Sarcasm. Sass. Nothing sacred. These are words that people probably use to describe the relationship C and I have. It is, after all, much of what we give the outside world.
What people don't always see is the behind closed doors heart to heart sass-less discussions we do have.
Me personally? I don't do well when someone compliments me. It is a direct, electrical "on" switch to my instinct to run run run away. Therefore, when C says something incredibly sensitive to me, I tend to say "Don't be nice to me!!!"
He understands this to mean "Thank you, I love you too."
And I've caused him to say "Don't be nice to me" on one or more occasions.
I know. I know. We are insane. We are very ok with that.
Then there is the phrase we use when one or the other has made a particularly sassy argument as to something true (about the other), but that person doesn't want to admit it out loud: "You are supposed to love me!"
Here's a better example:
My C loves getting the mail out of the mail box every day. It doesn't matter how many boxes/bags/jackets he is already carrying from the car - he MUST balance all of this AND extract the mail from the mailbox. No second trips are allowed, apparently.
This has provided many an opportunity for sass.
One day C and I are driving home from work when we get to the main corner right before turning on our street. I say to him dramatically "...OH, do you hear that?" and he says "What?" and I say "The mail, do you hear it calling out to you?" to which he says "You are supposed to love me."
Now that you know how we deal with compliments and sass, I can tell you about last night.
Our house came with a ceiling fan in the master bedroom. C loves this fan. It's difficult to illustrate how much.
This weekend the fan stops working. The lights still work, and we can hear the "juice" getting to it, but it refuses to provide its expected fan windery.
C works with the previous owner of the house to figure out who/where/when it was bought. He tracks down the manufacturer, and begins an e-mail conversation with the guy to figure out how to get it fixed. The guy gives him all kinds of things to check out to see if it's a simple fix.
So we get home last night and C messes with the fan for probably an hour when *WHOSH WHOSH* it starts to work again. He says "ooh! I love it when I fix stuff!"
C's face lit up like a 5-year-old receiving a coveted toy on Christmas. I was literally struck. While I had always believed I'd seen pure joy before, I now know I've never truly looked into the eyes of someone experiencing it. Or, that it could be so moving when it's someone you care about so much.
I should have been able to say to him "Wow, honey...I'm so excited to have the fan working again, you are the best! What would I do without you!"
...but I couldn't see past his adorable glee long enough to enforce it with a "damn, good job!"
So C, here it is a whole 12 hours late:
DAMN GOOD JOB HONEY! I really don't know what I'd do without you.