One of the things I love most about my marriage is that Nathan and I will often try to “out-sweet” the other. You know what that means, right? We try to anticipate the other’s needs and do sweet little things for the other. Fix the coffee first, fold the clothes first, wash the dishes in the sink first, unload the dishwasher first, be the one to run to the store for ice cream first. All those little drops of sweetness.
But sometimes the “out-sweet” battles result in a stand off. Take for instance my recent attempt to give Nathan two fun-size Twix from a stash I’d received from a co-worker (who had contacted Nathan to find out what my favorite candy bar was—so, Nathan was sweet first).
I left the two bars in front of the coffee machine as I left for work last Thursday. The bars were still there on Friday—his birthday. He refused to eat them because he knows I like them. And I refused to eat them because I left them as HIS treat.
When I saw him Friday afternoon, I called him on it and told him that it was obvious we were at a “sweet” impasse. He laughed—the type of laugh that’s kind of a giggle because of how true and deep the funny resonates.
Even later on Friday, I went to find the Twix. They were gone. But then, I checked the garbage for wrappers. None. That’s when I knew the gig was up. He had taken and hidden the Twix, and I knew that at some point, they would resurface somewhere in the house where only I would find them and they would be a “surprise” treat for me. I searched cupboards, drawers, the bedroom, underwear drawers, everywhere. No Twix. He’d hidden them good. And I let it go; I stopped searching.
Fast forward to Sunday morning. We both got up before dawn for a full day of “stuff” to do. Nathan’s volunteer dive shift at the aquarium started at 6:45 a.m. After that, we were going to an auction, and after that, we were going to pick up a coral fragment and then on to disassemble and transport a new-to-us, 65-gallon aquarium tank. I call days like this, marathon days. They just keep going and going and going.
With coffee in hand, eyes still squinty in the predawn light of Sunday, we crawled up in his truck, buckled our seatbelts and prepared to reverse down the driveway. That’s when he tossed the two Twix in my lap with a grin. “Here’s a treat for breakfast, my love,” he said SO sweetly. I grinned and laughed and negotiated that he would eat at least one. He said he would, but he didn’t want one for breakfast. (He totally knows I want Twix for breakfast.)
Still stubbornly resolved to give Nathan one of the Twix, I kept them in my purse all day. Well, what ended up happening was that, at the auction, Nathan went to get us lunch and he brought back a Snickers. As he munched on the fresh candy bar, I dug out the two Twix and scarfed them down.
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