Clearly, my honeymoon left me with a few memories. My wife has been on these types of vacations many times in the past. I had not. I do not vacation well. I have a difficult time doing nothing. Sitting on a beach or by a pool does little to interest me. Having experience with this type of vacation my wife had a great idea. Her idea was to buy for the beach or pool. She bought a wireless/waterproof/dust-proof speaker.
One of the first things she did when we arrived at the hotel he night before we flew out the next morning at 3:00 am was to charge the speaker then connect it to her phone. One of the first things she did once we arrived at the beach the day after we landed in Antigua was to have me go out into the water with the speaker playing and see how far “up to 200 feet” actually is. The trouble is we had some difficulties in communicating due to the different type of people we are.
I’m not going to suggest there are problems with our marriage, even though, as I know from personal experience, failure to communicate is a HUGE problem with marriages and relationships. The different type of people we are and the different personalities we each have was a perfect storm that led to horrible communication.
As I wadded into the water, the music was playing. My wife was looking at her phone typing something into it, maybe organizing a playlist. Occasionally she would look up to me, I would confirm that I could still hear clear music, or as clear as a $15 Bluetooth speaker can put out.
As I gained more distance from the shore I continued to listen to the tones, melodies, and harmonies cast out from her phone. The further I pushed the closer the water rose toward my ears. The noise of the water molecules pressing and washing against each other began competing against the sound spewing from the speaker. I saw my wife speaking in my direction. Due to the distance and the sounds of the cresting waves, I could not hear what she was saying.
Our different personalities began to show up in this situation. My personality is to live by a motto of “there are no problems only solutions”. I choose to not celebrate things that exist as problems in my life as that is completely unproductive and inefficient. I would much rather attempt a solution or at least quest for a solution with the willingness to make a mistake since the learning that can be taken from an error is of great significance. My wife’s personality, on the other hand, is that of committing to a course of action that she feels is correct. This willingness to stay true to a direction comes from the experience and learning she has taken part in and is unbelievably helpful in different leadership roles she has been garnered with throughout her life.
I can only speak from my experience and my roles as the one who was holding the speaker. I do not know what she was saying. I saw the fact that I could not understand her communication as a problem. I am not fond of problems, I want to discover a solution. My wife was again speaking words I could not hear as the water and distance obstructed by hearing. I looked at the top of the wireless speaker, still belching sounds, and viewed three buttons: a circle with a line, an addition symbol, and a subtraction symbol. The solution to the problem was clearly to push the subtraction symbol.
Not certain what my wife continues to be speaking at me, and to be clear I am not certain if pushing the subtraction symbol is working to turn down the volume of the speaker I became a bit concerned. I was not concerned about the speaker. In fact, I wasn’t shocked if the speaker wasn’t working properly; it was $15. For that matter, I thought, I wouldn’t be shocked if I was shocked by the “waterproof” speaker. I was concerned because my wife appeared to be getting angry and speaking with more fervor. I did notice the volume decrease as I held the subtraction symbol, maybe the $15 was well spent!?!
My wife, however, continued to seem angrier. I listened with great care. The volume increased on the speaker. I guess it may not be as worthy as I once thought. I release the subtraction symbol and held it again. My wife again spoke, I could hear that she was speaking not being reliant on just my eyes to view her demeanor and attitude, but still could not understand the sounds released from her mouth. Clearly, the solution to the problem of using the subtraction symbol was only making the problem worse, not solving the problem.
Learning from the experience of an error, I chose to reset. We are on vacation, seeing my wife as angry and frustrated as she appears, from my view, is more of a problem than the original problem, whatever that was. ‘I can always come back out into the ocean at another time, I’ll just go to the beach and find out what she is angered over.’
As I extricate from the bright teal waters my frustrated wife said, “I kept trying to turn it up and you were turning it down!” I do not think that was what her initial communication was, in fact, we both have forgotten that original scenario, even though it was less than 2 minutes previous. We both laughter and the situation. No problems, only solutions!