According to a blog on Psychology Today, “we are drawn to others out of needs and desires that are unfulfilled in our lives, such as a desire to experience greater connection, security, love, support, and comfort.” This particular article asks the reader to “consider the possibility that those differences that can seem so problematic may actually be the very things that add spice and passion to your relationship.”
So, here’s the thing. It’s kinda true. For those of you that know Travis and I, you understand. For those of you that don’t, here’s a sneak peak. One recent evening, as we are sitting on the couch winding down for the day, he looked at me sweetly and said, “I printed out your to-do list babe. Do you want to go through it and check some things off the list?”
INSIDE VOICE: “No, I wanna watch The Voice and drink my favorite new IPA.”
OUTSIDE VOICE: “Sure, that sounds great!”
As a point of clarification. One needs to be a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt to successfully keep up with Travis’ to-do list. Actually, the description to-do list isn’t even a true representation. It’s a mother-effing project list from the higher strata of the mind-world (or something like that). It’s hard.
I’m an introverted, silly, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda guy. And, I HATE being told what to do. I instantly turn into a five year old and take my ball and go home. Travis is an intense, hyper-organized individual with an eagle eye for the details. He likes to direct and manage and wants everything in order.
Well, I decided that I was going to blow Travis’ mind one day with one of the tasks that was placed on my “to-do” (air quotes intentional) list six months ago. I was going to get Parker’s passport.
Somewhere in my preparation for the day, as I skimmed the paperwork, I noticed that both parents had to be present for a minor child. That’s a detail Travis would notice. I was crushing it! High fives and fist bumps to me. On our way to a gym class, Parker and I stopped off to get his passport photos. His hair was cute and he was dressed like a model. They only had to take one photo. I was large and in charge! Being organized is easy. Holla!
Four months later, Travis asked in his managerial voice where I was with the passport. Sh*t.
So, I told him that we both need to be present for the appointment and calmly waited for my praise. He just said, “ok, when?” Ugh. I get no appreciation. We picked a date to go together. It shouldn't take that long.
The evening before our passport appointment, Travis asked me if we had everything that we needed. “Of course,” I replied. “I manage this household.” He sighed.
The following is not a reenactment (the action of performing a new version of an old event, usually in a theatrical performance). It’s just the facts.
Travis asked if we need to bring the birth certificate. “Oh, good call. I didn’t think about that.” Travis asked if we had passport photos. “Of course silly, they are in my truck, I think.” After an hour of searching, I couldn’t find the photos from four months ago. “I swear they were in my truck,” I reassured him. However, I quickly went in to problem solving mode and found a FedEx office a block away that provides the passport photo service. So, I said, “It’s only $15 bucks, I’ll run him down in the morning while you get ready. You don’t have to do a thing. I’ll take care of it.” Again, I waited for my praise. Crickets. Travis asked where the passport application was. “I think it’s in my backpack, but I know it’s somewhere in this house.” I found it in a pile of paperwork, under my nightstand (he suggested I look there). Everything was in order. We/I could finally relax and watch The Voice.
The next morning, I got the passport photos. Again, one take. I was in and out in 15 minutes. I calmly wondered what type of medal Travis would give me. We picked up Da-Da for the appointment and headed downtown. At some point in my prep work (in between managing my other tasks), I Googled "passport office" and remembered it showed somewhere downtown. So, that’s where we headed when Da-Da got in the car. I asked Travis to pull it up on his phone and guide us with directions. I’m better at maps, but I thought I’d throw him a bone. You know, so he could feel useful.
“There’s no address,” he said. I calmly replied, “It’s somewhere in the government buildings downtown, we’ll find it.” It was 12:40 p.m.
We parked in a central parking lot, unloaded Parker and the diaper bag and headed into the first building I found. I asked the security guard where we could get a passport, and I got my face ready with my signature “I told ya so” smirk. She said, “We no longer do passports. We haven’t for years. You can go to the main post office.”
Oh cool. That’s easy. I turned around to leave. And Travis asked, where the main post office was. OMG! I have to do it all.
We got in the car, and I Googled “post office” and found one close to our house. “We’ll head there. See, easy peasy.” Travis, who trusts (kinda) and always verifies, picked up the phone and called the post office. “We don’t do passports,” was the response on the phone. Stupid government spending cuts. Travis gave me a side-eye glance and calmly called another post office. It was 1:00 p.m.
We drove to Alameda in crappy traffic, and found the main post office. There was a line forming, so we rushed to unload Parker. They were closed until 2:00 p.m. Travis took a deep breath. He took Parker to a little playground area and told me to stand in line and text him when it was our turn. “Fine, whatever,” I huffed.
It was finally our turn. The doors opened and we were third in line. We’d be done in no time, I was absolutely certain. Travis and Parker returned, and everything was good to go. The lovely (nay, annoyed) postal worker asked for my name. I politely responded and he asked, “Do you have copies of both parents’ IDs?” When I said no, he told me in a very unfriendly tone that I could get copies at the Office Max three blocks away. PS. there was a copy machine right behind him. What the ?!?! Travis could see my vulnerable under belly and jumped to my defense. “Why doesn’t it tell you to bring those on the application? It makes it very challenging for parents with a toddler,” he said pointedly. My hero. The postal worker grabbed the application (the one that I’d had for four months) and circled the instructions where it says you must bring photo copies of the parents’ IDs. Oh, and he also pointed to a sign on the wall that said that as well. Jerk. It was 2:30 p.m. Travis took another deep breath.
I pretended to be in charge and enthusiastically proclaimed, “I got this.” I hustled over to the Office Max to grab photo copies of our IDs. I was back in ten minutes flat. I ran the Spartan Race after all. I waited for my praise for returning so quickly. Again, nothing. We were further back in the line. As we waited, I remembered seeing something about credit cards when I skimmed the application. I politely asked the woman in front of us if they take credit cards. “Check or money order only,” she said. I looked at Travis and asked if the check book was in the car. He took another deep breath. Sh*t again.
He said, “Why don’t you read the instructions on the passport application to make sure we aren’t missing anything else.” I gave him a good eye roll and said, “I’ve skimmed it. We’re good.” He politely nudged me to read the instructions. That’s when I took my ball and went home. I stomped my foot and said, “I’m not reading it. You read it. You’re the one that’s good at this stuff.” I was very mature.
We got to the front of the line, and voilà, found out that they can create money orders right there at the window for you. “See.” I said to Travis. It was almost 3:00 p.m.
You'll be happy to know, Parker’s passport is safely on it’s way. International travel, here we come.
When we got in the car, I turned to Travis and said, “We’ll be home before 3:30, that’s not too shabby.” He took a really deep breath. It was like he was doing Lamaze. Whatever, I couldn't wait to get home and check that sh*t off my to-do list.
On this particular Saturday, we lost about four hours of time because of my lack of organization and preparation. That’s why I love Travis. He could’ve done it in an hour or less. He would’ve had a file ready with all of the necessary documentation, a map printed to the post office, a check written and Parker actually smiling in his passport photo. He’s that good. But, he let me handle it and went along for the ride.
Opposites do attract.
I added spice to our relationship that day. Travis, you're welcome.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: As we get ready for Thanksgiving and focus on gratitude for all that surrounds us. I’d like to publicly thank Travis for always calmly handling my lack of organization, taking care of our household, and raising two children. You’re a saint, most days. We’re so incredibly lucky to have you care for us and keep us on track. It’s not easy work. Parker and I know that and appreciate it. We love you.