Rules of Engagement (Part 4)

Writer’s Note:  As I sat down to write this, I was surrounded by our two, full-grown Rottweilers (Kaiser & Nala), who had four squeaky toys between them.  Our dogs are big teddy bears, who we raised from pups and wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Every time they have toys out to play with, they purposely position themselves with the toys between them as they begin a slow, low-growl standoff, that involves neither one of them being allowed to move as they mad dog each other.  These standoffs usually last about fifteen minutes, followed by either us separating them or a little Rottweiler dominance brawl, which sometimes results in a nipped ear or bruised ego.  I love the honest instincts that they can’t deny and don’t hide.  Dogs have so much to teach us about being real, caring about your family, and sometimes, when absolutely necessary, fighting with your sibling over a tennis ball.

Without further ado…

Never quit.  Never quit on pursuing something you love, never quit on a relationship you want to be invested in, and never quit on yourself.  Sometimes it is easier said than done because struggle, by definition, is not the path of least resistance.

Throughout the years, Hugo and I have had our fair share of arguments.  Some of these arguments pushed us to the point of questioning why we were together.  I think that is natural when the emotions run high and you are passionate about how you feel and who you are fighting with.  Our argument style is also very different – I want to resolve the issue right away while Hugo would prefer taking some time to cool off, then discussing the issue later.  When we did question if our relationship was worth keeping, it hurt my heart at the worst possible level.  I always knew that I could never live without him and sometimes it took hitting rock bottom to reinforce that feeling.  Hugo felt the same way and always told me so afterwards.  The old saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”  Well, in our case, it was almost gone a few times and that always opened my eyes the widest to the fact that nothing should be taken for granted.

Over the years, our arguments have subsided almost completely.  This is in part due to our maturing with age and our reduced alcohol consumption (alcohol was like kerosene on our arguments).  We recently talked about this and we came to the same conclusion.  Bottom line, we never want to be apart.  He is my soul mate and I am his.  None of the bad outweighs the overwhelming amount of good in our relationship.

After thinking about it for a while, I think that is the true relationship test.  When you examine a relationship in your life, whether it is between your significant other, another family member or a friend, if the bad does not outweigh the good and you want this person in your life, that answers the question all by itself and it is worth fighting for.  Love should prevail and if it doesn’t, that is a loud indidcation that you are not with the right person.  And finally, if you decide to stay in the relationship, you make a pact to never quit.  If you don’t make quitting on each other an option, the joy you can experience as a couple is limitless.

As I find myself doing fairly regularly in this blog, I will end this post with an update from Hugo’s kitchen.  Pineapple shrimp are about to hit the grill and they will be the star of some fat, Cali burritos for dinner.  Oh, and also some stuffed clams and Alden’s Organic mint chip ice cream (if you don’t know about Alden’s, do yourself a favor and click that link, it’s the best damn organic ice cream around).  Now that’s how you heal a wounded knee, with lots of love and lots of food.


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