Keeping Score (Why You Shouldn't)
14-31. It's a final score of a football game. One that happened 15 years ago to. the. day. Auburn was playing Syracuse and was dealt its first loss of the season (which went on to be not such a great season for the Auburn Tigers).
I remember this because 15 years ago (to. the. day.) was when I met my husband.
15 years ago I was 21-years-old and a "big shot" intern for a PR firm living it up in Nashville. 15 years ago I was asked to tag along with a coworker, her then-husband and their friend so he wouldn't be a third wheel. You see where I'm going?
A bit of back story before I get to my point... 15 years ago we went to Houston's (which sadly closed in 2005 - anyone have a picture of the original Houston's by the way? I scoured the internet and could not find one) in our "four-wheeled" group and afterward went to watch the tail end of the Auburn football game at the Beer Sellar (at least this place is still open). It was over beers and the 14-31 loss to Syracuse that I got to know this friend a little better. We both went to Auburn. We were both originally from Morgan County, Alabama (I'm from Hartselle; he is from Decatur). And here's the kicker, we had the same birthday - exactly. June 22, but nine years apart.
We didn't end up dating seriously - or at least not until five years later. In tallying up his qualities, I determined I had way more cool points than him... How naive I was!
It's interesting that our relationship started off witnessing a disappointing score because I feel like the first 3/4s of our marriage was an ongoing score board. It's a fatal flaw most of us have and one that can be so damaging to relationships. How many times did you unload or load this dishwasher? Whose turn is it to walk the dog (technically she was my dog, so it should've always been my turn but who wants to admit that when you have a high score to maintain)? I cleaned the bathroom last time, it's your turn. You just went out with the boys... I need some girl time myself! You chose what to watch last night. And it goes on and on and on.
I was definitely a worse offender than my husband, though we both admittedly contributed to the problem. I was so caught up in this (and fall back into this sometimes even now) "what have you done for me lately" mentality. And add kids into the picture - it becomes a whole other ball game. I think I actually kept a running tally of how many times I got up in the middle of the night vs. him. Not to brag, but I won by a landslide. Wasn't even close. And I made sure to remind him of that almost every single day for what seems like the thousands of years we had middle-of-the-night-waking children.
I truly believe it was a defensive mechanism to prove my own worth to myself. And tearing down my marriage at the same time I was falsely building myself up.
I don't claim to have all the answers to a happy marriage. We certainly have our ups and downs, we both still do annoying things (hello, he leaves his shoes in the middle of the room and for goodness sake, why can't I stop letting papers pile up on the kitchen counter)... and we (well, mostly I) still fuss over who's turn it is to put the kids to bed.
I'm a little sentimental as I think back on this day 15 years ago. And I wish I could take back all the wasted time I spent keeping score since then.
We're a team, not competitors. And our whole household operates better when we both acknowledge this. Hands down the best thing I ever did for my marriage was to retire the scoreboard - let me correct that to be TRY to retire the scoreboard. I'm still learning this lesson over and over again on a sometimes weekly basis!
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Wife, mom and full-time marketing pro. Diet coke addict. Auburn fan (and alumn). Christian - striving to comprehend grace.