The 11th Question.

Recently I joked with my significant other that he just doesn’t do anything right – that yes the flowers are nice but I didn’t just want flowers, I wanted him to walk through the door and tell me he loved me after taking two steps and before putting his coat down and the flowers really don’t mean anything if there isn’t a card and the entire thing was ruined because he asked me what my favorite flowers were before he gave them to me anyway.

The entire scenario was described in jest as I hugged the two dozen flowers that were displayed in the most beautiful room and danced with him in grateful hugs and kisses.  I had suspected the floral arrangement after he had asked me my favorite flowers earlier that day, but in no way did that present an expectation for such a particular arrangement.  I did not need the particulars of a card or the practiced requirement of I-Love-You’s before the door fell shut behind him.  I know that love cannot be discussed or even proven.  Love is something that is known which is why it is so simple and so complicated all the same; it is as much my responsibility as his and the greatest responsibility I have in that is perspective.

But I am not perfect.  Oh no, no no no nooooooo I am not perfect.  We would both agree that I am far from it although my better half (hence why he is better) would dabble in the sweeter side of me.  Together, we decided that relationships greatest miscommunication is what we like to call … the 11th question.  Men and women tend to put each other through a series of tests – consciously or not – we expect each other to get it right without giving a set of instructions.  We simply think that taking a test is simple, we’ve been through it a thousand times, therefore it should be obvious, right?  Right!  So here is a test with ten steps or questions.  I want you to take the test.  Obviously, I want you to get 100%. That is a given.  However, the part that our partners do not realize and that most often we don’t even realize that we are requiring of our partners is the 11th question; the bonus question – the part that has no fine print, yet in order to receive 100% on the test your partner not only has to answer the 11th question correctly but he or she has to CREATE the 11th question themselves and make sure they are creating the right question because they have to know what you’re wanting / thinking / expecting.  This is the part where despite getting flowers a guy fails to get a happy reaction because he didn’t say I love you or he forgot the card or maybe the only reason he got flowers was because he was sorry or because you hinted you wanted flowers.  You know what, who cares!!!!

Do you remember those tests you had in school that had directions unlike this test that comes with no directions much like life that has no directions?  Do you remember that test where the directions read something like – Please make sure to read the directions before taking the test.  Please read through every question before beginning the exam.  Then somewhere in the last question or the last sentence of the direction the quiz said to NOT take the test and thanked you for following directions.  The majority of the class was concerned with finishing on time and racing through the questions so they had started the exam and only 2 or 3 people in the class turned the exam in with only their name on it, as instructed.  I am so grateful that more often than not I understand the 11th question and I understand that the only bonus question there is in the relationship scenario is – do you love the one you’re with?…  Well, do you?…  🙂

Listening to “I Know” by Fiona Apple on Spotify (how appropriate)



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