Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Different Kind of List

Mr. Bruschetta and I attended our church's Pre-Cana marriage preparation weekend six months ago. At the time, our wedding still seemed so far off. Most of the projects and tasks that are currently in the forefront of my mind (and even posted up on our wall) were merely half-formed ideas. At the time, I was blissfully ignorant (thinking only that everything will fall into place somehow) and completely content.

While I don't want to downplay the importance of the various talks -- on subjects ranging from money to sexuality to religion -- married couples shared with us that weekend, I will admit that, for us, one of the most valuable exercises was the icebreaker that kicked off the weekend.

Each person was asked to select his/her future spouse's most endearing quality. What is that one attribute of your husband- or wife-to-be that, at this exact moment, sums up what you love about him or her? We were informed that this characteristic can and will change frequently -- at any given time, there are a number of aspects jockeying for the top spot -- and encouraged to continue engaging in this activity after the weekend concluded.


We went around the room; first came the introduction ("This is my fiancee, NAME.") and then that person's most endearing quality. Soon, it was Mr. Bruschetta's turn. He started to speak, and I could feel my cheeks turning red.

Mr. Bruschetta shared how he loves when I find something -- often a really small detail or passing comment -- so funny that I can't stop laughing at it. Inevitably, he said, my delight will become contagious, and he'll soon find humor in whatever amused me initially.

At first, I was pretty embarrassed by his explanation, worrying about how it made me sound. But then I realized that he had selected something that's genuinely me, and captured a piece of a happy, carefree Miss Bruschetta. While others in the room looked at and spoke about the much bigger picture -- how loving, supportive and faithful their future spouse is, for example -- my mister chose instead to focus on such a small facet of my personality, showing he not only recognizes when this type of situation arises, but enjoys it himself.

Since that weekend, I've had a list running through my mind of Mr. Bruschetta's most endearing qualities. Taking a cue from his detail-oriented observation, I focus on little things that might otherwise go unnoticed. Do I feel silly for admitting I keep this "other" list going? Yeah, a little. But doing so helps remain me calm, and reminds me that I could stop all the planning right now, and as long as Mr. Bruschetta is waiting at the end of the aisle with an "I do" on his lips, that's all that matters.

Your turn, hive. At this precise moment, what is your fiance's most endearing quality?

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