This Is Dedicated To The One I Love.

Any blogger who denies that she sometimes thinks in quips, anecdotes, or blog/social media posts is full of shit.

I do it. I do it quite a lot, actually. This used to concern me, but now I view it mostly as a tool of my chosen trade.  I sift through my thoughts, mining out the more gem-like ones, forming them into something pretty, something worth reading.

The upside of this way of thinking is that, when utilizing the microphone button on my phone's keyboard, I can get thoughts or posts down in real-time with very little trouble  And while I don't think of myself as a funny person, I like to imagine that I'm a generally witty gal; being able to document moments of wit or insight can be fun, and sometimes even connecting.

And yet the obvious downside of this sort of post-driven-thinking is that I sometimes weigh the value of my thoughts against how popular I think they might be: Will this make people laugh? Will people click Like?

All of these things went through my brain the other day as I composed what turned out to be both a popular - if we're counting Likes - and uncharacteristically snarky Facebook update about my morning with my husband:

What my husband had for breakfast: two gourmet breakfast tacos.

What I had for breakfast: the scraps from my kid’s plates.

What my husband has for lunch: sauteed veggies, avocado, and a leftover turkey burger. “Look at this Eating Well lunch!”

What I have for lunch: tortilla chips, almonds, cheese, an apple.

Number of people my husband facilitated dressing and getting out of the house: 1.

Number of people I facilitated dressing and getting out of the house: 3.

Number of women in our house who have PMS and are eager for a respectful and fruitful conversation about making our morning loads more equitable: 1.

#reallife
— Emily Ballard, acting badly

After I read and re-read the post, I put it up on my Writer page, despite the reservations I felt deep in the pit of my stomach.

Because, you see, my husband and I are not snarky. We are not passive aggressive.  We are not rude, and though we traverse challenges together - as any honest married couple does - we've always been resolute in our innate decision to be always loving and respectful with our words, even when our tones are hurt or angry. We pride ourselves on this solid kind of communication. We've worked hard to learn it and work daily to maintain it.

A detail worth noting is that my husband does not use Facebook, and so my presence there is almost totally obscured from him. And while he knows that I often speak glowingly about him, he was hurt when he accidentally saw the above post after I left the tab open on the iPad.

He brought it up so calmly.  "I'm okay with you talking about the challenges in our marriage on the blog. Your blog posts are different than these Facebook posts - they're less substantial, like dating a boy you knew you weren't going to marry."

My face burned with well-earned shame.  He was right, of course, and I told him so immediately. I looked back and realized how I'd ignored my intuition, how I ignored the unspoken agreement that my husband and I have always adhered to: to act like the kind of people we want to be married to.

I had chosen Likes over loyalty, fruitless venting over productive problem-solving.

I didn't like how it felt.

I didn't defend my actions.  I didn't tell him to get over it, or ask him to try and see the potential underlying humor.

I apologized, and thanked him for calling me out.  "You make me better," I said.

I will not beg for Likes with petty complaints again.

My marriage - the relationship of my life - is worth so very much more.

*E