How to Find Something to Talk About

There you are. It’s just you and your spouse. The kids are in bed or with a sitter. The house is clean. The chores are done, and free time looms in front of you like test results you’re afraid to read. You look at your spouse. You wonder, “Did we ever have anything to talk about?” The silence scares you. It rattles that area of your brain where you store thoughts you wish never to contemplate: What happens if one of my kids gets cancer? What happens if I get sick while my kids are young? Are we headed for a divorce?

You flip on the television and pull out your phone. Oh, good, someone has posted a funny cat photo on Facebook!

Now, it’s 11 p.m.. Even though the two of you spent the whole night in the same room, you might as well have been in two different countries. That’s how connected you feel.

Sound familiar?

I know it does because so many of you tell me that you’ve run out of conversations to have with your spouse. So when Vialé Kiss Me Cards approached me about advertising on my site, they had my attention. Each month couples who subscribe to Kiss Me receive cards that are designed to spark conversations and deepen their relationship. For instance, here’s what one of their card sets looks like. It says: You, me, and a romantic dinner for two…here’s how the night would go…

Kiss Me Sample

I asked Kiss Me to send cards for me to exchange with my husband. I was very clear and upfront with Michael Vialé, company co-founder. I told him that my husband hates to write. Getting him to write a message inside a card would only slightly easier than teaching my beagle not to sniff another dog’s anal cavity.

Michael sent three months worth of cards, allowing me to pick the theme I thought my husband was most likely to respond to. It was this one, shown below. It says: Wow! How do you do it all? … I’m always amazed by how you…

Kiss Me Cards

That evening, as we all lounged in the living room with our various electronic devices, I said, “Look, there’s a guy who wants to advertise on my site, but I really need to try out his product so I can write about it. I need your help because it’s something that couples do together.”

“Okay, sure,” my husband said.

“Thanks so much for being so adaptable and helpful,” I said as I handed him a card.

I sat down and began writing all sorts of things on my card.

I’m always amazed by how you…

…Are man enough to wear my reading glasses…

…Go along with the silly things I make you do for my website

I felt that warm, tingly sensation one feels when another human is staring them down like prey to be hunted, killed and grilled for dinner. “What?” I asked.

“This is why greeting cards at the store are already filled out, so people don’t have to write inside of them! They can just sign their names! What’s the point of having a greeting card that requires you to write something?” he complained.

“Is it that difficult to think of qualities about me that amaze you?” I asked.

“No, but…”

He knew better than to argue.

“Dad,” our 9 year old gently suggested, “She’s really nice. You can write that.”

He did. Then he began to look as I must have looked decades ago when I arrived at the word problems that involve calculus section of the SATs.

“Dad,” our 9 year old said, “She’s pretty.”

He wrote that down. In the meantime, I kept jotting down qualities about my husband that amazed me:

you are so careful about making sure I don’t accidentally eat foods that might kill me…

…you can ride your bike for four hours and not feel tired of it…

…you fix things…

…you cook amazing things on the grill….

…you have so much in common with our kid…

…you can recite multiplication tables so easily…

…you do kind things for people like making lasagna for your friends who just had a baby…

“I’ve got nine things. How many things do you have?”

“Nine!?!”

“Dad,” the 9 year old said, “She likes animals.”

“Dad, she’s responsible.”

“Dad, she’s a good cook.”

There was a long silence during which I decided not to push things too far. It seemed even the 9 year old was now stumped. Maybe I didn’t posses as many amazing qualities as I’d thought.

“Okay, let’s exchange our cards,” I said.

The husband groaned when he read my description of him being kind. I knew he would. He doesn’t like other people to know how kind he is. He’d rather people see him as stoic. He’s the reverse of the Incredible Hulk, a super hero who does kind things in secret but who maintains a very different public persona.

I was pleased with the first item he’d written: I’m always amazed by how well you write your books.

“Oh, you wrote one that the kid didn’t tell you to write!” I exclaimed.

“And you changed one!” I lovingly sneered. Instead of writing, “You’re a good cook,” he’d put “I’m amazed by how well you think you can cook.”  You see, my husband is a bit competitive when it comes to who does what more effectively inside a kitchen.

It occurred to me that this was probably not what Michael Vialé had envisioned for his cards. Yet it had still been a fun evening, my husband and I had grown a little closer, and I’ll treasure the memory of our son helping my husband cheat.

I walked to my desk and placed the filled out cards on it, and I thought, “These are keepers.”

