almond blossoms mean never having to say you’re sorry (sort of)

My grandparents were bickerers.

Together, they were one of those couples that couldn’t have a normal conversation about anything without snipping, snapping, growling, or worse. I’m sure you know one of these couples. Maybe you’re even in one.

Sure there was love between them, but their expression of that love left a lot to be desired for me personally. Worked for them, apparently, so more power to them.

I decided early on, though, that I didn’t want to have that sort of relationship (does anyone really *want* that?) but we all have to accept that arguing (sometimes in “outdoor voices”) is a part of life, especially in close personal relationships.

But it’s how we deal with those arguments that matters.

P and I are going on three years together and for us, it’s a continual learning process, and I hope it always stays that way. We’re both becoming better at not taking out bad moods on the other and with talking through our true feelings–those feelings underlying what *seems* to be the problem but really has nothing to do with much of anything.

But we’re not perfect. And thank goodness for the first almond blossoms of the season when one of us is less perfect than the other.

almond blossoms by candlelight

Just so you know, though, P *does* bring me the first almond blossoms of the season even when things are peachy keen. See here.

Difficult times always create opportunities for you
to experience more love in your life.
~ Barbara de Angelis

Happy Love Thursday,

and may you pass all of your relationship tests with flying colors.


[tags] love, amore, love thursday, almond blossoms, blossoms, almonds, mandorla, flowers, barbara de angelis[/tags]

40 Beans of Wisdom to “almond blossoms mean never having to say you’re sorry (sort of)”
  1. 01.24.2008

    How romantic! My parents were bickerers. I’ve tried hard in my relationship not to go down that same path, to disagree without being disagreeable. It’s a challenge on some days, but the effort is well worth the reward of having productive communication and a healthy relationship.

    Diane Mandy’s last blog post..Not-so-accidental Tourist

    It’s a challenge for me too, but mostly because P has more of a bickering tendency than I do so I feel kind of responsible for setting the tone sometimes. Anyway yes, the relationship is definitely better off for making the effort.

  2. 01.24.2008

    I hate fighting with my husband. We’re not typical bickerers, so when we do have a fight, it sends me into a depressing state! He has never used flowers as a form of making up. His trick is laughter…if he can get me to crack a smile or laugh, he knows all is well again. The photo of the flowers over the candles is pretty, but I absolutely LOVE the (2nd) photo in the link you provided!!!

    Giulia’s last blog post..Envious

    I get depressed with fights too. I just hate it. I’m also a Libra and we typically like harmonious situations, so I’m definitely not a typical fighter–I hate, hate, hate that tension! P’s a flower-giver in good and bad, actually, so at least he’s consistent.

    As for the photo, thanks! I rather like that one too–and it’s not even Photoshopped at all!

  3. 01.24.2008

    sigh, apple blossoms already….nice atmospheric photo.

    Pasticcera’s last blog post..Fritelle di Mele for Festa di Sant’Antonio

    Thanks! Just to be clear these are almond blossoms–no apple orchards around here!

  4. Mary

    I know what you mean. I could never understand those couples who always seem to have some bickering to do. I can’t stand it myself and like everything to be harmonious. Some people say that a relationship is boring if you don’t fight. Well, I’m living proof that it’s not true. O and I rarely fight and our relationship is anything but boring.

    The almond blossoms are beautiful. You’re way ahead of us though. We’ve still got some time to go before they arrive.

    I certainly don’t believe a relationship is boring if you don’t fight although I suppose each relationship has its own dynamics.

    I’ve been told the blossoms usually come in February here, but this is at least two years running that they’ve shown up in mid-January.

  5. 01.24.2008

    Wow, you hit on one of my pet peeves. Bickering. Especially in front of other people. If they want to bicker, let them do it in their own home, out of earshot! I think sometimes people just get stuck in the bickering rut and can’t get out of it. Or just don’t look at the bright side of life. Or just always have to be right. Who knows. I just know I can’t stand to be around bickering.

    kacey’s last blog post..Life In My Office

    I agree with you Kacey that it becomes a sort of habit; I don’t think it’s that difficult to fall into either since your partner is the one who’s always around (hopefully anyway!). But yes, in public? Well that’s just tacky πŸ˜‰

  6. 01.24.2008

    Bickering tends to be a big issue for us lately. Thanks for your positive words.

