When I first stepped into the role of a stay at home husband, I struggled with the responsibility. I cleaned once a week, forget to take out the trash and waited til the last minute to get groceries. Due to the latter, we often relied on restaurants for sustenance, which is both costly and counter productive for a couple that is attempting to live a healthier lifestyle. After my wife sat me down for a heart to heart, I vowed to never let my laziness prevent me from doing chores properly ever again. I tend to break promises but vows, well vows are way more intense.
I decided that making sure dinner was on the table was the first step in this process and got up extra early to purchase the items for a special meal. My wife and I may not have a whole lot in common, but one of the things we do share is our love for “Taco Night”. For those not in the know, Taco Night is one of the most exciting things you can do during the week, rivaled only by “Pizza Parties” and “Ice Cream Socials”. The most obvious feature of Taco Night is the inclusion of tacos as the main course of the meal, though nachos and burritos are sometimes featured, thus changing the label to “TexMex Night” to be more inclusive. Pretty simple stuff, but still exciting for everyone involved.
When she got home that night, her eyes lit up when she saw the “build your own taco” station set up on our counter top. There was cheese, both hard and soft shells, guacamole and a large variety of salsas and vegetables to choose from. For a moment, she wasn’t sure if the tacos were for us or if they were to be reserved for some sort of business dinner, though she eventually put two and two together since my business associates were few and far between. By the end of the meal, she was smiling ear to ear. Taco Night was a success!
The next day I woke up bright and early again, energized by the way it felt to make my wife happy as opposed to disappointing her with my usual buffoonery. I all but skipped to the grocery, super excited to compile the ingredients for that evening’s entree. She emailed me later on that day to tell me she was on her way home.
“Game time,” I said as I dashed to the kitchen.
I readied myself by my creation, anticipating her arrival. If evolution hadn’t stripped me of a monkey tail, I’d have been wagging it at that very moment.
“Oh,” she said as she walked into the kitchen, “tacos again? Great!”
I winked at her, dished her up a plate and smoothly slid it down the counter top towards her. My theory had been correct: if one taco night a week was a good thing, back to back taco nights would be a sure fire hit. I was pretty proud of myself at that point. Had I finally started the transition towards being the type of husband the other wives wished they had?
Hoping to maintain the momentum that I’d begun to build, I set off for the grocery store the next day to get more taco related supplies. While two Taco Nights were great, going for three in a row had to be the next step in husband supremacy. Unfortunately, that is where my theory did a belly flop.
When she saw that I’d made tacos again, she wasn’t exactly mad though she wasn’t exactly happy either. She asked me if I’d gotten to the grocery store, thinking I’d forgotten and decided to fall back on tacos again. I said “Yes” and she realized that I’d actually planned yet another Taco Night. Even though I was super pumped to eat tacos, she said she was kind of tired of them, which was shocking at first.
I came that to the realization that even though Taco Night was a really great thing, its effects had stagnated. Obviously, she’d been sending me subtle signals since Taco Night 2 that perhaps more Taco Nights weren’t the best thing, but I’d relied on correlation to validate my theory as opposed to actually paying attention to her. Thoughtfulness isn’t just “rinsing and repeating” a couple of things I knew she liked, but exploring her interests on a larger scale. Girls love flowers, but getting flowers everyday means that you either aren’t creative, don’t care to invest more thought into gift giving or have done a ton of really bad things in succession.
Since then I’ve switched up my meal planning a bit, though not to such extremes that Taco Night has been completely forgotten. I mean come on, can you imagine a world without at least one Taco Night a week?