Vialé Kiss Me Cards will give a one year subscription to one lucky reader who comments on this post with the answer to this question: What makes you want to kiss your spouse? Comment here with the answer by noon June 3. The winner will be chosen by random drawing. Remember: if you read the posts by email, don’t forget to click through to the blog to comment.

21 comments… add one

  • jen May 22, 2014, 4:41 pm

    ..,,when my husband thinks of me when I least expect it.

    Reply
  • PosterGirl May 23, 2014, 3:29 am

    …when I’m reminded how grateful I am that we don’t make the same mistakes some of our friends do.

    Reply
  • Colleen May 23, 2014, 7:32 am

    when my husband does something that reminds me how perfect we are together!

    Reply
  • Gay Edelman May 23, 2014, 8:12 am

    …when I see that little twinkle in his eye that reminds me of when we were 22.
    Gay Edelman´s last blog post ..You’re Not the Boss of Me!

    Reply
  • Sandra Reily May 23, 2014, 10:02 am

    when he \\”sees me\\” which doesn\\’t happen nearly enough but it feels so amazing when he does!

    Reply
  • Rachel May 23, 2014, 10:21 am

    Just about all the time because I find him so irresistibly handsome. Just the same, we don\’t have a lot to talk about these days, just like you describe :-)

    Reply
  • Melissa May 23, 2014, 10:40 am

    when my husband brings me coffee in bed, ultimate luxury ;) Also little confused i thought you had a little girl?

    Reply
  • Camille May 23, 2014, 11:58 am

    I want to kiss my husband when I feel apart, when I’m away on business and when I can’t be near him. It’s those times I feel the need for more affection, yet can’t get it. He’s usually the one initiating the kisses at home ;)

    Reply
  • Laurirae May 23, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Every night before we go to sleep.

    Reply
  • jeannette May 23, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I feel like kissing my husband when I remember how he was as a young boy in a very large and very poor family.

    Reply
  • Thalia in Jamaica May 23, 2014, 9:21 pm

    .. when he says I should go to bed early (as in he will put the children to bed, lock up the house and clean the kitchen) because it is clear I am exhausted and/ or sick..

    Reply
  • Heather May 24, 2014, 10:54 am

    Almost everything! But especially those moments where he is incredibly thoughtful, protective, or taking amazing care of me. My best example..when I wake up to him gently removing my glasses because I have fallen asleep with them on (yet again) :)

    Reply
  • Tiffanie May 24, 2014, 12:40 pm

    … when he is fresh out of the shower and smells of my favorite body wash <3 irresistible!
    Tiffanie´s last blog post ..Have You Pitched Your Tent?

    Reply
  • One Frugal Girl May 25, 2014, 3:05 pm

    When my husband gives my son a bath. It gives me a reprieve, but is also so sweet to see the two of them together.

    Reply
  • Pia May 25, 2014, 8:04 pm

    I want to kiss my husband right after he vacuums or empties the dishwasher. He knows I hate doing it. I am very appreciative when he does it!

    Reply
  • Michael Dundas May 27, 2014, 8:00 am

    My wife is a very smart lady, but every once in a while she has a forgetful moment where she does or fogets something obvious and silly — it comes across as cute.

    This made me laugh in the post:
    And you changed one!” I lovingly sneered. Instead of writing, “You’re a good cook,” he’d put “I’m amazed by how well you think you can cook.”

    -mike

    Reply
  • Kim May 27, 2014, 2:30 pm

    When my spouse helps our kids learn something challenging. Also, when he brings me a cocktail after a long day!

    Reply
  • Ron May 27, 2014, 8:05 pm

    A lot of things make me want to kiss my wife. One of the biggest is that I know what she thinks of me. Crystal is much more talkative than me. She is also my biggest fan. When we are with others she is always talking about my cooking or how I help the kids or some little thing I don\’t even think she notices. It\’s really nice to be appreciated by someone you love.

    Reply
  • Janice S June 2, 2014, 5:04 pm

    I want to kiss my husband while he is helping me in the kitchen. I also make sure I kiss him every night before we go to sleep.

    Reply
  • Kim June 3, 2014, 9:36 am

    I love it when I’m in another room and I can hear him playing with our girls. He travels a lot and doesn’t get as many “moments” as I do. Their giggles tell me that they’re having a nice moment with him – and I love that.
    Kim´s last blog post ..Freedom

    Reply
  • Alisa June 3, 2014, 4:27 pm

    Camille: you won the subscription. I’ll be in touch shortly to set it up. Congrats!!

    Reply

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