Sora had a beautiful relationship with her husband, Ezra. They were perfectly matched. Not because they liked the same style of music – they didn’t. Not because they were similar personalities – they weren’t. Not because they enjoyed the same foods – Sora’s simple healthy favorites were no match for Ezra’s gourmet treats.
No, Sora and Ezra were a perfect match because Sora appreciated everything Ezra did for her – and she showed it. And (not surprisingly), Ezra delighted in doing things that made Sora happy.
So when Ezra occasionally forgot Sora’s birthday, or their anniversary, Sora didn’t get overly concerned. She was disappointed, of course, but she didn’t read between the lines to see any malice on Ezra’s part. And if Ezra did remember, and got her a gift that wasn’t her taste or took her to a restaurant that she didn’t appreciate – well, she saw the thought behind it, and showed her genuine gratitude just the same.
What really bothered her, though, was Ezra’s chagrin every time he missed a special occasion. He would be startled by Sora’s gentle reminder, or come to his senses a day or 2 later, and he would feel so badly, that Sora really felt sorry for him. And she knew that he really wanted to give her what she really wanted – he just didn’t always know what that was.
After a while, Sora realized that she had been unintentionally following a rule in some unwritten Wives’ Manual, that went something like this: “A loving husband shall remember his wife’s birthday and give her exactly what she wants, without being reminded or told what to get.”
And who made up those rules, anyway? Husbands aren’t mind readers, after all. And they can be busy and forgetful – even about important things.
So Sora learned a neat little birthday hack. A few weeks before her birthday, she would start saying things like, “I can’t wait for my birthday on the 24th! It will be so lovely to spend it with you!” and “There’s a new Chinese restaurant on Main Street – I would love to go there with you for my birthday next Tuesday!” And she always said it with a loving smile, a cheerful grin, or a knowing wink, of course.
Sora’s friends thought she was ruining the fun. “Don’t you know that the best part of a birthday is the element of surprise? What’s the good of reminding him, and telling him what you want?”
But Sora knew that her relationship thrived when she allowed Ezra to be her Hero.
And in her relationship, mind-reading didn’t work very well. But being a Receiver did.