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You Must Remember

You Must Remember

In 1990 a movie called Green Card had this as its basic premise: An American woman wanted a sweet apartment she could only get if part of a married couple marries a man from France whose work visa is about to expire. A marriage of convenience is entered into until immigration officials investigate, and we soon see the couple being grilled on the contents of their medicine cabinet. What facial moisturizer does the woman use? What deodorant does the man prefer? (Talk about simpler times, hey?) I think the dude cracked first under the pressure of not having it all down pat, and soon confessed to their whole ridiculous scheme.

But here’s the thing I now find so implausible about that scenario: After 20+ years of marriage, I am fairly certain my husband could not name my facial moisturizer brand. And I know what Jeff uses for antiperspirant as I do the majority of the grocery shopping, so there’s an unfair advantage right there.

What they really should have been quizzed on was things like drink orders. Take Jeff and I for example – he has a tough time remembering what my go-to Starbucks drink order*. Over the last couple of weeks, he was getting some flak for it. Some would call it well-earned (me in a less-than-charitable moments), but if we’re out at our local Chapters and I offer to pay for book purchases while he places our order at the adjoining Starbucks, he will get a slightly panicked look on his face – even if I rattle off my order. So we switch tasks because a treat seems less so if one party is stressing out.

However, there are a lot of things my husband does remember. Things that, honestly, dwarf remembering a drink order. Here are a few:

            -He remembers I sometimes want only a sip or two of coffee should we have a sweet treat in the evening.

            - He’ll be sure to make the bed (the general rule is the last one out of it has to make it) on weekdays before I’m home from work because he knows I don’t like leaving the bed unmade from one night to the next.

            -If we’re both up at the same time, he more often than not remembers I like first dibs on the shower so I don’t have to step onto a sodden bath mat afterwards.

            -I can give a quick “I need to change the conversation for a little bit” if I’m getting stressed about something, and he’ll allow for it because he knows it helps to avoid a ‘doom spiral’.

Those and other things mean I, on the whole, don’t mind at all that a drink order is not high on his list of things to remember about me. There are so many other things he has recalled that mean more. He has never completely spaced on a birthday or an anniversary. And there are the countless other idiosyncrasies that are only discovered after time spent together that we have both learned about the other. Some change, some don’t – and we’re learning which is which. For the record, I’m glad to get to learn these things (still!) about him, and that he continues to learn them about me.

*For the record, my go-to drink order is a grande skinny caramel macchiato.

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