My husband and I are in negotiations about the Little Deaf One. Until yesterday, these discussions were entirely non-verbal. Between sips of Sunday coffee, legs stretched in the quiet morning sun, he found the courage to verbalize the question we had been silently asking each other for a week, “I know this is dangerous, but are we going to keep him?”
I don’t know if having unspoken conversations is normal for other couples, but my husband and I do it all the time. Because we are very attuned to each other’s thoughts and feelings, because we know each other better than we are sometimes comfortable with, because we both avoid unnecessary drama, and finally, because spending huge chunks of time away from each other requires that we discuss things over days or weeks, we have mastered the unspoken discussion.
We intuitively know what the other is thinking. Frequently, we think about the same obscure thing, such as eating pancakes or going to Ikea, at the same time. If I remember a romantic moment in St. John, USVI, two hours later he will mention it. This adds a special dimension to our relationship, and one that we both cherish. There is something very special about spending your life with someone who knows what you’re thinking, unprompted.
When we need to use our words, we try hard to do it lovingly. We ask each other to think about an idea or issue. We speak, we ask questions, we listen and then, over the days that we are apart, we consider what we have heard within the quiet solace of two different time zones. I mean, it’s hard to stay mad at him for yelling at me for leaving my socks on the front porch when he is gone for the next ten days. There is nothing like missing someone to mitigate self-righteous indignation.
Sometimes with life in general, and with marriage in particular, taking a step back and exhaling deeply is the best choice. Decisions made or words spoken in the heat of the moment can make things much worse. By having piecemeal conversations, we keep a balance and a calmness in our life together. Over the days that we are apart, we can each take a step back from potentially charged situations, stab a voodoo doll made in the other’s likeness and come back together with clearer heads. It may take us longer to make decisions or to resolve an issue, but once we do, they are usually good decisions, thoughtfully considered and embraced by both of us.
So, the Little Deaf One…
We like the little bugger. He fits in very well in our house, gets along with our dogs, is cute enough to eat and we’ve both bonded with him pretty fast. Sure, he’s a puppy and a deaf one at that, but we’ve met those challenges before. But a pack of four dingoes? But another puppy?
We have spent the past four years raising puppies, and frankly, we’re exhausted. As soon as we get one to understand that couches are for sleeping not pooping, the freak that my husband married brings another one into the house. Life with a puppy is a heck of a lot of work and it sucks, except when it doesn’t. Like when they forget how to turn on the brakes and run head first into a wall. Or when they gaze up at you with absolute adoration in their eyes. Or if they’re deaf, in which case everything they do is perfection. I can’t explain it, but it’s true. Somehow, a deaf turd isn’t quite so offensive, even on the Davenport.
So my husband and I have moved beyond the trail of breadcrumbs and are now speaking up.
Would it be crazy to adopt him?
Probably, honey bunny.
Are we going to regret it?
Some moments, yes, but I love you.
Can we handle a pack of four large dogs?
I hope so, lima bean. You look very handsome today.
Will we really, truly, pinkie-swear promise to be done this time?
I’ve been thinking of some names, doofus.
Me too, dorkwad.
That’s where we left things yesterday. I’ll keep you posted.