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Don't keep score. David said he'd clean the toilet -- a month ago. I was tempted to tap him on the shoulder and "remind" him about his promise and then thought better of it. After all, David's been working day and night to prepare prints for his show at Bartram Gallery in La Jolla. I realized that instead of adding to his stress-load, I could reallocate five minutes of net-surfing time and clean our toilet myself. I reminded myself that we're on the same team.

After cleaning said receptacle, I had an urge to report my accomplishment. Again, I refrained from following my baser instincts. In so many words, I'd only be saying, "Hey, I did what you were supposed to and now you owe me one." This would be nagging and keeping score, like giving a gift and "accidentally" forgetting to remove the price tag. So I let it go. When David noticed the sparkling porcelain (knowing I must have donned a wet suit and gas mask in order to tackle a chore I find vile), he was surprised and delighted, and gushed his thanks.

"I know you've been really stressed, beh beh, so I just did it. No big deal, I had the time," I said, thus communicating my thoughtfulness and love, and eliciting in him the desire to return the favor. Committing an act of consideration is like throwing a boomerang of positive attention -- if you throw it right, it comes right back.

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