One of the most wonderful things about ttwd for Sam and I is how much fun it is. We laugh and talk almost non-stop when we are together. We both tease and love to hear the other burst into giggles or snickers or downright howls. Nothing can make me crack up any harder than teasing - my teasing him and him teasing me. And nothing can make Sam any happier than my uncontrollable laughter. He will hug me to him so hard when I take off on one of these gut-busting episodes, that I cannot get my breath.
I know this happens to many of you, too. It makes me smile to read such posts where the teasing and the laughter bring a couple so much joy. But have you ever noticed that there is a fine line between the teasing that can make your husband laugh and having it become something else entirely? Instead of the chuckling you expect, there is suddenly an entirely serious look on his face. This is where I always notice Sam's eyebrows come together, and whatever preceded this facial expression, does not seem the least bit funny to him anymore. It happens here every so often, and there is usually a story that goes along with it.
|Note the Eyebrows|
If anyone were to ask either Sam or I who was the neat freak or fussy partner at our house , we both would agree that it would be me. I am usually quite organized and tidy. Sam could mostly care less what things look like or their state of cleanliness. I have to be sure to think about how I speak to him when I find myself asking him to clean up after himself. This used to be a sore spot, and I have definitely changed my choice of words and tone of voice now that ttwd guides our relationship. And he really does try.
Anyway, I am the compulsive picker-upper. There are far fewer things about which Sam gets nitpicky. However, he would be quick to tell you that there are a few. Even though I tell Sam that I am "Practically Perfect in Every Way," he usually just snorts. There have been bits in some posts I have read where the blogger reveals that a husband has a little QUIRK about something. I remember someone who was expected to put the clean laundry away in a timely fashion. I think there was another whose husband insisted that sharp knives be promptly washed and returned to their place.
Sam's quirk has to do with the trash compactor bin that rolls in and out from under the counter in the kitchen. Ours is a tight little galley kitchen, and the compactor saves precious floor space. You step on a little panel at the bottom and it slides out. Then you deposit the trash, push the bin, and it tucks neatly back under the counter. When I get busy, though, it is easier to leave it out until I come to the end of a task. And sometimes I even forget then. This drives Sam crazy. He wants that bin back where it belongs each and every time. He reminds me nicely and then not so nicely.
"Ella, can I see you, please," Sam called from the darkened kitchen after dinner.
I had just settled on the couch with my laptop and was not eager to jump back up again.
Wisely, though, I said, "Coming," instead of, "What?"
"Did you forget something?" he asked as he motioned toward the kitchen with his head.
In the glow of the stove light, I saw the compactor sticking out and knew I had forgotten. I smiled at Sam and walked straight across to push the bin back in. My mistake was that I thought this was just a light-hearted reminder. With my only intent being to tease him a bit about being such a fuss-budget, I purposely said to myself under my breath, "Grumble, grumble, grumble," as I passed on my way back to the living room.
"What did you say?" Sam asked instantly.
I smiled again and said, "Just grumbling."
He did not smile back even a little bit. This surprised me because I thought it was pretty funny. It surprised me even more when I had my first standing up spanking. I have been bent over the kitchen counter, dining room table, and washing machine, but Sam had down my knit pajama bottoms in a flash and just tucked me under one arm and proceeded to spank with his other hand. Besides realizing that he did not think this was teasing, I also understood fairly quickly that this was not just an "I love you" spanking. A bit too hard, if you know what I mean.
It was over quickly, I rubbed my bottom, and got my pajamas back in place. Sam pleasantly reminded me to push in the trash bin and dropped the matter.
So how's a wife to know, I started thinking. It's not like there is a big "HOH Traffic Light" hovering above his head. Oh, be careful of the teasing, Ella! The signal is heading from the green laughing zone, past the yellow caution light, and on into the red danger zone! At least I would put on the brakes if I knew what was going on in his head.
In the end I decided that this spanking was really more like being stopped by a cop, but just given a warning. It wasn't a full blown traffic citation.
"Just be careful in the future, Lady."
Next time it will be a ticket."
|That means you, Ella!|