Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Say I'm More Relaxed or I Will Punch You in the Face

Tonight Jason and I got to go out to dinner and a movie. We have some friends staying with us, who've just relocated to Sydney, and they agreed to babysit for us so we could go out. Woohoo!

Over dinner, Jason was telling me about a conversation he had recently with a mom from the school. He ran into her at our local coffee shop, made polite chit-chat, and she ended up telling him a little about how her kids were coping with her recent divorce. (Jason just seems to be the kind of person that everyone wants to talk to. He's all pastor-y.) We don't know them very well, but Ava is in the same class as this couple's little girl. We were talking about how difficult the adjustment must be for all of them, and how both the husband and wife have very strong, dominant personalities. Really, we weren't talking so much about this couple in particular, but about the anatomies of different kinds of marriages. It always makes me think of what my dad used to tell us, "The only people who know what really goes on in a marriage are the two people in it."

I told Jason, "You know, I think we have it easier sometimes because we both happen to be pretty easygoing people. Temperament makes a big difference." And he goes, "Well yeah, one of us is easygoing." I stopped, my fork of delicious lamb massaman curry halfway to my mouth. "Surely, you're talking about me."

"Hmmm, I'm pretty sure I'm more easygoing than you are," he said, smiling sweetly. (He loves to bait me like this. Probably because it always works.) "Oh sure, maybe," I said, "Until it's something you have a strong opinion about. Then you bring the hammer of your iron will to bear." (Okay, I probably didn't say exactly that. My mouth was full of this beautiful, tender lamb shank, after all. But that's what I would've said if I hadn't been chewing.)

Then I reminded him of what country we are currently living in, and how that was a decision driven by him. (Yes, yes, I love it here, but still.) And of how many times he'd rearranged our living room furniture without asking me first. He said, "Well, okay, maybe 10% of the time, I push my way through. But the other 90%? It's all you."

Well, I called BS on that, I'll tell you right now. Then we had a discussion of terms--yes, I looked up the official definition of "easygoing" on my phone, we discussed the difference between easygoing as a temperament versus a moral position. "Placid" was thrown out as an alternative descriptor, and promptly abandoned.

Then he decided to show how easily annoyed (read: non-easygoing) I can be. He started drumming his fingers repeatedly on the table. Then he picked up the water carafe and rested it on top of the little tealite holder. "Stop that!" I said, looking around. "Oh! Is this bothering you?" he said, lifting it and putting it back, again and again.

It was totally bothering me, but that kind of business would bug anyone!

Do other couples flirt like this?

I then decided it was time to take this to a jury of our peers. Facebook, duh! As we waited in line to buy our movie tickets, I asked my FB friends to help us settle our debate. Who was more easygoing: Jason or I? Well, the initial feedback was underwhelming, to be sure. My friend Jules pointed out that if either of us were easygoing, would we have posted the question? I replied that all of my friends were PANSIES and needed to man up and answer.

As of now, Jason has slightly more votes than me, but I have been designated as "sweeter". Someone pointed out that easygoing people wouldn't yell PANSIES at their friends, but I don't think that's a pertinent observation, do you?

Anyway, it was a lovely evening. And when Jason started to complain about our seats in the theatre and said maybe we should move, I pointed out that really, I'll sit anywhere. Any seat in the whole place is perfectly fine by me. Here I'll just stand here in the aisle. I don't mind.



  1. Love it. I just played catch up. This is my favorite post in May so far.

    I'm reading a book called, "Thriving Despite a Difficult Marriage" and your notion is right on. Two dynamic (sometimes head strong) personalities make for a difficult marriage. I would say you are both dynamic for sure, but you live with a fair amount of grace and humility (meaning you're not super headstrong;). And you're a good balance for each other =).

  2. Oh but wait. This is about you winning, eh? You are SO much more relaxed that Jason. Like waaaay more.

  3. Two things I'd like to throw in the discussion: 1. We always call Jason the "Velvet Hammer". He knows what he wants and proceeds to get it applying force nicely when required. You definitely want him dealing with repairmen and tradespeople and the like. Pleasant as can be while pursuing his objective. 2. You are a caring, loving, generous person. But I have seen a mighty "Stink Eye" come from you. It has on occasion been aimed near me. It has usually been justified, I'm sure....
    Maybe being easygoing is overrated?

  4. Hehe, I have nothing helpful to add (is that annoying?) but I can't stop laughing. :)

  5. Okay, thank goodness I have arrived to give the definitive answer.

    Jason is wonderful. He is one of the most tolerant, gracious, good-humored people I know. But he is not "easygoing." Ask him if, most of the time, there is a certain way he thinks something should be. It isn't that he's insistent on his own way, not at all. He's easy to be with but not easygoing. I think he could lay claim to the easygoing-as-moral-position thing, but it is not his temperament.

    You, on the other hand...I can see why some might think you are high maintenance (as they do me) because it is only because you are very comfortable expressing your preferences. In actual fact, you are the more easygoing one because there are large areas in which you don't give a crap. Am I right?

    Awesome post!

  6. You guys are making me laugh. :)

    Becky, spot on! In my humble opinion. I think you're right...he doesn't necessarily push his way, but he for sure knows what he thinks. And your assessment of me: "large areas where you just don't give a crap"--I laughed when I read that, cause it IS true. Ha!

    Anyhoo, when Jase read your comment, he goes "Well, I'd have to disagree with her definition of easygoing." And I was all, "YOU JUST PROVED HER POINT, RIGHT THERE."

  7. should someone make silkscreen the post title on a tshirt? me thinks yes.

  8. Ha! You win--that is the best idea ever!!