eye of the storm/clearing the air


Sometimes, you have an on again/off again argument until 12:30 am concerning car parts.

You shut off the light, and lay there side by side in stoic, stubborn silence.  You can tell he’s not sleeping and he can tell you’re not sleeping because you both know by now after 2.5 years of sharing a mattress and sheets how to tell this sort of thing.

One of you finally gets brave and says something, the other replies and you’re right back where you were – in the thick of it.  Because these things refuse to dissipate with time – they only fester and expand.  In no time, you reach The Eye of the Storm, the familiar checkpoint of, Okay, fine, just do what you want!  It doesn’t matter, why are we even arguing about this?  But everyone knows you’re never arguing about what you’re actually arguing about.  
Sometimes it’s the toxic combination a bad day and mutual sensitivity.  Other times, it’s just a need for validation or an apology for something that happened days or weeks ago that you didn’t even realize bothered you until it boiled over into the tone you took when you passive-aggressively demanded that he please pass the butter!  

It’s a pretty strange, sometimes childish process, this Resolving an Argument.  I’ve decided it really isn’t a matter of marrying someone you won’t argue with because that isn’t really a thing that exists.  It’s a matter of marrying someone who knows how to argue correctly.  The point is, I think I married a professional Argument Resolver.  The point is, I think it’s a privilege, to have someone to argue with.  

Now, now, now.  Before you freak out!  Before you dismiss me as another online presence who’s all smoke and mirrors – feverishly throwing up glitter, quinoa, cupcakes and distressed furniture, just listen to what I’m saying.  

We spend so much of our time each day talking work talk, talking small talk, talking talk that we don’t care to talk.  But in an argument, we get to state our case.  We get to throw fits and stamp our feet and make really unflattering faces at each other.  And we get to say things we actually feel (however irrational or self-indulgent) at someone who actually cares enough about us to listen.


And, I don’t know.  I think that’s kind of a beautiful idea.  Because if the opposite of love is indifference, arguments mean you care at least a little, if not a whole lot.

And how do those arguments in the dark at twelve am over car parts end?  In apologies and a few jokes cracked and laughter and his arms tight around my shoulders and his scruffy cheek on mine.  In our frozen, angry faces finally melting, surrendering, collapsing into smiles.

Think breathing fresh, cleansed air after a storm.  It’s like that.

Harry Potter impersonations.  Old geezer dance moves.  Beard growing.  Apologies.  

He’s good at many things.

But mostly me.

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14 thoughts on “eye of the storm/clearing the air

  1. oh, those lasts lines.. so beautiful. i really like this post and it really speaks to me because me and my boyfriend have never had an argument. it's the thing that makes me doubt our relationship most because.. well, like you say; arguments mean you care and in our situation, i'm not sure what to make of it. it could also just be my fault, because trying to avoid conflicts seems to be my main goal in life ^^

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  2. Well, first, thank you for reading and commenting and appreciating what I'm throwing out into the world. But also, I hope what I said doesn't cause you to feel off about your relationship just because isn't isn't exactly like mine. Peace is wonderful. I wouldn't say that we argued very much at all within the time period before we got married and got a home together and started spending large amounts of time in extremely close proximity to each other. Brushing our teeth and such. Not that we argue excessively often now. I don't know if you live together even. And even if you do and still don't argue, than I think that's great! Every relationship is different. Just as long as you feel fulfilled and cherished, that's what matters!

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  3. “But everyone knows you're never arguing about what you're actually arguing about.” this!!! This is so great and so true. Arguing means you care, and I feel they sometimes have a way of bringing us closer together.

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  4. i know 🙂 and i do.. it's just that sometimes i feel like (i already did before reading this post ^^) i don't fully know him because we have never had an argument. when you're angry, you forget about politeness and consideration a little and it lays bare true thoughts.. and i think that's important. we've been together for 3 years and we've lived together for a while too, and i still feel like he doesn't confide in me enough to let me in on those thoughts. i don't know.. it's just something i think about a lot.

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  5. I
    need
    to
    frame
    this.

    I don't even have words for what yours just did to my heart.
    I think this is the most beautiful concept of any.

    Straight goosebumps.
    Meg meg meg, PLEASE never stop writing! Please. You're so gifted at this!
    Oh how I LOVE this!

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  6. I don't comment that often, but I've been reading along for a while now. Just wanted to let you know that this post is, hands down, the post I love most of yours.

    the beginning – the end – everything

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  7. “And, I don't know. I think that's kind of a beautiful idea. Because if the opposite of love is indifference, arguments mean you care at least a little, if not a whole lot.”

    You do not know how much I needed this post at the end of this weekend. Earlier this week I had my first fight (how tender) with my very new boyfriend (how tender). I have been panicking about it all weekend even though everything is literally fine. But rational Emma is on vacation for the week and hormonal crazy Emma is here. My best friend gave me the same type of advice. “He's picking a fight with you to prove you care enough to fight with him. It's a good sign.” Love is weird.

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