Family, Relationships

Judger vs. Perceiver

Myers-Briggs Frequency visualization
Myers-Briggs Frequency visualization (Photo credit: Peter Forret)

When Doug and I were dating he was doing a lot of professional work involving the Myers Briggs personality type test — a test that determines your personality preferences.

Family

Rock Star Wife

Last week Doug came home from work and rushed outside to mow the lawn, hoping he’d have time to finish it before our dinner guests arrived.

However, halfway through the mowing, our guests arrived, and Doug turned off the mower to greet them and come in for dinner.

He planned to finish it the next day but ran out of time.

This happened for a few days in a row.

I thought about helping him out but, honestly, I didn’t want to mow the lawn.

Here comes the whining…

I don’t like lawn mowing.

It stirs up my grass allergies.

And, I hate gnats swarming around my face.

I also didn’t want to deprive Doug of his lawn mowing pleasure.

Seriously, he takes pride in his lawn mowing skills.

Like my mother, when Doug finishes mowing, he likes to admire the yard – the perfect edges, even strips, and alternating patterns.

I’ve never been like that, probably because I’ve been spoiled with a yard mowing mother and husband.

The few times I’ve mowed, I’ve felt the pressure of pleasing two perfectionists who like their lawns mowed in certain ways – horizontal one week, diagonal the next or around the parameter first and who knows what.

Spirals, rows, contrasting stripe effects, light reflections – wonderful if you’re into that level of detail about grass.

I’m not.

My get-the-job-done approach doesn’t measure up to their standards.

So while I didn’t want to mow the lawn, every time I walked outside or drove up the driveway and saw the half-mowed lawn I thought,

“A nice wife would finish cutting that grass.”

I finally decided to be that wife.

As I carefully mowed, trying to follow Doug’s established east-west pattern, I realized I’d have to re-mow the part he’d already mowed because if I didn’t the grass would be different heights.

He would never be satisfied with that look.

So I mowed the entire front yard again.

As I swatted gnats and greened up my shoes, I felt proud of myself.

I knew the lawn lacked Doug’s expertly mowed appearance.

My stripes weren’t even and the grass didn’t all bend the same way, but hey, it was done, and he didn’t have to worry about doing it.

Besides, I don’t know how to make the grass bend toward or away from the light anyway.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “grass bend” until I looked up why people mow grass in alternating patterns in the first place.

For a moment, I gloated and thought, “Doug is so lucky I’m a nice wife.”

Oh, what a little good deed can do for a girl…

It went straight to my head, making me feel like wife of the year or something.

And the best part was when Doug got home, the first thing he said to me was, “Hey, lawn mower!”

I know, romantic, huh?

I felt a little swagger in my stroll as I walked toward him.

“Yeah, I’m feeling like a Rock Star Wife today,” I said.

“A Rock Star Wife huh? You’re always a Rock Star Wife!”

So maybe I didn’t have to mow the lawn to earn a few good wife points, but I’m glad I did because it’s good to keep investing in my marriage like that.

See, it’s not really about the lawn mowing.

In fact, he probably secretly wished I’d left it alone.

But, it’s about the marriage, the partnership and teamwork.

It’s about the “us.”

And that’s worth swatting a swarm of gnats any day.