    Love your almond blossom photos! Just beautiful!

    Bren’s last blog post..100 Posts, 100 Things

    Bren, as I said, I really think it’s so easy to fall into the bickering trap especially when you’re kind of used to it. Best of luck un-bickering. Glad you like the photos πŸ™‚

  7. Bipolarlawyercook

    Gorgeous. I try not to bicker, or pick fights, or respond to attempt fights at all. Not only do I get depressed afterward (“He doesn’t love me, WAAAHH!”), but I have a horrible temper, and always say the nastiest possible thing. Instead, I keep my mouth shut until I can be calm and clear about something, and then I state my piece.

    Except for that one time I pulled over when he was telling me how to drive, after I told him NOT TO DO THAT, and I kicked him out of the car. (We were right near a T station, so I only beat him home by a half hour.)

    Bipolarlawyercook’s last blog post..Smile until you mean it

    Ooh so you’re a dirty fighter. Except for that road incident. He clearly had *that* coming.

  8. Jane

    I loved this post today and the picture is gorgeous! My grandparents “bickered” too and I see my parents do it after 52 years of marriage. In some ways it kind of makes me smile because the truth is that they love each other and have stayed together for so long. To me, it shows a level of comfort to be able to have those “outdoor voices” and still know how much you love each other at the end of the day.

    Happy Thursday!!

    Thanks Jane, and yes, I agree that there *is* something to knowing that even after outdoor voices have been used, things will be fine.

  9. 01.24.2008

    Gorgeous photos (and as for the other ones you linked to, what a view!!!) Here the almond blossoms usually start in February– I haven’t seen any yet, though we have been having quite warm weather lately…

    Hi Kate, yes February is supposed to be the time for blossoms here too–but no one told them that apparently πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by!

  10. 01.24.2008

    Great post. I, too, know some folks who bicker constantly, but have been together longer than I’ve been alive!

    It took me a while to understand Angelo’s Italian style of conflict. He doesn’t keep any thoughts or feelings in, just blurts them out immediately, passionately, and often loudly. The “loudly” part scared me until I realized that it didn’t mean he was angry.

    After a while I figured out that I could be loud, passionate and immediate too, and he wasn’t going to be offended.

    Luckily we nearly always end up laughing at each other before things truly turn into an argument.

    Those blossoms look lovely! Do they smell great, too?

    Tui, some of those Italian stereotypes do ring true sometimes, don’t they? The “loud” thing is the norm around here too, as well as that immediate you talked about. I’m not an “immediate” kind of person so it definitely takes getting used to.

    And yes, the blossoms have added a lovely sweet perfume to my kitchen πŸ™‚
    mentalmosaic’s last blog post..Naples, Italy: It’s da bomb, literally!

  11. 01.24.2008

    After 25 years the fighting has stopped, bickering well the odd time usually when I’m not feeling well but we never, never go to bed without apologizing and sorting it out. I heard on the news the other night that getting your anger out is actually better for you than keeping it in. My husband is not a flower giver either but does other things for me…ciao

    rositta’s last blog post..Monopoly – The All Time Favourite Board Game

    Rositta, it sounds like you’ve found a great balance. I definitely agree that anger/frustration is better out than in–there are just different modes of expressing it that work better for each of us. P would never buy flowers, I don’t think, but he does snip them off on the way home sometimes πŸ˜‰

  12. 01.24.2008

    Well, if nothing else it provided you with a beautiful photo! πŸ˜‰ But really, I know what you mean about the bickering, and about learning “how” to argue with your partner so that it is a productive argument versus just a fight. Being a passionate European, I’ve had to learn the art of “inside voices” and taking a breath or two before I speak, but I’m getting there.

    Karina’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen #39

    I think we all have a responsibility to learn to deal better with others–not everyone reacts the same way so it’s always a learning experience on an individual level as well. Breathing is always good, IMHO πŸ˜‰

  13. 01.24.2008

    A lovely think to focus on. We can all do with more kindness in our lives. Lovely blossoms, too.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Chicken Rose

    Thanks Jen; so true about kindness.

  14. 01.24.2008

    Oh yes, we all have those moments and I agree it’s what you choose to do with them that truly counts. Perhaps they exist solely to remind us how blessed we are that they’re not the norm as they were for your grandparents (and my parents, oy!).

