Sometimes When You Give a Little, the Reward is Monumental

By:  Davida Brown 

We all know that marriage is all about compromise, about give and take.  And we all know that this concept is often easier said than done.  Most of us have the best intentions.  We enter marriage ready to roll up our sleeves and put in the “work” everyone talks about.  We’re ready to let our spouse have his or her way, if it’s best for the union.  But what about when you just don’t feel like it?  Even the best marriages experience those days.  Well folks, that’s when you really have to put your money where your mouth is.  And, when you do so the reward can be more than you ever dreamed. 

Last Friday, I had one of those days.  I woke up late, which meant I was behind schedule getting the kids ready for school and out the door.  Traffic was a beast, so I was already in a not so good mood when I entered the office.  Not to mention, my throat was scratchy, which meant a cold was on the way.  I battled through the day, dealing with fire drill after fire drill at work.  My husband was getting the kids, so I had an hour or so to spare after work.  Given the day I’d just had, I decided to get a manicure.  I thought it would relax me and provide a much needed pick me up.  Well, not so much.

I visited my tried and true nail salon and luckily there was a technician available.  No wait. Yay!!!  She was new, but all the technicians were good.  I wasn’t worried in the least bit.  Well suffice it to say, she cut me in two places before I gave up and ended the service.  I left, without a finished manicure, chalking the day up to a complete and utter failure.  I headed home.  I wanted to take some throat medicine, get in the bed and watch movies.  The hubby knew I wasn’t feeling all that great, so I knew he’d be a dear and watch the kids so I could get some much needed R & R.

On the way home, I checked in and he too was headed to the house.  He asked if we should get pizza, followed by a movie night for the kids.  I was on board, even though I knew I couldn’t eat it a thing, with my throat progressively getting worse.  But hey, the kids would love it and even more, the movie would keep them occupied.  When I got home, he and the kids were there.  I greeted everyone and proceeded to head up the stairs. I couldn’t wait to get out of my clothes and into the bed.

“Where are you going?” My hubby asked.

“Upstairs.  I’m taking off my clothes.”

“What about the pizza?”

I looked at him confused.  “We’re ordering it, right?”

“I found this new pizza spot that I really want us to try. I want to go out for pizza.”

I stared at my husband in complete shock.  The kids were all looking at me waiting for a response.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yes, babe.  Come on let’s go.

I could see how excited he was to take us to this “new” spot he’d found. took a deep breath. “I need a minute.”

I headed upstairs and into my bedroom. I sat down, with my head in my lap.  I couldn’t believe my husband wanted to go out for dinner.  Hadn’t he heard a word I said ALL DAY.  I was sick.  He knew that and today of all days he wanted to go and get pizza?!

My first reaction was no, No, and HECK NO! Now, what you have to understand is, my husband almost NEVER comes up with ideas for us to do things.  He leaves that to me.  So as I paced back and forth in my room, all I could think was, if I don’t go, he’ll never come up with an idea again.  Trust me folks, I contemplated what I was going to do for almost ten minutes.  Ultimately, I decided to suck it up and go.  I’d made it through work and the nail salon.  Another hour or two before bed wouldn’t kill me.  Besides, I couldn’t rain on my husband’s excitement.  I headed back downstairs and put on the best “fake” happy attitude I could to get through the night.

So we get to the area where the new pizza shop is.  My husband says, “I know it’s around here somewhere.  Bear with me.”  We drive up and down three or four streets several times.  There’s no pizza shop in sight.  Finally, he says, “I think that’s it over there.”

Now by this time, I’m fuming.  My 2-year-old, Grant, is in the back of the truck screaming.  I can already see what type of night we’re about to have.  We find a parking space and begin the trek to the restaurant.  When we get there, I just start shaking my head.  It’s one of those trendy restaurants.  I look around at the patrons and the décor.  This place is not for kids.  These poor people.  They have no idea what they’re in for.  My kids, I love them, but Grant and my 5-year old, Simone, can be a handful, especially when they’re hungry.  I began to brace myself for what would unfold.  We headed to the table.  Grant was already trying to go under some of the tables. My already bad mood was getting worse. 

We approached the table and I heard, “SURPRISE!!!”  I looked at the people and then turned around and looked behind me. Who were they talking to?  My husband starting smiling.  I turned back around and really focused on the people at the table.  It was full of my family and friends.  I was shocked.  Why were they here?  Was this for me?  I noticed the birthday balloons.  My birthday isn’t until after Thanksgiving.  As I took in the scene, reality sunk it.  It was a pre-birthday celebration, as most of my friends and family are away or otherwise engaged over the Thanksgiving holiday.  My husband grabbed me and gave me a kiss.  “Happy Birthday Babe.”

Now, I am in no way suggesting that when you make sacrifices for your spouse, that you’ll get a party or such a touching reward every time.  But, I firmly believe that when you put your spouse first – especially in times when it may hurt you the most – there is a reward on the other side.

Vida Brown

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