Monday, November 22, 2010
History and Context
This morning on the way to daycare we heard a story about whether or not it was wise for people to blog about their personal relationships. The overwhelming response, from both lay persons and "experts" (I don't know who these experts are) was that, no, you definitely should not blog about your personal relationships. In honor of this morning show, I am kicking off this Happy Couples Challenge where I will be blogging exclusively about my relationship with husband for the next month.
Some of you may wonder what my husband thinks about the fact that I have taken on this challenge. Well, for those of you who are familiar with my other blog, Showering With Sharks, you know that I blog about my husband all the time and that he is used to it. In addition, I teach communication at a small college in Minneapolis. Mark, my husband, also knows that he is frequently lecture and example fodder in my classes. He is at least resigned to the fact that I will continue to write about and talk about our relationship.
I'm a big believer in context, so I am going to use this first post to give a little history about our relationship. Mark and I started dating in September of 2000. We both worked at the campus newspaper. We got married on December 21, 2002 (I will admit that I just had to do math in my head to figure out what year we got married). This blog challenge will be happening during the month leading up to our 8-year anniversary. I'm hoping my gift this year isn't a divorce as a result of this blog. Just kidding.
Mark and I have one daughter, Harper Jane, who was born April 11, 2009. Of course, I expected that having a child would change the dynamic of our relationship. In some ways, it has. But it some ways, having Harper just reinforces all the things I knew I loved about Mark. He's a great person, a hard-worker, and an awesome Dad. That being said, he's not perfect and neither is our relationship... not perfect, but, I think, it's kinda perfect for us.
The purpose of the Happy Couple Challenge (as I understand it) is to bid for connection with your partner. My most recent bid for connection with Mark was attempting to arrange a fun date night out with Mark's brother and his wife. I really wanted us to have a grown-up night out (where we went to watch the new Harry Potter, of course) and so I attempted to make plans for dinner and the movie and the babysitter so that all Mark really had to do was show up. Well, things didn't necessarily go quite as I had planned but we wound up having fun anyway. Planning a date night is something that I would typically do as a bid for connection. I like to plan. Mark does not. I think ahead. Mark does not. I arrange our social calendar. Mark frequently has no idea what day it is. "Do we have anything planned?" is a frequent question in our house. This system works for us. I am certainly not recommending it as a strategy for everyone.
While my date night bid wasn't perfect, it did give us a chance to get out of the house together without Harper. I would say it was a success, even though I was ticked off at Mark for the first part of the evening. I am not going to disclose what ticked me off here... this would be one of those instances where it would not be wise to blog about our personal relationship :). My mad eventually went away and we had a good time. I am looking forward to using this challenge to bid in different ways... perhaps less complicated ways that don't rely on dinner reservations and aren't quite so time-frame dependent.
So, please feel free to question and comment as I dig all our relationship skeletons out of the closet over the next month. I intend to show those radio morning-show folk and their "experts" that blogging about your personal relationship can be something that Happy Couples Do.