If not him, then an exact replica.

Our story starts on Monday the 15th of May when I woke up with an all too familiar heaviness around my eyes that made me "look and feel like Droopy Dog". But when I realised that I had no one but myself to blame for it because I had made the choice to stay up late on a Sunday night, I decided to get on with it and turn in early that evening.

As planned, I had dinner at 6 p.m and a warm shower at 7. By 7:30, I was in bed with my book and a pair of droopy eyes. I knew that I was going to be sleeping oh-so-well, latest by 9 p.m. My plan was flawless.

Except, within minutes, I was suddenly awake and bursting with energy. I could run a marathon right then, y'all.

Nothing made sense! I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden I couldn't fall asleep anymore and then, I did what I usually do, something that makes Shane shake his head in disappointment - I started obsessing. I started telling myself that no matter what happens, we're going to do this. We're going to close our eyes, count till 100 with each breath, and repeat if we're not asleep by the time we get to the end.

I guess obsessing, feeling disappointed, and forcing yourself to fall asleep doesn't work too well because by 11 p.m, I was out in the living room, whining and complaining to a husband who looked like he just wanted to be left alone with his video game.

I'm pretty sure I finally fell asleep at around 2:00 am that night, close to 5 hours past the bed time I'd set for myself. And it wasn't a restful experience either because it was one of those nights when I would get woken up by the sounds of trees growing leaves outside. If only they would do it quietly.

Yesterday, you may have read my whine-fest on sleep deprivation, although that was NOT the point of the post. As is the case with this one as well. Sometimes, you just need to a have a little patience with me, and allow me to slowly get to the fucking point.

Yesterday was very much like Monday the 19th for me. I woke up with a jolt on my toilet seat when I almost fell off because I had dozed off - that's how sleepy I was all day long. And because I never learn my lesson from experience, I made all the same plans for the evening.

Early dinner - check.
Warm shower - check.
Book - check.

But right before I went off to read my book, I sat down on the other couch with my back to the TV, facing Shane who was playing a video game again. And out of nowhere, I just started talking. I started talking as if I'd been held captive without any human contact for a whole year. As if I'd been starved all my life of the sensation that sharing my thoughts with another human being can bring to me. I started talking to him the way I used to when we first started dating, a time he fondly remembers as one when he hardly got the chance to use his vocal chords to even answer the questions I asked him because I did it for him anyway.

And the best part? He responded.

And that's something I never expected.

Usually, when Shane starts playing, it's a sign that it's time for us to do our separate things. On many occasions, I've sat right next to him as he played, reading a book or writing. We've done that a lot in fact.

But last night for the first time, I sat with him for hours, just having a proper conversation. He'd get kind of distracted every once in a while, yes. But so would I. I'd get distracted by the game too and then we'd talk some more. Sometimes, even about the game!

After about an hour of talking, when I got up to leave, he asked me if I wanted to stay and continue talking. That's something that never happens because Shane's not much of a talker and whenever I try to sit him down to just talk, he slowly slips away. So when he asked me if I wanted to hang out and talk instead of try and fall asleep, I said, "I might as well, because chances are, I'll be back here at 11 p.m to whine about not being able to fall asleep. I guess I could start whining now instead. You think I should get a glass of wine to whine?"

I'm sure you can guess what his reply was because the glass of wine happened. And so did the whining.

Shane played for close to seven straight hours last night. And I sat with him and talked continuously for pretty much the entirety of that time. I never knew this was a possibility but I guess that's the beauty of it. With every passing day, we kind of learn new things we like to do together. I really hope this becomes another one of our traditions because last evening, to me, was possibly one of the happiest evenings of this month, if not this year.

When Elizabeth Craft from the Happier With Gretchen Rubin Podcast shared her marriage manifesto, I was especially drawn to the eighth point she added - If not him, then an exact replica.

She explains that sometimes when like all couples, she feels out of sync with her husband, she likes to think that if she wasn't with him, she'd be out there looking for an exact replica of him. Because she feels he is everything she ever wished for.

I think that should be a sort of couple litmus test - if you were not with not him/her, would you be out there looking for an exact replica?

This made me think about the times when Shane and I have tried to control the urge to fling things at one another. And it made me hope that in those times, we'd remember times like last evening too.

Because if not him, then an exact replica.