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(Don't) Let the Dishes Sit in the Sink

The longer I live, the more I realize that no matter what your personality type is – there are other people like you.

For the first 23 years of my life, I had this secret shame for my distaste of eating outside. I’d be at many-a-party when the question would come up, “should we eat inside or outside?”

“Inside! Inside!” my inner voice would cry. No bugs, comfortable air conditioning, no wind to blow away the fine paper goods we splurged on.

This has, for the most part, been met with outward voices of others expressing otherwise. And when their thought is expressed – it’s not only their desire to eat outside – but their obvious strong opinion about it. The answer is never just, “let’s eat outside.” It’s, “Oh, man – you gotta eat outside on a day like this!” Or, “Are you kidding me? These gorgeous summer nights aren’t going to be here forever, you know.”

So, I would bite my tongue, march my tooshie outside, and start sharing my dinner with the flies.

This inner shame occurred for the first couple decades of my life. What is wrong with me? It IS the great outdoors. And I DO love being outside – much of my childhood has been spent outside – playing sports, running, boating, skiing, hiking. I would even describe myself as an outdoorsy gal.

I just don’t like eating outside. And I felt shame about this for decades….until I met my father-in-law. Oh, how it was music to my ears when the exchange occurred on a beautiful summer day in 2004: “Should we eat indoors or outdoors?” The people-pleaser in me was about to say, “Outside,” for surely my new in-laws camped with the rest of society on this issue. But instead, I stopped in my flip-flop tracks when I heard my father-in-law utter, “inside.” I remained silent, as the exchange continued and the final decision was made.

I looked at my husband with questioning eyes. “My dad doesn’t really like to eat outside,” my husband explained. “He doesn’t like all the bugs, the heat, the napkins flying away….”

“Oh,” I replied. I played it cool. But inwardly, it was a groundbreaking moment. I realized if there’s another person like me, then maybe, just maybe – there are others.

Well, you are probably wondering by now - what does all this have to do with pregnancy and babies? Read on, and you will soon see –

As the years went on, I came to realize that my father-in-law Russ and I have many little quirks in common, for better or for worse. For instance, we care A LOT about the temperature of our food and drinks. It can’t just be warm, it has to be HOT, and we will take appropriate measure to ensure that happens.

Also, we have an eye for things that don’t look “just right.” Whether it’s a scratch on a car, streaks on a stainless steel appliance, or wrinkles in clothes – we notice. And we care. Now, we don’t care if it’s somebody else’s car/refrigerator/dress pants – we just care if we see such atrocities on our own possessions.

I share all this to say, it has been refreshing to realize that there are other people in the world as wound up as me. And it’s ok! Russ is a well-adjusted, well-loved, smart, successful, kind, generous 67-year old man who is comfortable in his skin. Knowing him has made me tap into a little more of my “Type A” self, and to be ok with it.