Equilibrium: The condition of a system in which the competing influences are balanced.
Quite unintentionally, my husband and I ended up playing "good cop, bad cop" at Canadian Tire the other night...only I was the bad cop. Usually, my Better Half is the outspoken, the truthful, the one more concerned about fairness than keeping peace with all men. Not this night. We had been in town all afternoon, with both vehicles, 4 kids and a "To Do" list about a foot long. We had both vehicles because one of them needed snow tires put on and would carry the 2 weeks worth of groceries home while the van would carry the kids and the side of pork to be picked up at the butchers on the way home. Yes, we buy our meat in sides...from real farmers, with plaid shirts and toothpicks in their mouths...that's the only way to know for sure that the meat doesn't have hormones, steroids and other fancy chemicals in it. Plus, I am a true New Brunswicker.
This was not a typical trip to town for us, but it just had to be done this particular day. It was about 8:00 pm and Mom was getting pretty worn out. At that time of night I can get a bit grumpy and my self control is not at it's peek, operationally, especially with tired little ones wanting things...to eat, to buy, to ride and to play with. Not the best time to charge us a significant amount more than we were quoted for the installation of the winter tires, and then give us the old "Sorry, there is nothing we can do about it" line. My first reaction was more frustration than anger and a bit of concern as my husband's face showed the early signs of a confrontation with the sales clerk. Actually, his defences had been primed earlier on while I was in the waiting room with the kids.
Apparently, one young, careless sales clerk had pushed his protective button by making some crude remark about me. You see, I was in the waiting room while my Knight was waiting at the sales counter. The young man didn't know we were together and made an age old "locker room" joke about me and at that point, my man made his identity known quite CLEARLY. When I came out to join him, I noticed the tight lips and the redish face on my Sweetheart. That was the beginning of the end.
Something took a crazy twist, however. As we presented our case to the clerk and he continued to push buttons, on the computer this time. I started to get a bit aggressive and my husband calmed. I will not quote my two or three telling off lines because I am not proud of them. Some people think aggressive, smart mouthed women are cool. I don't. We clap after their brilliant comebacks in the movies and high five our fair fellow maidens in the age of feminism, but it's still just plain old pride. I made the poor man's hands shake and felt more like a husky army captain than a true woman. That's not the identity I'm going for. "A gentle and quiet spirit is precious in God's sight" 1 Peter 3:4
My husband stepped in and took control of the situation. He humbly and quietly requested that the clerk help us out, and he did. I apologized to the man for my aggressiveness and he expressed understanding (with a shameful glance at the "locker room" guy). All was calm...all was settled...we are now exchanging Christmas gifts with the sales clerk.
Upon analyzing the situation, I wonder if I was subconciously distracting my husband from tearing someone's limbs off. After all, It's harder to be mad at a tired old woman, with two little punks hanging off of her than a tall, confident man clad in a John Deere jean jacket. On the other hand...I think I just snapped.
As we walked back to our vehicles, my husband looked at me with a bit of bewilderment in his eyes and asked me, "Were you playing 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' ?" I really wasn't...I'm just glad my Good Cop has my back and I have his. We have great equilibrium. Yet another example of how chemistry is vital in a healthy relationship. That's about the only thing we have in common with Brad and Angelina :)