um…i think i’m going to take my pants off

By December 1, 2012Effort, Relationships

There are rare moments in life when you hear, read, or see something something truly poignant; something that shifts your worldview perhaps providing renewed purpose. For many (if not most) of us, one such moment occurred in 1987:

Do you realize that in the 80’s, we basically wore denim suits…and not ironically?

 

Unfortunately, such lycanthropically-inspired events are few and far between. It’s much more likely that most of us will read something on Pinterest or Facebook that, however inaccurate, will make us stop and think briefly, perhaps reposting to indicate we are one of the few who truly care. Still, these moments generally cause some degree of reflection.

I had such a moment the other day, early in the morning. Upon waking and greeting my wife with the customary, “Good morning lovely. You are truly the core of my life. You are a queen,” I made my way to the kitchen. My wife, whom we shall call Whiteboard Siri, is an organized person. She relies heavily on a whiteboard to stay on top of things that need to get done each day (I’m pretty sure this smartphone thing is just a fad). Occasionally, she will leave reminders for me to, say, call the dentist, or get an oil change (psh. GET an oil change? I think she means change the oil…cause I’m a MAN and that’s what men do…). These messages for me are often separated from the others, making it obvious they are for me. So, when I approached the whiteboard on this particular morning, there was no question the message she was trying to send:

I wasn’t aware there was a requirement.

 

Apparently, I have really been dropping the ball. What kind of slouch husband have I been as of late? Have I really digressed so far as to leave the house sans pants? When I approached her to confront her about the message, fully panted I assure you, she claimed it was for her, reminding her that the kids needed pants under their costumes for the cold weather. Sure…..there’s only one way that message can be taken.

Still, her message made me think; not only about the larger philosophical implications of the pants-wearing continuum, but also about being intentional about the little things. I can honestly say, I have thought of this message each time I have put on my pants, mentally checking it off the list each day. I’d like to think that I put my pants on a little more lovingly each day…thinking of Whiteboard Siri each time I do.

Okay, maybe I’m making too big a deal out of wearing pants (come on, how many other blogs are you going to read this year that will have that phrase in them?). But, like pretty much everything on my blog, wearing pants can compared to our relationships (How Rob? How?). A lot of us tend to think that once we get in a relationship, it should just work…you know, because we are MFEO…made for each other (name that movie!). We end up getting lazy and figuratively walking around our relationship without pants…or literally for some of us. We stop trying to make the relationship better. We assume it will continue on a forward course. We roll out of bed and go about our relationship making no effort to take care of the things that seem routine. Then we wonder why our relationships get stuck in a rut and we feel unhappy.

Make more of an effort in your relationship. When was the last time you did something to make it better? Think of something you can improve today. Don’t wake up one morning with a reminder from your partner that you need to do better. Do better now. Make a big deal out of things. Dress up nice for your date. Say I love you more. Say thank you for the little things. Pay a little more attention. Go put on some pants.

Now for some Teen Wolf Too (Do you see what they did there with the title? Mind bending).

Rob Porter, Ph.D., LMFT

Marriage and Family Therapist / pants-wearer, Austin TX