We were on the T and it was at least a thousand degrees outside. He had said something–or maybe it was me, I don’t even remember now–but there was this distance, this coolness between us. And coolness of any kind this time of year is a feat; just like coolness any time of year between husband and wife is off.
I was mad. There isn’t a better way to put it, really, than the way you described it when you were little and somebody did something that got you all hot and bothered inside: I was just plain mad at him.
He tried to stay close to me while I shifted my body to be just out of reach. Oh man, one of those “professional” body language readers from the magazines that are literature’s very own edition of junk food would have a hay day depicting us. It wasn’t hard to see that we weren’t exactly in sync with each other.
But then a thought made me feel something more than just mad.
What if he doesn’t realize how much I love him? What if, in this moment, he only feels that I’m mad?
That would be a true tragedy. Because, see, sometimes I’m a lot of other things, too, but I’m always always always in love with him. That doesn’t change.
So I did something extreme. I couldn’t let another moment pass without him knowing that I’m still so happy to be his, even when I’m mad. Desperate times call for desperate measures, you guys, which is why I reached over. I bridged the gap I had so carefully left between us and grabbed his tush. I gave it a squeeze.
He smiled at me. I smiled back.
“I thought you were mad at me?”
“I am,” I answered, “But I didn’t want you to think that I don’t love you. I love you more than I’m mad at you.”
And with that, things were much better.
Neither of us remember why we were mad at each other; but we’ll never forget that particular olive branch.
Don’t be afraid of using olive branches, guys; it doesn’t always have to be a squeeze on the tush (in fact, most times it probably shouldn’t be)–but keep them in your tool box. They truly do work wonders.