I turned to him on the couch next to me. "Am I always such a turd?"
He attempted a quick smile, "Well, yeah." Then quickly thought to ease the blow, "I mean, sometimes. But I love you."
After I smacked him a good one, I softened. "I'm so sorry."
Why do I do that? I know we all do, sometimes. We give our best away, and leave our crappy, raw selves for the people we love the most. Over the next few days, I thought about who I was at home, and what a different person I can be with my friends. I started to wish my husband could see how sweet and caring and hilarious (and humble, too) I am around others.
Isn't that idiotic? Why do we give more to those, who -- quite frankly -- mean less? Why wouldn't my husband get the smoothed over, even-tempered, lovely and charming version of me? Even if only SOMETIMES. I know we get to be 'ourselves' around our spouses. There's a beauty in that, don't get me wrong. But we need... I need... to be careful not to abuse that private privilege. Sometimes, I need to give him -- and my kids too -- the 'me' that I use to charm my coworkers, acquaintances, and even strangers. Imagine that.
Think about it. I am willing to spend the extra fifteen minutes getting ready for a lunch date with a girl friend, and even after the most horrific morning with the kids (c'mon, it happens), I can somehow manage a winning smile and a funny story. So how hard is it, then, before my husband walks in the door after a long day, to at least do a quick fix-up in the mirror and put my attitude in check? It just might remind him that I'm a person who puts out a little extra effort for the ones I love. I do love him so dearly, after all.
And I'm sure going to remember it the next time it's recorded for posterity!