NAVIGATING THE ANNOYANCES
We’re very different people. Greg is a sensitive, creative person, but he’s also forgetful. Amiira is much less sensitive, and nearly never forgets anything.
In the early days of our marriage, our little daily issues sounded like this …
AMIIRA Why is the orange juice in the pantry? GREG I don’t know.
AMIIRA I didn’t have orange juice today. GREG I didn’t either. I had it yesterday.
AMIIRA So, the perishable orange juice has been in the pantry for two days? GREG I don’t even remember putting it there.
AMIIRA Your car keys are there too. GREG I ruined the orange juice and lost my keys. At the end of the day no one got hurt, right? AMIIRA Not really. GREG You treat me like I’m a child. AMIIRA Well, a grownup knows how to put away orange juice. [Fight ensues.] On it would go, with the two of us fighting over something that was completely insignificant but clearly triggered bigger things.
Greg felt caught doing something stupid, and Amiira was caught being a b***h because the orange juice in the wrong place activated a bigger fear of things feeling out of control. It wasn’t the actual orange juice that was the issue, it was the way Amiira approached the conversation.
Here’s how the conversation would go if approached in a thoughtful manner, considering both Greg’s and Amiira’s feelings and their weird personal trigger points.
AMIIRA Who’s the super-creative funny guy who left the orange juice in the pantry? GREG Was it me?
AMIIRA I hope so or else a ghost is haunting our house.
GREG I’ll try to remember to put the juice back in the fridge.
AMIIRA Thanks. GREG Have you seen my keys?
AMIIRA Nope. See how Greg’s feelings don’t get hurt and Amiira still gets to make him search for his keys? It’s the little things that will make your relationship thrive.
By the way, marriage is just helping your person find or not find their keys until one of you dies or you get divorced. You’d be surprised how many divorces are a by-product of being driven crazy by the continually lost keys loop.