In preparation for our marriage Stefan and I spent some time with the pastor of our church in pre-marital counseling sessions. We talked about things like money, and having children, and communication — all things I think our pastor wanted to make sure we had talked about before we committed our lives to each-other. During one of these sessions we discussed an article by Gary Chapman about how people express and receive expressions of love. Despite my loathing of the self-help genre I purchased the book, The Five Love Languages and read it. The idea is that people prefer to express and receive expressions of love in one, or a combination of, five ways — quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, act of service, and physical touch. Stefan and I laugh because we could not be more different. But I think the beauty of the idea is that if you recognize how your partner operates you are more likely to understand each-other’s loving gestures.
So, last week I wrote that post with a few questions, including what your thoughts were on a serger. My motivation in that question was twofold – first, I was hoping you’d all say You should get one now, you’ll love it, you deserve it and you did not fail; second, I know Papa Urchin reads my blog and if he saw all those comments maybe he could be convinced of the need.
Now let me say I have been searching on craigslist for months for a serger with no luck and I fully intended to find a used or possibly refurbished machine. Then, on Thursday night I was expected at a friend’s house at 7:00 and at 6:45 Stefan was still not home from work. He’s been working late a lot recently and it totally stinks for him but it pretty much stinks for me too. It’s really important to me that we eat dinner together (quality time anyone?) — except Tristan whose stomach is not big enough (despite evidence to the contrary) to wait — so we end up waiting to eat until he’s home. Undoubtedly this leads to a harried evening and late bedtimes for the urchins and urchin parents alike.
Anyway, when he did arrive home he was bearing a heavy box. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first if it was a serger or a new sewing machine — it turns out it was the former. He was feeling guilty about the late nights — and the complaining to me about the late nights — and so in our house Papa guilt = Mama present. It’s like clockwork. And the super nice thing is I didn’t have to do any of the legwork to figure out what kind to buy. Plus, in typical Papa fashion, Stefan upsold himself into a fancy brand and a semi-fancy model. Turns out the retailer he went to was out of stock of any semi-fancy models so he ended up with a super-fancy model that is currently cooking our dinner as I type. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ll ever figure the whole thing out.
So the point is, Papa probably could have saved a whole lot of money and just been home for dinner on time and folded some laundry (acts of service) but since he wasn’t and he didn’t I can now show you my kids’ clothes inside out without shame and recognize that finished seams are his way of saying I love you.