So, Valentine’s Day was the day. I decided (around 2:30pm while kids were supposedly napping) – that we’d try our good wife experiment. (I’m a little behind on the post…)
It really had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. It had more to do with the fact that things were working in my favor to get the list done, so I pulled the trigger and said, “Tonight is it.” I knew it would have to be that way.
So, let’s set the mood. Big Band music playing on the iMac (didn’t have those in the 1950’s), subtle lighting in the living room, candles on the kitchen table, the smell of dinner cooking in the crockpot, a clean house, kids & dog that were (mostly) fed and happy, his favorite snack on the coffee table with a drink, and me with a ponytail & ribbon, dress, apron, and heels dancing in the living room with our 9-month old. (Not kidding about that last part.) I hear the garage door open, and his car door open and shut. The door to the house has a sign on it that says, “Welcome to the 1950’s!” I did this because… well, see #4 below.
I quickly reset the playlist to the top song and continue dancing with little guy. She hides behind a pillow to jump out and say “Surprise!” He enters like usual, and she says something like, “Daddy, I’m so glad you’re home!” like she usually does. He knew it was coming so he says, “I see you have a ribbon in your hair.” (that was the signal I told him about ahead of time.) I tell him dinner is ready, or if he’d like, he can sit and watch the news with his favorite snack.
We decide to combine them and sit with our trays and enjoy the East Texas news. (We’re reminded why we don’t watch it that often… oh well.) I ask him about his day, and start cleaning up the dishes. He gathers his things and gets ready to go play cards with the guys. Yes, on Valentine’s Day. I don’t like cheap pink plastic junk and oversized red teddy bears. And I think girls are really good at getting/asking for/finding time for girl time, and that men don’t often plan for, have time for, or the desire to organize guy time, so I love it when he gets to go “play.” It’s an even better gift to me than chocolate or flowers or whatever… to know that he gets “me” time for himself… but that’s another post.
Here’s what I learned tonight, being a “good wife”…
1. It really only took a couple of hours to straighten up the house and get dinner going ahead of schedule. Not a lot, considering…
2. However, I couldn’t do that every day. (if I want to get other things done too)
3. It didn’t feel all that different from other days, except for the ribbon in the hair, wearing an apron, making sure the kids were clean and happy (more than usual), and offering to hubby that he could watch the news while eating dinner.
4. I’m guessing that it didn’t feel all that different to him either. I figured it wouldn’t. This is why I put the sign on the door – so I didn’t seem like I was acting totally silly. This is either a compliment to how nice and peaceful our home is every day 🙂 or a commentary on how it’s not hard to serve your husband – you really can do it. We have dinner every night, the house is usually sort of clean, and sometimes I put music on or light candles just for fun.
5. It really is refreshing to take a day, or afternoon, or an hour to turn your focus to someone else for a change. “How will he feel when he walks in the door? What was his day like? What would be pleasing to him? How can I help him relax from his day? How can I put aside my selfishness to serve someone else? What does he need?”
I’m not saying that I addressed, or accomplished all of those things tonight, but it was a nice thought. I think I do some of those things out of habit now… we’ve been married for over 9 years.
But it seems different when you do it intentionally.
It feels different when you do it on purpose, not out of habit.
I think I should do it more often. 🙂