Communication seems to be the number one ingredient for a successful relationship, and while I am happy that my husband is quite the talker and not afraid to share his emotions, sometimes the language barrier can make things difficult.
And add to that the fact that he is a typical male and things go in one ear and out the other. Actually, most times I’m not even sure the words go in any ear at all.
He may not always know what I am going through firsthand; he hasn’t lived in a foreign country with an unknown language, nor does he possess monthly female hormones that go up and down… although sometimes he receives the brute end of the hormonal rollercoaster.
But what seems to hold us together when I am at my wit’s end trying to culturally adjust is his compassion and drive to provide a partnership where I not only feel loved, but also, he does his best to make me feel at home.
He realizes and values everything I left behind in the US to move to Germany and not once has he made me feel that it goes unnoticed. (I’m just wondering for how long I can play that card. Wink. Wink.)
But for some reason, part of making me feel at home always entails decorating with American flags.
In fact, I hadn’t ever even owned an American flag until I met my German husband.
For the 2010 World Cup, he bought a big flag to hang on the back porch, a flag to put on the car window, flags that were strewn across the living room, an American soccer jersey, American flag face tattoos, and even American flag toothpicks.
And then he bought everything listed above with a German flag as well, minus the soccer jersey. So if anyone didn’t know he was German and I was American, they could receive a global lesson on vexillology at our house.
But when we were invited to a 4th of July party by a colleague at work, I sure was thankful for those American flag toothpicks…
And American flag face tattoos. (Not really, but it made for a cool grape platter. As for the face tattoo… Kay had to once again force me to administer it. Not a fan of washing any more stuff off my face than I already have to.)
And just when I thought he had completed the collection, he replenished the American flag stockpile adding more for our wedding (partly because our house is a black hole where everything gets lost and he couldn’t find the previously bought supplies).
I complement him for his efforts, but from the beginning I really was afraid that anyone seeing the decorations would assume that I had bought and hung them, and I would automatically be branded as an arrogant American.
Nope, just my proud husband trying to please his wife.
The only problem is, I really hate anything that involves decorating let alone decorating for a holiday or an event, because well… all of those decorations just have to immediately come down again. And then decorating with American flags while in Germany? I don’t know… to me it almost seemed disrespectful.
But, if Kay is doing it to make me feel at home, then I applaud his efforts.
What I love most about my husband is that he is the kind of partner that pushes me to do things I don’t really want to do nor think I can, but in the end, I’m glad I did. He motivates me to attain what I think I can’t and he has supported me at my lows (a.k.a. that bitchy wife that won’t quit complaining). Maybe that’s why God granted him the power to always tune me out?
Or maybe he just isn’t an audio learner because he seems to “listen” when he reads this blog.
Maybe I need to just start putting my “honey, do” list on here.
1.) Mount the coat hangers for the kids
2.) Finish translating the Wedding Thank You Cards for the people who speak German (Hello, it’s been 8 months!)
3.) Make Sophie’s communion Thank You Cards
This is me trying to support you in your effort to do things you normally wouldn’t. (Darn, I should have bought a German flag to accompany the requests.)