Sparking up that Relationship

8 Jan

I’m not going to pretend to be a big relationship expert here, because, Yo, Jill, where are your qualifications? But today I hit on a little truism about relationships, and I thought perhaps you, dear Reader, would like to get in on it.

It happens to be the Boy’s birthday, so this weekend we’re having a little soiree to celebrate. Soirees call for decoration. My style of decorating calls for a trip to Party City. I’m in the mood for streamers, so I needed to pick some up (and my mood apparently dictates how someone else will celebrate their birthday. Hey, do party and event planners just set up events thinking, Eh, I feel like decorating it this way. The client will too by the time I’m done talking to them. What, client? You wanted an Over the Hill birthday theme? But drawing attention to someone’s age is so déclassé. I’m thinking more long, colorful streamers. You know, a celebration of a long life. You’re on board with that, right? Oh, it’ll be great! You’ll see! Great! We’re go for streamers!).

Of course, once I saw the mammoth aisle of dinnerware and napkins that allow you to color code your event, I realized that we needed that stuff too. Before I could figure out which color to buy, I realized that maybe I should get the Boy’s favorite color–except I didn’t know what that was. Honestly. We’ve been together for over a decade, and I have no idea what his favorite color is. This, of course, necessitated a call to his office.

Can you imagine sitting at work, maybe in the middle of an e-mail to a client or knee-deep in writing a report, and you get a call from your wife sheepishly asking, “Hey, um, what’s your favorite color?”? Well, that happened today.

You know how relationships can sometimes get a little boring or same-old, same-old, and you need just a little something to spark up a new conversation or have something new to share together? This is not unusual, and there’s plenty of information from experts giving advice on different ways you can bring that spark back. Call in sick for them and play hooky from work. Surprise them with a weekend getaway. Blindfold them on the way to date night. Change up the routine. Slip a note in their pocket.

I’ve got one for you: Just don’t tell them everything right away. Early on in your relationship, don’t have that all-night getting-to-know-everything-about-you-immediately so that you can find commonalities to cling to. Then a decade or so down the road, throw out one of those questions and throw your partner off their game. Our conversation went something like this:

“Hey, um, what’s your favorite color?”

Surprised laughter.

“No, I’m just standing in the plate and cup aisle, and I thought maybe I should get your favorite color, and I realized I don’t know what that is.”

More laughter. “What’s your favorite color?”


“Um, red?”





“No.” Now, those are all colors I do wear a lot of, but they aren’t my favorite. I actually don’t think I own much that is in my favorite color at the moment.

Sheepishly: “Green?”


“I did not know that.”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Um, green.”



Huh. Who would have thought? Green plates, cups and napkins it is then! And now I know what his favorite color is, and it won’t be hard to remember because it’s the same as mine! How great is that?!

Now that I think about it, this is very coincidental, a match made in heaven, or he’s just agreeing to my favorite color because he doesn’t really care. I could call him up right now and find out, but I don’t feel like ruining the surprise.




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