Fortune cookie advice for relationships

Do you ever feel the need to be cranky, just for a little while?  Three year olds are allowed to be cranky, why aren't adults?  We understand when the little guys are out of sorts and we work hard to explain their obnoxious behaviour.  They are hungry, tired, or missing their mum or dad.  We give them a get out of jail free card and commit to loving them anyway, especially when they are miserable.

Yet, we rarely work as hard on loving another adult when they behave poorly.  Yesterday by five o'clock, I was miserable.  I was tired, I was hungry, and I was cranky.  The condition was severe enough, I wanted to sit in a heap in the corner and feel sorry for myself.  Greg arrived home and tried to engage me in a conversation about the new mailbox keys sitting on the counter.  My tired cranky brain went into overdrive.  My memory informed me, we had carried out the same conversation on three occasions already in the past two weeks and the damn keys were still sitting in the exact same spot waiting for him to take action.  Encouragement, joy, and inspiration were not on my agenda or on my lips.

Those of you who know me well, know one of my strengths is naming truths in situations where others get all wishy washy.  Without knowing a thing about me, you know a strength is always at risk of becoming an Achilles heel.  For the most part, I work hard to live up to my name.  Thanks mum for imprinting me permanently with your voice, and the phrase, "You aren't living up to your name."

Add a British inflection to the phrase, repeat at frequent intervals throughout one's informative years, and viola you raise an adult with a voice imprint.  Yes, I heard it last night as I set about to succinctly reminding my partner of the number of times and ways, we had already had the same conversation.  My voice had all the tired, hungry, and cranky in it that you are imagining.  It wasn't pretty or joy-like.

When we hit the not pretty stage, it's a good idea to take a step back and observe for a moment.  We teach our little ones to express their feelings and tell us what is wrong, but somehow as we grow up that slips away and the expectation is we will always behave just right in absolutely every circumstance.  We have worked hard through the years to express ourselves to one another in ways that don't leave a mess behind.  So, I announced on Friday that I was tired, hungry and cranky.

Period.  No dressing it up.  I was too tired to think about what to eat, and too tired to make something to eat, and I didn't want him to misread any signals.  Sometimes the direct approach serves me well.  He dealt with the hungry problem immediately, by suggesting he take me out to supper for my absolute favourite comfort food, Chinese food.  As we left the house he got all cranky on me.  He's not supposed to do that.  It's okay if I do, but he's my steady, Eddie, and he's certainly not allowed to be cranky at the same time as me.  He's supposed to be lovable.

We went out, we ate, both tried to be loveable, and we avoided escalating to a full on marital mess.  By the time dinner was over, we were doing better.  We had eaten, we had rested, and we felt refreshed.  All we needed was the bill and our fortune cookies.  Which fortune do you think I opened, and which one do you think Greg opened?