Yesterday as I road the packed subway home, there was a couple squished in beside me. He was a big, burly man in a short sleeve plaid top and glasses. She was a petite blonde with an updo and little pearl earrings. He excitedly gushed about every detail of his day. It didn’t matter what he said, she had a kind, sweet, validating comment to make. I think he worked in the film industry.. maybe in staging or lighting. He mentioned that the lunches were catered and he choose steamed veggies. She said, “oh honey, that was a healthy choice”. He commented on how he was chosen for an assignment and she said “of course you were, you are the best employee they have”. He mentioned how Susan sat beside him and talked his ear off. She said “babe, anyone would love to talk to you, you are such a good listener”. I was really digging her strategy. As the congestion cleared up, I could see them clearer. They were sweetly holding hands and smiling at each other. I guarantee they had to be 3 months in. No one is that loving after the honeymoon phase is over.
Finally I said, “I really admire your relationship – you are so inspirational”. They BEAMED. “Really? Wow, thank you”…. I went on… “Yes.. it’s really beautiful to hear people interested in each other and supportive, I’m learning from you”. They giggled and smiled at each other. “Can I ask how long you’ve been together”? I asked.
“Sure… 7 years”.
7 Years I thought, OMG lol… I was stunned. She’d been listening to the boring, tedious details of his life for 7 years and responding with such kindness and interest and validation.
This woman was someone to learn from and I took notes:)