Dang Comfy and Safe
Action movie heroes and some real life folk welcome peril with gusto. They’re proud to seek out excitement of the risky variety. They're all like the Rock or Kristen Dunst, "Just bring it." "Bring it on." Arrrrr. Yeahhhh. The toughest badasses I know, people who've actually been through some gnarly stuff and survived, come out the other side, are more like, "Just avoid it." Let's please avoid unnecessary pain, mayhem, disaster, stuff blowing up, physical and verbal altercations, activities that have the potential to result in serious illness, bodily harm, or death. Let’s not do it.
And while we're at it let's pour some hardcore authentic love and kindness on this situation and then stand completely still, do as little as possible, feel it all, breathe calmly, and see what happens. Non-escalation. Breathing.
Woah. I am so not there yet. So what I do is I make fun of it or reject it. Like when Mike refuses to drive more than five miles above the speed limit, or slows down in weather, or tells me not to eat food left unrefrigerated for more than a couple of hours, or that we still can't have a coffee table because Ax's living room gymnastics zone must be as safe as possible, I roll my eyes a lot of the time.
But I honor it usually, because safety clearly wins the cost/benefit analysis: Convenient place to put my beverage vs. Ax’s head getting bonked; Tasty leftover vs. food poisoning; The rush of weaving through loser drivers vs. potential death.
I still push back before complying: “Why can't we have candlelight honey? It’s so pretty.” It took him a while to tell me why we couldn’t have candlelight and now I’m sorry I asked because it involved a 9-1-1 call with a burned up family and I can’t un-hear it. But I needed to hear it I guess because otherwise I would’ve continued campaigning for candlelight. And now we just use the dimmers.
To avoid the push-back he's figured out that he might as well tell me the bottom line up front. He’ll say stuff like, “Babe the rocking recliner needs to be moved away from the glass sliders or our son is gonna get sliced,” and drag his finger across his throat to demonstrate decapitation. Fine. Move the recliner. How about we move it into the trash since that’s where I’ve been wanting it to go for years since I stopped breastfeeding ….? But no, it’s his favorite chair. An eyesore, but comfy. And next to a wall not a deathtrap. And ok when Mike’s out of town I sit in it too. It’s dang comfy.
Dang comfy. That’s the thrill we seek these days. Dang comfy and safe. Bring it on!