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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mexican Restaurants and Marriage

Day #2 of the Love Your Spouse Challenge

Every once in a while, he will mention it -- the night I stood him up on his 30th birthday. A teasing jab here. A soft smirk there. A light laugh.

It is true: I left him sitting alone and entirely confused in a dimly lit Mexican restaurant. And by the time, I realized he was there and alone, and had been for some time, it was too late. I felt terrible; between balloons and cake and guests, I had completely forgotten he had been waiting on me for the last 30 minutes. I sent him a quick text telling him there was a change of plans and to head home. But, the table for two he had secured, with a drink waiting for me, already had transformed into a table for one.

When he realized I wasn't going to show up, he didn't come straight home as I expected. He wouldn't answer my phone calls. Call after call went straight to voicemail.  I never asked where he went or what he did, but I imagined him doing a whole lot of driving and cursing my name.

The street lights had been on for hours by the time I heard his Mustang make its trek up the driveway. I tried to keep a smile on my face.   The food I had prepared was cold, the ballons deflating, and the guest growing leary about what was transpiring and if the "birthday boy" was going to actually make an appearance.

He walked into the room, and everyone yelled "surprise!" That, he definitely was.

Sometimes in marriage, our best intentions do not always go as planned.  Sometimes our well-meaning words get lost in translation. Sometimes we assume the worst of our spouse when it would be just as easy to give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

Luckily, he was quick to forgive me.

Later that night, I tried to gauge how mad he really was.  He told about how long he waited and how he had to explain to the waitress that I wasn't going to show after he had already placed an order.  "And you know what?" he asked me. "Do you know what she did? She told me to just go. Not to worry about paying for the drinks and the food. That she would take care of it all."

Empathy, grace and forgiveness are powerful things, in Mexican restaurants and in marriages.

Brent's 30th Birthday Surprise Party

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