For a long time I’ve wanted to write about relationships because, although it’s difficult to write about, I think it’s a subject we lawyers need to discuss more. One of the more insidious side effects of the profession is the way it separates us from our loved ones. When I was practicing, I had far less time to spend with my wife and kids than I wanted. While I thought I had a good relationship with my family, when I stopped practicing law I realized how much I had missed, and how superficial in many ways my relationships were with them.
When I stopped practicing, one of my first priorities was to put more energy into my relationships, first and foremost with T, but one of the things I wrestled with was how. As I thought about it, I realized that the way people generally connect is over shared interests and priorities, so shortly after I stopped practicing, I decided to set up a date based around an interest of mine and a priority of hers—style and beauty. I decided to treat my wife to a spa day, but, in an unusual twist to accompany her so I could experience the transformation for myself.
Why a Spa Day?
Fashion, style and self care have long been hobbies of mine, but for T, they are not so much interest as priorities. T is thrilled when she manages to look her best, but she’s not so crazy about doing the selection and preparation that go into it. Lucky for her, I live for that stuff. Even luckier for me, she loved this date idea when I proposed it. As with most things, we make a great team. She’s taken me with her shopping in the past so I can could help her pick out clothes. But today I got court side seats to watch T get her hair done at the salon, and for a make-up consultation at Sephora. And I think we both loved it because I got to participate in the process, and she got the benefit. The result was my wife amplified! And I got to see it all happen.
Hair—T’s Crowning Glory
Naturally, I always want T to look the way she wants to look. But in my mind’s eye, I have an ideal image of my wife. In it, she’s wearing a pixie cut, subdued make-up to bring out her inner beauty, hip hugging jeans, and a cute t-shirt that shows off her assets (she has a beautifully proportioned, curvy figure). I think I love this look on her most because it was her go-to date style in the early days of our relationship, when she couldn’t afford much other than t-shirts and jeans, and she’d take me shopping with her to Kohl’s to help pick out clothes.
On this particular outing, after dropping the kids off at school, we grabbed croissants and coffee at our local French bakery, and then it was on to the salon. I had never been there before, but her stylist, J, was most gracious and invited me to sit nearby and watch. Full disclosure, all pictures and footage shown were taken with the subjects’ explicit permission for use in this blog post.
Lately, T has been rocking a particularly on trend pixie cut with a very wedgie back, so today was just a trim to keep it looking fresh; nothing too crazy, But I got to see the magic happen. I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve always fantasizes about being in the same room with my wife as she was getting her hair styled. I think it might have to do with the power hair has to transform a woman’s entire look. For example, Jennifer Lawrence is a beautiful gal in any case, but it’s a very different kind of beautiful when her hair is short. I love seeing that before and after transformation, when a woman I see on a regular basis goes from long to short, and I’ve always wanted to see it happen in action, live, with my wife. Although T wasn’t going through that drastic a change, while J worked her magic, T was, in a more subtle but no less profound way, transformed.
Makeup—T’s New Fall Look
Next we visited Sephora so that T could choose new make-up for fall. Now, make-up is not something I know much about. I’m not a cosmetologist or anything. But I sure learned a lot today. The consultant, S, not only helped T choose the perfect earth tones to compliment her complexion, but actually demonstrated how to use them by making up T’s left eye. Another transformation!
I was watching my wife turn into a model before my eyes!
“I look great, ” she said “but I hope I can remember how to do all of this stuff.” I suggested that she learn by doing the right eye herself with S overseeing. By then, I think even I knew how to do it. All told, we ended up spending north of $300, but as you can plainly see, it was worth it.
An Unforgettable Day
Admittedly, I take a more granular interest in my wife’s appearance than most guys do. What can I say? I do me. But the point of this article is not to recommend you take your wife (if applicable) on a spa day. It’s to put forward an example of how we can leverage our interests to bond with our SOs. If you can find an interest you share, great! But my formula is quite simple and I think even better: take an interest you have, figure out how you can leverage it to address a priority your SO has, and add your SO to the process. I’ll be fleshing out this concept further, and with more examples, in future blogs. Meanwhile, please tell me what you think? What are ways you have reconnected with your SO? What activities have you tried? Which have gone well, which not so well, and why?
See you in the comments.