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Cue the Demanding Foot Tap

It's Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day.

Rome seemingly started it, Chaucer might have romanticized it.

Successful, smart, savvy women ignore it.

Allegedly.

Fine, fine. We'll accept a little, inexpensive token of your affection this Valentine's Day. We all know this is a silly holiday, but nevertheless, we'll accept a small something. Yes, we will.

Um. Where is it? What is it? Certainly, it needn't be too much! But not too little either. Just don't let it be … nothing at all.

And so begins the expectant, tapping foot.

Silent Expectations

This is not a phenomenon exclusive to Valentine's Day. The tapping foot can contaminate a relationship all year round. After we say those beloved "I do's," spouses face a lifetime of coming to terms with this conundrum: "I do want to give you what you want! However, I also do … not always know how."

In the midst of that reality, a tapping foot serves one purpose: it stresses everybody out.

But if you're like me, it's a little hard to knock it off.

The expectant tapping can come in many disguises. For instance, back when I was newly married, I told my husband that I liked a particular inexpensive fake pearl necklace.

Not long after that, ta da! My husband gave me a beautiful red velvet box. Inside?

A pearl necklace. Real pearls.

You can imagine my reaction.

"Um, what the …? These don't look plastic."

They were not.

"These don't look cheap."

They were not.

"How much exactly did you spend on this?" I was hoping he kept the receipt.

I mean, we were poor. Super poor. And my heritage on that subject was tainted. My family had had a history of financial problems that left me terrified about money moving forward. Didn't he know this?

Meanwhile, he just wanted to be kind and generous. And his heritage was very prudent—I could trust that he was not a crazy spender. My bleak reaction was crushing. Didn't I know this?

Tap. Tap. Tap. The deafening silence of our expectations killed the buzz on that gift-giving moment for sure.

It sounds ridiculous because we had dated for years. But getting to know each other takes time. A long time. And the fallout during that process can drive us to great growth! Or it can make us crestfallen, guilt-ridden, blech.

How the whole thing plays out can be colored by whether or not we're willing to release each other from those tap tap tapping expectations.

Waiting for Moses

If anybody gets this, it's God. He understands the pressure of demanding, tapping feet, even from loved ones. Like the Israelites. After the honeymoon of getting out of Egypt was starting to fade.

Janelle Alberts

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Cue the Demanding Foot Tap