Two days before our 3 year anniversary I brought up eloping again, saying it would be cool to just do it on an anniversary so we just had 1 date to remember. To my amazement, my partner said, "let's just go to the courthouse Tuesday." Although I had wanted something a little more special than a courthouse, the pure fact he had so comfortably talked about getting married surprised me. From there, the (ever so slow) progression of our elopement plan developed.
So when I say this is "when I knew", it's not when I knew I wanted to marry him. But knew as a couple we were at a mature and steady point in our relationship to handle not only marriage but the permanent scarring of our tattooed wedding bands.
Our elopement was squished into a narrow amount of time as it was, but as the weekend approached an increasing amount of stress piled on top of us. I could tell when I got home he was near cracking. But we had agreed when I got home we would swing by the Jiffy Lube a block from our house for an oil change before my out of state trip. So regardless of rough days on both our parts, it had to be done.
Now I know nothing about cars, a mechanic comes out to tell me I need a rocket fuel injector and I'll agree. Which is why I have my partner. We each have our specialties that hardly ever overlap. And that works.
Therefore, when my simple oil change ends up being twice the amount it usually is, I quietly excuse myself to talk to my partner. After unsuccessfully calling the old garage, that I knew was closed, he argues with me that I don't need synthetic oil. The "special" car that has wheels with a special diameter only made by one brand most certainly does. I at least knew I was using synthetic, it was just that the price was way off normal.
In walks my knight in angry frustrated glory. He was already tired and angry from the day, and now someone was trying to rip off his partner. From my point of view, I was semi-sympathetic he was having a bad week. But I have also been a cashier several times, and they do not make the price. They are pretty much left at a minimum wage to put up with the shit of customers and no way to fight back. With that in mind, she was doing a great job.
I did my best to quickly wrap it up, let them do what they needed and get him out the door. As soon as he stormed out the door, I apologized for the price. Though, with the limited time I had left to get it done before the trip, I didn't have much of a choice. He was angry about the price sure, but more so I was so foolish as to go to a Jiffy Lube in the first place. My go to is to absorb the energy of the opponent, he gets angry at me, I get angry at him...for getting angry at me. We had agreed to do this when I got home. So how could he be mad at me?
Giving one last verbal shot, I started to storm off back home. I walked as fast as I could. But even as I turned the bend, I wondered how slow he had to be walking to let me get such a lead. His long legs had to be moving so agonizingly slow.
I got home and immediately when up to the office, planning on shutting myself away. My partner stopped in the stairs and stated: "I assume we aren't going to talk about this." I responded that I wanted to, so we actually did. That 5 minutes was all we needed to breathe and assess what was really wrong. I explained my end of the story, pausing for a second when he pointed out how loud I was talking.
By the end of the conversation, I was still crying but laughing at the ridiculousness that he had slowed his pace so much to allow me to storm away. He had watched my tiny little legs quickly shuffling off to no avail, so he had lingered for me. Letting me be angry for a bit.
It wasn't that we were in perfect understanding of each other, it was that we could come together after a misunderstanding and end in laughter.