    Words of wisdom as always Nino. Thanks πŸ™‚

  15. 01.24.2008

    I’m lovin your new layout, everything looks so nice!


    Thanks Marie! And thanks for stopping by!

  16. 01.24.2008

    Wuuuuau, beautiful post Michelle πŸ™‚

    Well, at home it’s actually the opposite, when something’s up there’s siiiilence.
    So now, when ever someone gets a serious look about them I get a knot in my stomach.
    I need harmony, too. Talking things out is sooo so much easier.

    Are almond blossoms blooming already?

    roam 2 rome’s last blog post..Mi mancavi!

    Ooh the silent treatment. Being able to cut tension with a knife. Hard to say which is worse.

    Yes, the almond blossoms are out and have been for a couple weeks. I don’t think we had a mild winter so far (lots of rain and cold to me!) so I’m not sure what’s up with them.

  17. 01.24.2008

    My parents tend to be bickerers. Not constantly, but often enough. It really bothered me when I was a kid…not child wants to think that her parents don’t always get along. Now, as an adult, I just watch them and laugh. They act just like my kids do!

    I guess it works for them as they just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary!

    Susan’s last blog post..My Five Month Notice

    Hah! There *is* something similar between bickering couples and siblings! Like you said, though, seems to work for some πŸ˜‰

  18. Anne

    We have been together 17 years, and don’t really bicker…and I would prefer to “talk” things through, problem is, my husband is of the silent type..and that is when I feel the knot come in my stomach, it winds me up so much, so I have had to learn, think before you speak, it is so hard but getting there. But he does know how to make me laugh and then we are fine again…but that doesn’t always solve the problem or the niggles.

    It’s really a constant learning experience, isn’t it Anne? The important thing is that we at least try to deal with these things in a way that’s best for everyone–and after 17 years, obviously you’re doing something right!

  19. 01.24.2008

    My Grandparents bickered, that would be my Mom’s parents. My Dad’s parents, well sometimes it seemed like they didn’t talk at all. To be honest I preferred the bickering. As for Mike and I, well I don’t think we bicker, but then others may not agree.

    Shan’s last blog post..always letting me know how it is

    I agree, Shan, bickering is probably worse than complete silence. Although in my experience, the worst is silence only broken by bickering. Gah! But hey, whatever works, right?

  20. 01.24.2008

    I love your honesty. It’s what keeps me coming back.

    Minnie’s last blog post..Dear Cheap Mega Mart Store,

    Thanks Minnie; your visits and comments are very much appreciated πŸ™‚

  21. Eryn

    interesting….my grandparents were bickerers too. uf, but apparently, it worked for them too!

    i’ve never heard of almond blossoms…..but they’re beautiful!!!!

    Well Eryn, almond blossoms are just the flowers the sprout on the almond tree before you get the nuts–can’t lose having an almond tree I say!

  22. 01.25.2008

    Hey, there! I’ve got a surprise for you over at my blog! YOU are a winner! πŸ™‚


    Christina Arbini’s last blog post..And The Winner Is….

    Woohoo! My lucky streak continues! Thanks Christina πŸ™‚

  23. 01.25.2008

    I don’t see how two people can be together for a long period of time without there being some bickering. It just seems impossible. I’m always vaguely suspicious of couples who say they never fight.

    Nice blog. I’m insanely jealous of anyone who moves to Italy but, yeah, nice blog.

    LDP’s last blog post..“Seven years of college down the drain . . . “

    Well I think there is a difference between bickering–which I would describe as a constant bantering about everything that comes up, often spoken in sarcastic tones–and arguing, which I think is actually part of a healthy relationship because it means you’re communicating.

    Anyway, welcome! And I’m glad you like the blog; no need for jealousy though–Italy has its downsides just like anywhere else. I’ll be posting a bit about it later πŸ˜‰

  24. 01.25.2008

    That quote couldn’t be more “spot on”.
    It is not always easy to remember that when times are difficult but it sure helps to take that perspective.
    I don’t enjoy tension, at all! SAM is always quick to give a cuddle or affection which usually melts me.
    That second photo in the sunset is absolutely dreamy. Frame worthy!

    cheeky’s last blog post..A Sign of Promise

    Glad you liked the photos πŸ™‚ I hate tension; glad you found someone who melts it instead of building it πŸ˜‰

  25. 01.25.2008

    My husband and I rarely argue, but we bicker all the time. It’s never done with malice, however, if that makes sense. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are both fire signs (he’s a Leo, I’m a Sagittarius), and that we are both only children. (Well, he has a sister who is 13 years younger, but his parents divorced right after she was born and he never lived with her…) Anyhoo, we both always think we are right, and we both want what we want, and we want it now! We get some interesting looks from people who don’t know us well, but to our friends and family, they just ignore us because they know how much we love each other. Somehow it works for us!

