so today . . . i figured it out.
yesterday's blog has been bugging me. i mean really--i'm a grown up, and i still need rewards and bribery?!? why?!?!?
as i was sitting at a red light on my way home from church today, i was thinking about it. why? why? why? the car behind me honked it's horn, and i looked in the rearview mirror expecting to see a rude gesture. instead i saw a cute guy in a lava orange mazda speed mx-5 smiling at me.
and then it came to me--it's rollie. he spoils me.
we were really young when we got married--probably too young to be making the very important decision about the kind of person we were going to spend the next 50 years with. and yet we did it. we were both still in college, we lived in a basement apartment, and managed to get through each month on rollie's part-time salary. it's a good thing we liked kraft macaroni and cheese . . .
and it's a good thing that rollie is such a good guy! i really lucked out! i would like to think that i was just smart enough to look around and choose the guy i knew would grow into the perfect husband for me. but the truth is, at 20 years old neither of us knew what kind of people we would become. we could have been miserable . . .
but we are not--largely because rollie works at making my life better. he rarely says, "no, i don't think we can do that." his response is usually, "yes, go ahead."
and he spoils me.
did you read the blogs about my car? he wanted me to have a car that i would love, that would be fun to drive--not just something that would get me from point a to point b. he brings me lunch at school every tuesday--and i only get half an hour for lunch, so he spends more time getting the food and bringing it to me than we actually spend eating together--but he does it every week. he drives me back and forth to school on fridays, because that is the day that the gardeners maintain the grounds, and they blow yard debris all over the place, which would get my car all dirty. he brings me breakfast from mcdonald's sometimes, or brownies and soda, or flowers--not for any reason, but just because he is thinking about me, and he knows it will make me smile. he tolerates the puppies on the bed--no small sacrifice when there are two of them! he arranges his schedule in the mornings to accomodate me hitting the snooze button 6 times before i drag myself into the shower, so that we will both have hot water.
so i blame him for my need for rewards.
because here is what happens: one morning he will bring me breakfast at school. he knows that i have hit the snooze button 8 times instead of the usual 6, which means i didn't have time to grab a bagel before i left. so i will be sitting at school, drinking green tea, thinking about how tomorrow i really need to keep better track of that snooze button. and then he will magically appear with a soda and cinnamon melts or a sausage egg mcmuffin! and i will be totally surprised! the first time. but then a few days later, i will be sitting there with my tea and he won't come. so i never know when it is going to happen, but i sort of think it could happen every day. of course it doesn't, but you never know . . . and so i am rewarded for making it to work on time--even if it is without breakfast.
if i am feeling cranky or tired or overwhelmed in the afternoon, there is a part of me that thinks he will just show up with a soda and brownies--because he did it once. and then it happened a few more times. so now i think it could happen every afternoon. it doesn't, but some days it does . . . and on those days i feel rewarded for "hanging in there."
for a couple of years, every morning he wrote me a different original poem on the bathroom mirror with a small bar of soap. sometimes they were funny or silly, sometimes they were romantic, but they always somehow managed to say"i love you." and thus, i was rewarded for getting out of bed . . .
he puts the clean dishes away in the morning, kind of rewarding me for doing the dishes the night before, because now i don't have to face a dish drainer full of dishes saying, "put me away," as i am rushing around the kitchen trying to get a bagel in a baggie . . .
you may be saying to yourself, "these are not rewards--these are just a husband expressing his love," and you would be right. except my brain seems to be very cause and effect oriented, so it sees these things as rewards. think about monkeys doing tasks for bananas or rats navigating a maze for a piece of cheese. it isn't about the task, it is about the reward.
i am even finding this to be true with my blogging. i love to blog--once i get an idea, the actual writing can be a lot of fun. and at first that was enough. but now, i find that i need feedback, comments, as my reward. i need to know that somebody read it and had a thought. (and btw, i screen the comments before i post them, so if you read a less than complimentary comment, don't worry about it too much--i have already read it and decided to post it.) a few days ago i noticed that i had a new follower, and i was like, "YESSS!!!" it was so exciting to me that someone i didn't know was interested in reading what i was writing. (of course, now i will probably find out that it is somebody i know, but until then i will revel in the possibilities . . . )
so the mystery is solved. it's rollie's fault.
and although i'm not a monkey or a rat, i do like bananas and cheese!