Getting your first apartment with your significant other is exciting, a big moment, and oh so fun…until someone walks out of Crate and Barrel. The other day, somewhere between a (somewhat feisty) discussion over a waffle or turkish shower curtain, and whether or not we needed the exact match of the bamboo tooth brush holder to go with our tray in the bathroom (of if in fact it is ok to mix and match), I found myself turning and boarder line power walking toward the door. And before I knew it I was out the door, around the corner, and looking back to see if my shopping partner, and lover of matching sets, was taking a walk with me too.
I’ve never done something like this, and I’m still a bit shocked that I did! I’ve never hung up on Will, never said I needed a few days of space, and never asked for a few hours or the evening apart if we really weren’t connecting. And while I still feel guilty, my guess is that we all may have been in a moment where someone that we really love might be the tip of the iceberg for us, and something as little as dutifully defending their choice of shower curtain, (or how long you take to make a decision around shower curtains if you asked Will), can lead you to a not so nice comment, or in my case, shockingly walking out of Crate and Barrel!
I’ve thought a lot about my little stroll, and later that afternoon Will and I were having a really good laugh about “The Day We Got Our First Apartment, and The Day I Walked Out of Crate and Barrel”. So while I hope you can get a good laugh of the image too, and maybe at a relatable situation you’ve had (I’m picturing a few knowing laughs right now), I’ve also reflected on the situation, and had a few take-aways I can share too.
1. It’s usually not about “The Bamboo Tray”.
There seems to be a trend that when we’ve had a rough day or something is really stressing you out, somehow our loved ones leaving a dish out, making weird chewing sounds, or any other little “mistakes” we might make as humans, suddenly becomes the final straw. The unfortunate part for our people is that they often don’t know that there is a whole mountain of things going on inside our heads and hearts that might take a long chat over dinner to climb, they just see that for some reason you really got upset over the bamboo tray and left Crate and Barrel in the middle of your conversation. While that makes for a great story now, probably not so great when it’s happening.
2. When you’ve got a mountain forming, share it.
It’s important, when you feel that mountain starting to build, to not just look at the peak (the matching bamboo set, the dish out, etc.), but see what’s underneath it all. For me, I realized I was really stressed about officially walking away from my job in Boston, and seeking the next chapter here in Houston. (And all of that delicious food we’d been eating on our way down was starting to make my stomach hurt.) So while I might have liked for Will and I to be talking nicer to one another over our shower curtain debacle, it was important that I shared with him both what was going on for me that got me to that peak, and that I’d hoped we would speak a little kinder and enjoy the home shopping process too. Take a moment to reflect on what that is for you, and let your loved one know what your mountain is built of. It turns often a moment of disconnection, into a great opportunity for connection both to yourself and them.
I find that while it’s nice to avoid reaching our mountain peak and talking about what’s going on before we get there, we are all humans, and sometimes we get way up there before we can even notice that we’ve walked out of the store, or raised our voices, etc. So in that case, I find acknowledging maybe how maybe I could respond a bit differently next time, while taking a walk back down the mountain is really important! You can certainly talk through a mountain forming before a tif or store amabndoment situation, and is great if you can! But be sure that if one of you reaches a breaking point, it’s just as important to let the person into what’s going on then as well.
Of course, as long as you also talk through the details so you can make those rough moments better next time, a good laugh always helps too. We still keep laughing about some moments like this from the past, and (combined with us really talking through how we can better connect on similar times in the future), it also brings us together too.
4. Choose Connection
For those of you biting your nails waiting to see what shower curtain we picked, not to worry! We got a nice combination of our two styles, and Will even found some tiffany blue bowls he surprised me with in the sale section ;). So we walked away with some good towels, and a good story, but I also listened to that sad feeling that I had about my stroll. I decided that while everyone might need a moment sometimes, I decided to choose connection over leaning away. We both can be opinionated people, but I’d rather have someone that loves to wander these stores with me and find something unique and cool and that we both love, than doing it all my way. The words that came to mind for me were “choose connection”, and I think I’ll try applying that not just to my bathroom shopping, but anytime I’m interacting with someone, I want to be sure that connection comes first over shower curtains, bamboo trays, or anything else in between.
I hope this was able to connect with you a bit too! PS: We did get the matching tooth brush holder, and after a few times of following each other around the apartment with me taking it off the tray and Will putting it back on, he was right, I do really like it, even on the tray ;).