This is what got me thinking. The man who delivers water to my office held the elevator for me the other day. He looked me over and said, “You look good. Do you keep your husband happy?” Well, Mr. Culligan Man, historically no, but thank you, and my man is indeed happy. He is, but it got me thinking about relationships, friends and lovers, and what responsibility we hold to their well-being. I know, I know, we are all responsible for our own happiness, but our bonds with those closest are rungs on the ladder. I think about it like this – happiness is the sea, and sometimes the tide is high and sometimes low. This is about the tides. Maybe I’m overthinking, the last awkward conversation I had in that elevator was with an itty bitty old lady who asked me if I still partied…wait, what? At first, I thought she was asking if I was a hooker, but no, she was looking for the devil’s lettuce. In this world, we make our own happiness, but it’s important to know that you have the power of the tide, not with everyone, but with the people you love and who love you back. So let’s talk about what makes you happy, let’s talk about the moon, the tide, and the undertow.
The high tide. I love this story. Birdie has been married to Dr. for ten years. His job keeps him away for periods of time. Some distance had grown and the tide was low. Birdie felt restless, she felt discontentment. She felt unconnected. She finally talked to her man about it. She told Dr. that she didn’t think he knew her anymore, in a decade people change. Shortly after that conversation, Dr. was on call and gone for a couple of days. He came back with a notebook filled with pages and pages of thoughtful questions for Birdie. They spent the next few nights sitting and Dr. asking his wife detailed questions, spending hours in conversation that reconnected them. This filled Birdie up. Curled up conversation feeds the sea, breathes new life. I’m not wrong. There are over 7 billion people on Earth, and each of us, all of us, want to feel seen. We want to feel the warmth of being unique, special, understood. I know this – the sun feels good on your face – shine it on the ones you love, let them be seen. High tide comes when you feel understood and accepted. Give that. Fill your person up. Make them feel like one in seven billion.
This is so wrapped up in love languages, how you show love and what makes you feel loved. The girls and I talked about this over drinks today. Sugar shows her man love through tasks, she likes to cook for him and do kind gestures.
Mr. Sugar feels love with time spent together. He craves the quiet times with Sugar close. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate the things she does, it means what he desires most is his wife by his side. We talked about this, Sugar is a doer. If you want to feel like an unorganized sloth, look at her pantry. She has learned to slow down in the evenings and give Mr. Sugar her time and attention. Sugar’s love language is touch, so through synergenic magic, Netflix and chill works like gang busters for them. I’ve thought about this, the tide is low when you feel like your needs aren’t being met, your love language has gone mute, you aren’t being seen. I’m writing this, and it sounds so simple, but it’s not. Humans are selfish creatures by nature, it takes effort, willingness, selflessness and want to fill another’s need. Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be. Love is the moon, and we all want more high tides than low. Here’s the thing – when your reserves are full, it’s so easy to give back. Remember that. I’m telling myself. Well, and you.
The undertow. This is the story of my friend, Sansa. We’ve talked about her before. Her marriage is ending and I asked her today when she felt the break. There are little cracks, always, along the way in a relationship. They get filled up and you move forward. This is a story about when the cracks spider down and compromise the foundation, this is needs not being met for a long time, this is naked apathy. The demise of a marriage is a million little things, but I found it interesting that Sansa could pinpoint the moment her reserve was depleted, and love exsanguinated. Sansa had been estranged from her brother for years and he called for her on his deathbed. Amends were made, and Sansa, who has a heart bigger than most humans, erased all wrongs, amnesty was the name of the game, and she cared for and loved her brother at the end of his life. Watching someone die takes pieces of you, and her and her brother’s relationship was complicated. Her good heart carried guilt and a plethora of other emotions. She was at the lowest tide struggling to breathe. She would go home to her man, needing the moon, needing to be supported, loved and reservoir refilled. She was empty and her man left her so. It’s an odd thing, it would have cost him nothing to give some comfort to his wife, yet he purposefully abstained and would rather feed on her pain. I’ve asked her if I can write this so I will tell it true. When she needed to be held, he would hold her as long as it ended in a blow job.
This went on for months, and Sansa found out that when she needed her man most, he needed himself more, incapable or unwilling to pull his woman up to the surface, losing what they were in the undertow.
This had me thinking, what’s my love language? All of them…..needy much? In truth, I know what mine is. Way back, when I was with Coach, he would put his hand on me and I would lean into it. He told me I was like a stray cat who doesn’t know touch but likes the feel of it. I think there is truth in it. Touch comforts me when my mind can’t. I feel connected with it.
Viking says his love language is touch, but he doesn’t lean into it quite the same, but I see his contentment when we are sitting close and talking about everything and nothing. I’m navigating his sea, and he, mine. Mr. Culligan Man will be happy to know, the moon is full and the tide is high.
Go forth and conquer.