The word “pineapple” is one of the most commonly used words in our house. It’s not in reference to food though. Here’s our story as to why this fruit may have saved our marriage.
A while back, Bo and I just couldn’t stop with the ridiculous bickering. The kind of bickering where you have no idea how it started, why it started and you’re not even mad- just continuing to bicker for bickering’s-sake. It was absurd. And taking a huge toll on us.
Who wants to spend their time with their partner going three rounds on the way someone said “pass me the salt”. It was exhausting. It was also really scary in the heat of it. I would retreat into myself, which is my coping mechanism, and ask myself over and over again “is this the way you want to live?" It felt like negative energy was eating us up. My friends or family would say "well you’re not getting enough sleep, of course you’re bickering." Ummm… did I mention that bug has been sleeping 10 hours a night since 4 months of age (most nights) ? So we only had ourselves to blame, not sleeplessness. Just plain old bad behavior.
We were at a major crossroads. We’ve been at them before, but this felt more confusing. There wasn’t anything concrete to debate other than the fact that we were just being assholes to each other. . If we just kept it going, I swear one of us was bound to be truly mean to the other and we’d unravel a little more. Grow further apart. Communicate even less.
Enter the genius idea of the word pineapple. We started talking finally one day, calmly and rationally, about how there is no reason for the fights. How we wanted to be better, wanted to try harder. Wanted to love each other more. What happened to our fun? And somehow we decided that we needed a trigger word. A neutral word that made us back away from the fighting, into our own corners of the ring, and then shake hands. Bo chose pineapple. I never even asked why, I just wanted to try anything to make us … well….. us again.
When the stupid-nonsensical-bickering starts, we say it. PINEAPPLE. Sometimes we say it at the same time. Sometimes I reply with "fruit salad” just to make him laugh. When we say pineapple, we both HAVE to drop it. That’s the key . I HAVE to drop it. I like to hold onto being annoyed for at least 3 days minimum as if it’s a game of will, so this has been harder for me.
It started working immediately though and has stood the test of time over the last several months. We realize due to the absurdity of saying that word out loud to each other, that our own fighting is absurd. So we stop, smile, hug or kiss or both and it’s done. We’re happy us again. And it’s lasting. The bickering happens way less. The happy family thing is back on track.
So… if you’re having these ridiculous sessions of “you should hear yourself when you talk!” OR I wanted the grey one not the green one!! OR “I wanted 12 lemons!”……you probably should test out the “neutral trigger word”. Pick a ridiculous fruit or vegetable or anything and say it. Try it. Choose to be happy.
What do you have to lose anyway?
Sending y’all love and happiness,