I Keep the Spark Alive in My Marriage by Praising the Slightest Thing My Spouse Does Across Four Social Media Platforms
Look, the truth is, there’s nothing special about Jeff and me. He’s a vet tech, and I teach fifth grade. We’re not especially smart, or wealthy, or good at communicating, unless you count our ritual exchange of eye-rolling .gifs when visiting his parents. We don’t have much in common, and we’re not especially interested in each other. But you know what? We’re happy! Enough!
Really, any married couple can be just as happy as we are, so I’m going to let you in on our/my secret: no matter what tiny, infinitesimally small thing Jeff does, if it could be in any way construed as helpful, I make sure to heap praise on him across four social media platforms. I mean, I really pile on the filters, stickers, hashtags, location tags, and memes of small children pumping their fists! Using social media to make him feel like he is my actual partner, and never letting on that I see him as a slightly larger kid with slightly dirtier needs, is the secret to our success.
Here’s an example: the other night, after dinner, as Jeff and the kids enjoyed what they call “Phone Time” and I call “Me Time,” I looked in the fridge, planning to take a picture of the coffee Jeff bought for me yesterday after I happened to text him that I’d like a frappuccino at the literal moment he was at the front of the Starbucks line. I kept the cup to take a picture, but standing at the fridge, I suddenly remembered that I meant to pick up some oatmilk at the store on my way home from soccer practice. You’d think the fact that I had mentioned it four times that morning to Jeff — (1) is there any chance you could get it?, (2) are you sure there’s no chance?, (3) what if you stopped on the way home?, (4) oh, I see, you would miss some of the game if you stopped, sure, no problem.) — would’ve made it stick in my head, but I guess I just forgot.
Sit down, ladies, and get this: Incredibly, there was some oatmilk in the fridge! Granted, it was the wrong kind and size, and it was actually pumpkin spice-flavored creamer, but still! He had remembered.
This is where I take it to the next level, friends. I know you would probably go over to your husband, and wave your hand to get his attention, and then maybe wave harder, or throw something at him so that by the time he actually looked up, you’d both be too annoyed to share that special moment. Not me! Instead, I set to work a five-part Instagram story to say, “Thank you, honey, for sort-of remembering what I asked you to do four times.” First, I took a selfie of myself with that empty coffee cup, looking sad. Then I shot a short video of the empty shelf in the fridge, which I spliced with the original video for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Then I added in several stills from our wedding, along with every heart emoji I could find. Next shot was a picture of Jeff on a good day, with “We are the Champions” playing, and, finally, I took a picture of myself holding the creamer, with my top pulled low on my shoulders, telling him I’ll thank him later for getting the oatmilk. WINK!
From there, it’s pretty simple: I posted that to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, the four social media platforms I knew Jeff frequents. Just to be extra sure he and everyone we know saw it, I tagged his mother, sister, and Dr. Michaels, his boss. And, anywhere I could, I made sure to lavish even more praise: “I just adore you, @JeffJohnson!!! How could anyone say I made a mistake 12 years, 3 months, and 15 days ago?!?! #togetherforever #Sexyback #truelove #oatmilk #soclose.”
So, there you have it — that’s how I keep the spark alive! Let me tell you, the joy I felt when I heard Jeff’s grunt of interest, followed by his grunt of appreciation, not to mention the peace that settled over me in knowing that eventually, he would lumber into the kitchen to give me a kiss on the cheek, well, that’s what I call the spark. Honestly, I wish I could send all y’all some of the contentment I feel, sitting here by myself in my dark kitchen — because the lighting in here casts a glare onto Jeff’s phone at night — stirring a little pumpkin spice creamer into my late-night cereal, and enjoying those precious last few minutes of my Me Time.