I suppose you could call this the flip side

“So, how was your vacation?”

“It was great. Except for Wednesday. Wednesday, right? Wednesday was the bad day?”

“Wednesday was indeed the bad day.”

“Yeah, it rained and it was really cold, and when it rains, everyone in Naples wants to go to the same places, so we went to the mall and it was really crowded and we went to The Cheesecake Factory but we decided not to wait because it was crowded and we were going to see Finding Neverland but it was only 2:00 and it was already sold out for the rest of the day. And Kari had been fighting a cough all week and didn’t sleep well the night before and was feeling both gross and a little grubby because she didn’t bring the right clothes for that freezing-cold weather and she overreacted to the whole thing and was not very fun to be around.”

(Okay, so he didn’t say all of that. But it’s true.)

I was thinking this morning about the “bad day,” and, you know, while vacations are fun, they can also be stressful and weird. Like, how often do I get to spend seven straight days with Mike 24 hours a day? All that time together honestly means we can get a little fed up with each other, and I think Mike got a little fed up with me (justifiably) on the “bad day.” He expressed that not by yelling or putting me down, but by simply telling me that I wasn’t being very fun to be around.

One of the things I appreciate the most about Mike is that he doesn’t let me get away with crap, even though he also hates conflict and confronting people. Today, for example, he expressed to me that he thought I was overreacting about something when we were shopping after church today. As it turned out, there were a lot of things that he didn’t know about that were affecting the way I was feeling, and we had a good conversation about that after we got back in the car. It hurt my feelings that he thought I was overreacting (which was my fault for not expressing how I was feeling earlier), but I paid attention to it. I listen to what he says because I know how hard it is for him to say those things. I once dated a guy who thought everything I did was great. While it’s nice to be adored, it was too easy for me to walk all over him, and I hated that. Mike doesn’t let me walk all over him.

Vacations and time together like that can be so refining, because we’re forced to confront those issues. Wednesday was indeed a bad day, but it was only one bad day. And it was made better by the fact that Mike, who I know is on my team, let me know that I was out of line. That, to me, is what marriage really needs to be about.

And, lest it sound as if our vacation was all hard stuff, let me just give you a list of fun things we did: Watched tons of basketball, ate amazing food, saw Gilmore Girls every afternoon on ABC Family, checked our email on crappy dialup, went to Jungle Larry’s to visit the tigron (unfortunately there was no tigron, but we got a picture of a sign that mentioned it), finally got to go to The Cheesecake Factory and had two very fun waiters and some delicious cheesecake, got a teeny tiny bit of sun (it was kind of rainy), I read five books and Mike read three, saw episodes of Friends that we had never seen before, got some new clothes, and took some awesome naps. It was a great week, and I have a few other things to say about it, but I will save those for later in the week.

It’s good to be back! I need to go do some laundry now. hehe.

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