    Kathy’s last blog post..How I spent my December…and the first few days of January!

    Hey Kathy, whatever works! And it’s great that you found each other πŸ™‚

  26. 01.25.2008

    I could fight with a cat, but instead I generally bicker with myself. I gave myself quite a nasty lecture in the car Tuesday. I should probably be more attentive to my feelings, but really, I can just be so dim sometimes that I forget.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Back in a moment

    Well I just hope you’ve learned your lesson. From yourself.

  27. Gil

    No comment on bickering! Funny thing the almond blossoms do look a little like apple blossoms. Happy Spring to you. I think that we have a few more months of cold.

    Gil, I have to say that I know many Italians and Italian-Americans. If there’s a bickering gene, I’d venture to say it’s pretty prominent in that bloodstream πŸ˜‰

    Yes the almond blossoms do resemble apple blossoms–all so pretty. It’s not *quite* Spring here yet though. February and even March tend to give us another good blast or two (you know “blast” being relative).

  28. 01.25.2008

    We’re not usually bickerers, but lately…this morning my husband said that he read that bickering is good for the heart. I don’t know about that, but I do want to start doing Love Thursday posts again…starting next week πŸ™‚

    poppy fields’s last blog post..My Best Mistake, well, yesterday’s anyway

    Hmm, good for the heart? Interesting. I’d love to know more….

    I look forward to your Love Thursdays πŸ™‚

  29. 01.25.2008

    Chris and I used to bicker. My parents and brother called us the Bickersons. We don’t bicker anymore but man, when we fight, it’s usually a knock down, drag-out. I’d like to see those end.

    Almond blossoms, I can’t even imagine how they smell but would love to find out some time.

    I’d like to see those end for you too. I really hate fighting. And you’re welcome to come and smell the almond blossoms in January/February here in southern Italy πŸ™‚

  30. Beautiful image, Sognatrice.

    And yes, relationships take work, respect and honesty – it’s all about growing together — or not – but every relationship brings us angels, opportunities and lessons.

    Absolute Vanilla… (and Atyllah)’s last blog post..Atyllah (not Vanilla) got tagged for a meme – take cover now

    Thanks, and thank you for those lovely sentiments!

  31. 01.25.2008

    My parents never got along either, Sognatrice. I made the same deal that you did…never to replicate that. I think when you make a point of something…you work harder at it. And some flowers never hurt either. I would much rather have some nice handpicked stems than a dozen overpriced red roses from the florist too πŸ˜‰

    My Melange’s last blog post..One Great Loss

    I agree with you; when you know what you’re trying to avoid, there’s a tangible goal, something to work against. And no, I’ve never been a rose girl either–except when P snips them from the rosebushes around the village (shhh!) πŸ˜‰

  32. 01.25.2008

    I have read a couple of days ago in Yahoo features that arguing couples (specifically people voicing out their arguments not keeping it to themselves) live longer. How old are your grandparents? πŸ™‚

    grace’s last blog post..sweet exchange for Valentines

    Oh Grace, I’m not talking about arguments, which I think are normal, necessary, and healthy–I’m talking about snipping about what kind of pasta to eat, whether the dogs have been walked, whether one writes on the calendar in blue ro red pen, stupid things, IMHO.

