's an Artist in St. Louis who I knew nothing about before yesterday, but we learned quickly that in the last few months he'd created 1000 pieces of art and would be hiding 100 per day, for 10 days leading up to Easter and was leaving clues on Facebook as to the whereabouts of the art.
We checked out the sequence of posts from the day and were hooked. As we were browsing he announced he'd just left 30 paintings at a bar in St. Charles and the first 30 patrons would get to pick their art.
My husband flew out of bed, put on pants, and rushed out the door.
I soon called and told him, based on the posts on Facebook, that I doubted he'd get there in time and we devised a plan to get our clan out of the house in the morning to snag our art in this adult-sized scavenger hunt.
We spent our day scheming, trying to predict the next drop spot (surely he's done with Cherokee, right? Dammit!!!), stalking Zack's Facebook page, running across streets in neighborhoods in St. Louis we don't usually frequent, making illegal u-turns, and debating whether husband should just make a run for it down the 2 blocks to the next location and I'll Chinese-fire-drill-it around the car into the driver's seat OR we should just be cool and wait at this red light. [Wait...I'm sure Chinese fire drill is somehow racist or offensive, right? Honestly I don't even know how the term originated. I sincerely apologize to all my Asian friends of Chinese decent and am open to other terms that are just as succinct and a whole lot less offensive]
Yep...our 3 kids were in the backseat....and just as entertained (DO NOT worry, I did not use the term "Chinese fire drill" in front of them).
We finally caught up with Zack at the Handle Bar in The Grove where he was hanging out with 50 paintings to choose from for the first 50 people in line who bought a beverage.
WE DID IT!!!
We bonded with Tall Guy in line behind us who had followed Zack all day with his wife and kids. He was also fooled by Zack's all-day love affair with Cherokee Street. His wife told him to "Just go!" when he heard Zack was at the Handle Bar.
My husband thinks we should have given one of our paintings to Lady With Infant whom we chatted with outside. She was bummed because she didn't get there in time! I had posted the kids' sad faces on Facebook earlier and she recognized their mugs....and now had a matching sad face. I'm sure she'll get her's this week, though. There's 800 left, Lady With Infant...YOU CAN DO IT!!
We walked around The Grove and grabbed some snacks before heading home. My kids exclaimed it was the "BEST DAY EVER!!!"
My point is...What was my point?
What were we fighting about????
Eh, I don't remember either.
But today was a fun day. I like my husband. The end.