I happily placed the oatmeal in my shopping cart. I’d been buying maple and brown sugar for a couple of weeks straight, so I was sure Pete would enjoy this new flavor: cinnamon roll.
A few weeks before, I’d changed to an organic brand. It wasn’t a big hit.
And a few weeks before that, I thought I’d try the store brand to see if we could save some money. Pete likes to save money.
The morning after my cinnamon-roll oatmeal purchase, I slouched into the kitchen to retrieve my
medicine coffee. I found Pete standing at the pantry with the new box of oatmeal in his hands. He looked over at me with those melty brown eyes and gave me a small, sweet smile.
“Um,” he said. “Is there a reason you keep switching my oatmeal?”
You see, in my zeal to provide variety, I forgot a very important thing: my beloved hates variety. He is a naturally content, easygoing person, so he does not need–nor does he welcome–changes and surprises. He likes consistency. Predictability (begging the question: how did I wind up being his choice for lifelong companion? I confuse and surprise myself on a regular basis!).
I had the best of intentions in switching his oatmeal, but I was looking through the Mandy lens, not the Pete lens, so I wound up doing something that would please me, not him.
Fortunately, Pete did like the cinnamon roll stuff. But he also–very politely–requested that I go back four selections to the oatmeal I bought about three months ago. Which I will happily do.
And then I’ll pick up a box of that new cereal I’ve been wanting to try.