    And unfortunately for my grandparents, their bickering didn’t add years to their lives as they’ve both passed away. In fact my grandmother would’ve celebrated a birthday today πŸ™

  33. 01.25.2008

    Bob and I don’t usually fight, we do sometimes have grumpy days, but we quickly realize we are not upset with each other, but tired, hungry, et. cetera. So we quiet down for a bit, then talk nice later.
    Bob is not a yeller, and he is not a swearer or name caller. Thank God, I couldn’t imagine being with someone who was. He is the milder one, I tend to get upset quickly, but to get over it quickly too. I have to watch my tone. I have at times, gotten a bit like some animal trying to puff itself up and seem bigger (by being louder) to seem more threatening so others will take it seriously.
    I particularly have to careful with my son, as I get SO FRUSTRATED when he wont get ready for school. The cat is helpful here, if I yell anything, such as “GET down these stairs, we have to go to school RIGHT NOW!”. The kid never comes running, but the cat always does. He comes running like, what is it dear? What is the matter? Are you okay? Are you on fire? Do you need me? And sits at my feet, meowing, and crying up at me. First of all this alerts me to the fact that I was yelling (check one), and secondly I have to take a moment and pet the cat, or else he wont shut-up, this helps me collect myself, and calm the heck down (check two). And thirdly it shows me, a bit mockingly, that unless it is the cat that I wish to come running for school, the yelling thing is not at all working (check three). Puts me back in-check, reminds me to stay in-check next time.

    My nana and pop, would have disagreements, and argue over stuff, like politics, but not in a bad way (welll maybe sometimes in a bad way). This actually turned out to helpful to me though, as in recent years, I have found areas where my husband and I differ in our beliefs, areas which really upset me, but then I was like, you are you, I am me, it’s okay, we can be married forever and not share an opinion, but still be happy.

    I like the flowers thing.
    P.S. The impression of it on me is more romantic than my words show. πŸ™‚

    Taffiny’s last blog post..just found an odd bit of faded paper

    Taffiny, I love you realization about differing opinions; I’m still working on that, I think, which is odd since I’m such a live-and-let-live kind of person. It’s different, a bit, when you live with someone. Somehow.

    Your cat is so in tune with you! I love it! My dogs always know when I’m upset–one of my favorite things about them. In addition to their ears. And fur when it stays *on* them.

  34. 01.25.2008

    Sorry about your grandmother,
    there is something about thinking about the day someone came into the world, and all the years they spent on earth, after their footsteps no longer walk upon it, that is both really sad, and beautiful.

    Thanks Taffiny. My grandmother passed away in 2001, and clichΓ© as it sounds, I still think of calling her every now and again. I don’t know if you’ve read the post I wrote last year for her birthday: A Grandmother’s Influence. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve written πŸ™‚

  35. 01.25.2008

    Blossoms and kisses… how lovely! They pair together so well.

    I can’t wait to see what you do for Valentines which falls on love Thursday this year; and in a leap year no less!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..Taking Care

    Hah, no pressure right?!

  36. Cleopantha

    And that’s what relationships are all about… discovering our infinite capacity to love πŸ™‚

    Such a lovely thought πŸ™‚

  37. 01.27.2008

    You’re absolutely right — it’s not the fact that arguments occur, but how you deal with it once it happens. That’s something for all of us to remember! πŸ™‚

    Zandria’s last blog post..RANDOM FRIDAY, VER. 35

    Thanks for stopping by Zandria πŸ™‚

  38. 01.28.2008

    Hey, sweet girl. It’s a constant and continuing learning process because as individuals, we’re always changing, learning, and growing. I think that if you have a good foundation (as a couple) slabbed together with love and respect, you can come out of most situations on good terms. Z and I have been together for close to 17 years. We’re still learning from each other, but I feel like we’ve come a very long way in the “how to deal with this” department. There were bickering phases, but they’re done. It happens so infrequently now. We do have our yearly blow-up, screamfest when the little lady is at a sleepover that I wish would stop happening! If only there were almond blossoms in NJ to melt his sometimes stubborn personality…

    bella’s last blog post..for LaLa

    Ooh I know something about that stubbornness. Some nice apple blossoms will work too…heck even some flowering tomatoes πŸ˜‰

  39. 01.29.2008

    Almond blossoms, I mispoke… and not an almond blossom in sight up here ever! perhaps thats why apple blossom tumbled out of my computer…

    Pasticcera’s last blog post..Carnevale Window Peeping

    Don’t worry, I knew it was just a mistype πŸ˜‰

  40. 01.31.2008

    A beautiful post πŸ™‚ I missed reading your blog because i didn’t realise it had moved.. yikes.. I’ll promise to be a more regular reader from now on πŸ™‚

    shanghaiexpatwife’s last blog post..Breeze Center (Mall), Taipei ????

    Well you found me now! Good to see you πŸ™‚

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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