You think you know someone, and then …
On weekday mornings when we’re getting ready to go to work, my beloved and I exist a little like Morecambe and Wise in their famous breakfast sketch (check it out if you don’t know it – it’s sure to raise a smile). We have an amiable silence punctuated occasionally by necessary answers to questions that need to be asked in order to plan our day. We’re rather good at this unconscious coupling.
But one morning recently, world order was disrupted.
Speaking to himself, yet out loud, my beloved was debating which breakfast cereal to have – plain flakes, flakes with fruit, crunchy something or others, rice popsicle affairs? I chipped in (helpfully I thought):
“Why not have a bit of each?”
The look on his face said it all. “No. I can’t do that. That would be all wrong.”
Not being a cereal eater, or a milk drinker, and so most certainly not a cereal with milk combiner, the art of breakfast cereal is a tad mysterious to me, and I’m still puzzling why said items can’t be usefully mixed in the same bowl for a little morning cornucopia of goodness and excitement. But what really surprised was the thought that I have known my husband all this time and never knew about his resistance to mixing it up, or to being a serial cereal innovator.
And it made me think – if I didn’t know this about him, what don’t I know about my colleagues that I could usefully find out to help our relationship? No prying you understand, no expectation for them to reveal their most intimate secrets, but I am now curious if there might be any little snippets I could be aware of to help our time together in the office go even more smoothly.
I am blessed, genuinely, to work with a group of colleagues who I would always choose to work with, who I hope I never get split up from – they’re professional, and smart, and considerate, and we all bond over our love of coffee … but now I’m wondering … should I try to be a little more observant to note any particular comments that reveal their preferences to me more deeply?
Perhaps I’ll start with their breakfast orders … and take it from there.