My husband and I were leaving a Greek diner after dinner and his face went very grave, almost white. He stopped dead in his tracks and said, “Oh No!” I heard his exclamation and turned to see his white face and utter shock. I thought he had read bad news via text message or someone we knew was in trouble. I asked what was wrong and he said, “I forgot the baclava!” I started laughing because to me that was not something over which to go into shock.
On the drive home, after having ordered baclava to go, I thought about knowing people enough to understand what is important to them. I am not a foodie, not even a fan of baclava. In my world I would have been halfway into next year before I thought about having missed out on baclava. My husband is a foodie, and when we sat down to order dinner his first smile was when he read the word baclava. Of everything on the menu that is what he did not want to miss. So to him leaving the meal without eating it was a major loss, a life opportunity wasted.
At that moment it was no longer about me, it was about him. I know him well enough to understand the days, and weeks and moments he would lament having missed the chance to eat one of his favorite desserts. We don’t eat Greek very often, so to have forgotten baclava would have been a true loss. It sounds silly and simple, yet knowing people enough to care about what they want is really what makes any relationship work. It isn’t all about you or me, it is about us. And being us means caring about what the other person cares about.
Who do you care about enough to go back and get baclava? Would you be willing to wait while they eat it, even if it meant missing out on something you wanted to do? And if not, then what is really going on in your relationship? Sometimes relationships require sacrifice even if you do not fully understand or agree with the need. It is give and take, more give than take really works best.
When we got home and put aware our wares from the day, the lid on the take out popped opened and the baclava was inhaled. I’m not sure I even heard the fork scrape the plate, he may have licked it clean.