Yesterday my wife was filling out a profile for her work and was asked this “tell me one interesting thing about you?” I thought about it and didn’t have a quick easy thing to say. What would I say about myself and why could I not think of something to say about my wife?
When you have so many experiences with each other I think some of the small details can get lost. I can tell you right now, my Dad had a mustache for the first 20 years of my life and if I had to draw a picture of him now I would draw him with a mustache and he hasn’t had one in 15+ years. Why does something get stuck in your brain forever, even though there was a change a long time ago. What is it about that memory that makes it permanent?
My wife has a couple tattoos but I could not draw them or tell you where they are on her body right away. I couldn’t tell you what color hair she has right now. I know it is short and dark. That’s it. I wonder if I had to draw a picture of my wife what it might look like. Strange to think that if I closed my eyes and thought about my wife I would picture her with long dirty blond hair, a pair of overalls and a cookie monster little figurine hanging from her rear view mirror of her car. I could not even tell you the last time my wife had long blond hair…
How do you pick one interesting thing about you? How does one sentence say anything about you? I’ve been thinking about this a lot since she asked me. Trying to come up with the perfect “You learned to surf in Costa Rica” or “you swam with dolphins in Mexico” is not close enough to describe the person you are. I wanted to say “To me, you are EVERYTHING”.
I think in long relationships we take each other for granted lots of times. We have said “I love you” so many times that it loses what it really means. It is part of daily routine, a quick I love you and out the door to work we go. We don’t really need words anymore.
There is a scene in Saving Private Ryan where Matt Damon’s character has just found out his brothers were killed in the war and he is telling Tom Hanks about the last time he saw them. He goes on to tell a great story and then turns to Tom Hanks and says “Tell me about your wife and those rose bushes?” and Tom Hanks says “No, No, that one I save just for me”.
Or the scene Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams is talking about his wife who has passed away and he is telling a story about how his wife farts in her sleep and he says this “People call these things imperfections, but they’re not. Aw that’s the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let in to our weird little worlds.”
No, my wife doesn’t fart in her sleep or prune the rose bushes at home, but I know all her secrets. I get to see all the stuff that no one else does. I get to experience all the little things. So when she asks “tell me one thing interesting about me” my brain almost explodes. What can I tell you that I want the world to know? How on earth can you sum up something like what we built in one sentence?
So, my wife was talking to her parents about the one interesting fact and they didn’t have one sentence either. My wife was saying something about “yeah, I’m not interesting” and I kept thinking about how crazy she was. I think it is exactly the opposite. No one can put you in a box. No one can describe you just with a few words. That makes you incredible interesting.
Don’t let someone’s words define you. Write your own story. Find your tribe and watch them grow. If you are lucky enough their secrets become your secrets. It’s always the little things that make this life worth sticking around for.