Spice 1: ‘You are my Star’
We train our children constantly until they finally get the message. “Say thank you to Uncle Ashok for the chocolate”, “Don’t rush past Mrs. J”, “Greet Auntie Beulah.”, “If you knock into Roshan say ‘excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry’.”
When guests come into our homes we are extra attentive and thoughtful. India is known world over for hospitality and generosity to visitors. Nothing is too much trouble. A meal prepared at anytime of the day for an unexpected guest is no big deal; the best bed is given to the visitor and careful attention to all they need to make sure they are well looked after.
Taking each other for granted
Somehow we don’t apply the same rules in our most important relationship, except for the early days of marriage when we may. The husband brings home a gift; compliments his wife on how beautiful she looks. She naturally appreciates him and says so. What happens though, to all this attentiveness and kindness, even good manners, after a few years of marriage? We take each other for granted.
Rajan has just got back from office, rushes into the bedroom to change. “Coffee ready?” he calls, “I could do with some.” No greeting, no eye contact, no touch or kiss or “Have you had a good day?” from either of them. Sharon, busy with the children’s home work, makes coffee and puts it on the table. Without a thank you or even a look at Sharon he says, “Oh, by the way love, I’ve invited friends for dinner, hope there is a good meal ready.” Sharon walks into the kitchen as Rajan flicks through the TV channels. Rajan and Sharon are not unhappy in their marriage but over the years, they’ve begun to take each other for granted.
Rajan has just got back from office, arrives home tired, longing to relax and have a coffee. ”Hello, love” he says and squeezes Sharon’s shoulders as she sits with Priya doing her homework, “How’s your day been?” “OK, but we need to talk about whether I can manage working next Saturday. Would you like a coffee?” “Yes please”. Ranjan joins Sharon in the kitchen as she makes coffee, wraps his arms around her from behind as she stirs in the sugar. “Um, that smells good, so do you, so does…” “Hey, no time for that now” she laughs and teases him as she hands him the coffee cup. “Thanks love, Oh by the way, my friends wanted to come home for dinner; I said I’d discuss it with you, shall we have them tomorrow night?”“OK I’ve got a half day too, so that’ll be fine”“Sharon, you’re my star.” Ranjan breathes in the peace of being home and takes along sip of his coffee.
A special look, a hug, a kiss is all it takes
Often if one partner comes home and immediately rushes into some activity without even a greeting, or greets another family member or guest first, ignoring the spouse, this feels like rejection. It hurts and this thoughtlessness often results in missed opportunities to express our love and gladness for one another. After all we wouldn’t treat guests like this.
Do we still say “thank you” or “Do you think this will work?” or “would it be OK with you?” Phrases like these show our partner that we are aware of them as people with their own needs and not taking them, their time, or their care for us, for granted. Do we still make a point of greeting each other when one has been out even if only for a few hours? A special look or hug or kiss makes you feel great and you know that it is good to be together again.
Isn’t our life partner the most important person? When they come home safely again after weaving through city traffic in the rush hour on a scooter or car, show them that you are glad they are home safely. We cannot afford to take one another for granted. Give the extra look, remember to say “hello”, “goodbye”.
Recognise in a fresh way how important your partner is and demonstrate it by small details of thoughtfulness. He or she is your STAR!