During the Olympics, Mr. Engineer and I spent many evenings hibernating at home catching all the prime time sports we could. There was something super exhilarating about cheering on Team USA together. The fact that it only comes around every four years makes it an epic treat to be savored. We bite our nails during the swimming races, we are in awe of all the flips in gymnastics and beach volleyball has me longing for sand under my toes.
But soccer. Oh soccer we love thee. This sport holds a special place in both of our hearts since we both grew up playing. Mr. Engineer was (and still is) actually incredibly talented at this sport.I was simply in it for the thrill of scoring goals and screaming with my teammates. We knew the US Women’s Soccer team had a good shot at a gold medal so we eagerly anticipated their quarter-final game against Sweden. Unfortunately, we missed the live showing. We planned to watch the recording of the game together the day after they played, but then the internet had to go and spoil it all.
Mr. Engineer saw the final score of the game online before we watched it together. It is a major bummer when this happens. Right up there with unsalted tortilla chips (why?!?).
But Mr. Engineer was a good sport (see what I did there?) and sat through the entire game with me. He didn’t give anything away. He even purposely tensed up when they were about to make a goal even though he knew…much to my dismay, they lost.
I realized how hard it must have been for Mr. Engineer to remain neutral and not give anything away as we watched the game. He told me that he simply mirrored my emotions throughout the game so as not to give anything away. He didn’t comment much and his face was unreadable.
His strategy worked and I was able to enjoy the suspense of the game.
Our weekend was filled with watching the Olympics, but it was also full of conversations. Some were deep, heartfelt visions of our future. Some were harder – hurt feelings, miscommunication, and not knowing what to say. There were apologies, explanations, epiphanies and making-up.
And I realized that keeping a secret for the sake of surprise is a beautiful thing, but honesty covered in a healthy heaping of love is more beautiful. When I “pretty-up” my thoughts and emotions, or try to pretend things don’t bother me or try to ignore an issue, it only creates distance between two people.
This kind of heart talk takes time; patience to push through. Keeping your ears open when nothing the other person says is making sense and your own words aren’t helping. Time-outs are needed. Praying together and separately is powerful, more than we can every truly know. It requires the bravery to reach across the table and hold their hand even though it would be easier to walk away. But is easy what I really want? Easy is lonely, because relationship is never easy or simple. And if it is, then it’s probably fake.
“It requires the bravery to reach across the table and hold their hand even though it would be easier to walk away.”
So we take the time to put away our phones, lean in to the conversation a little longer, until we see the other person. Truly see them and know that you’re on the same team. Side note, these conversations can often be complimented by a bowl of (extra salty) tortilla chips and some homemade guacamole.
Homemade Guacamole for Two (hungry) People
2-3 Ripe Avocados
1 Jalapeno, seeds are optional
Red Onion, super thinly diced
Juice of 1 Lime
Roma Tomato, Diced
Garlic Clove, Minced
Salt & Pepper
Peel the avocado and place on a large plate; take out some aggression by mashing them up with a fork. Top the mashed avocado with all the rest of the fixins’. Mix it all together. I didn’t put measurements because it’s not my thing. Just add good stuff until it tastes yummy to you. Eat with (extra salty) tortilla chips. Or tacos. Or nachos. Or with a fork.