Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Perfect World in Ten Minutes...

We just got home from our third marriage counseling appointment. The most interesting part was when our counselor pulled the sand box table into the center of the room and asked us to build our perfect world in ten minutes. She showed us how we could sculpt the sand (but said we couldn't throw it out of the box) and pointed out 10 feet square of shelving covered in items we might add to the sand. Never have I seen such a treasure trove of toys!

Working together well on projects is one of our stronger suits. We ask each other for opinions, make suggestions, pick things we think the other would like... in work mode, we're an effective team... always have been. And that's how it went in the sand box...

In no time we had a table for doing art and two chairs with a Siamese cat and a big red heart under the table. We had a beautiful glass globe (of the world) sitting in a forest of little trees with Bambi and baby Bambi. A small cabin-like house (just like ours) was also in the forest. We had a gracefully curving river with a fish and a boat in it and a lovely bridge over it. On the other side of the river we had our four totem animals: tiger and rabbit (mine), beaver and bear (his), along with some water-rounded rocks. Back on the house side, we had an Indian warrior and a goddess in one corner, a motorcycle, a mailbox, a sea shell and a turtle. We took overview and close up photos of it, but they're in my husband's camera, so I won't be posting them right now.

We were both pleased with our world, with the comfortable way in which we made it together and with the respect we paid each other while doing it. Our counselor said we were unusual, that some couples divide the box in half, some don't talk at all, some fight over what should or should not be in it. Like what the heck are we doing in counseling? No, she didn't give that impression at all... but the thought flew through my mind for a second.

Then I recalled about us... working together on projects is not our problem, nor is communication while we're working on a project. Well, now at least we all know that.

At the end, she asked which of the pieces in the sandbox each of us identified with the most. My husband chose the Indian, the largest piece in the box (or possibly the beaver, one of his totem animals). My instant, sure and gut-level choice was baby Bambi, second smallest piece in the box. The counselor asked my husband why he chose the Indian and he said it's because he's been reading a lot about Indians and their plight since the arrival of whites. He says he identifies with them. Then she asked him why he thought I chose the baby deer. He said he didn't know and that he was surprised by my choice. Then she asked me the same question... I don't really know... I'm drawn to the innocence and maybe I have a need for nurturing? Something to ponder.


  1. I'm not married, but from everything I've heard and observed, marriage IS a project, in and of itself. I once attended a team building workshop in which the instructor used examples of a good marriage as parallels for building a good, cohesive team. Many of those were the same ones you listed above: soliciting opinions, listening, etc. Interesting.

  2. That would all have been too touchy-feely for me and my husband. Actually, mine would not have been willing to even walk in the door, let alone play in the sand.

  3. That's so interesting. I'm not sure either I or my husband would have gone for that on initial introduction, but it looks like you learned a lot from it. And it sounds like it was fun, too.

  4. Very interesting approach.
    Sounds like fun!
    Hope you are well.
    You do indeed have a way with words.
    My word verification is "damet"!!


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