So, if you've read my blog for more than 2 days, you know I have this husband.
We've been married now for 23 years, which means I've known him for over half my life. We dated for 5 long years because he just couldn't bring himself to put a ring on it. It's foggy now, but I'm pretty sure I had to give him an Indian burn and an ultimatum in order to force him into proposing.
But, he finally did. I think it was with some pain from that burned up forearm as I twisted with all my might, but he did. And we did. And now here we are, many dogs and kids later.
(Not sure why there's a purple spot on my face. I can assure you it wasn't there the day of my wedding. But, this is my favorite wedding picture. It really defines us, I think.)
I'd have to say our marriage has been, for the most part, a complete success.
But, it has not been without its hills and valleys.
And here's the secret to our success: Whenever we hit one of those valleys, I remind him that he is ALWAYS the reason we have sunk to that low. And then I gently steer him in the proper direction
of the hill where we can climb to the top and see the incredible landscape before us.
I'll be truthful and tell you, Internet, that it has not always been easy keeping him on the Good Hubby path.
I'll give you some examples of his For Better and For Worse.
This is a For Worse. It has been a sore subject since the day we said, "I Do." He is a sexist driver, meaning he thinks since he has testicles and I do not, he is naturally the better driver and should drive
at all times. So not true. Because of those testicles, he cannot drive and do anything else at the same
time. If his phone rings, the kids start fighting, I ask him a question, he has to scratch his nose— he instantly slows the car down to a crawl, because there are 2 THINGS GOING ON AT ONCE!
I, on the other hand, am a woman, a mom, a multi-tasker and just like Rainman, I am an excellent driver.
He refuses to see this. Bad Husband.
❀ The preparation of dinner.
In this category, My Hubby gets the gold medal. There has not been a single, solitary day of our
wedded life that My Hubby has asked me what's for dinner. I am a stay at home mom and I know
that with that role comes certain expectations. But, My Hubby knows I hate to cook.
I like eating. I just hate making the food.
Now, when I do get the rare bug to whip something up, I give it my all and I will say I think I do a
pretty snappy job. Duh, I watch Top Chef. But, every day on the way home from work, My Hubby
calls and asks what I'm in the mood for—dinner out, take-out or oftentimes, he brings home the
bacon and fries it up in a pan. A son of a gourmet cook, he has learned well and is an amazing chef.
And on those nights, we toil in the kitchen together, he making the main course and me whipping up
the side dishes since I love me some veggies, those are some of my favorite times.
❀ In sickness and in health.
I think my Hubby zoned out during this part of the vows, because he is not good, not good at all
when it comes to the sickness part of things. He could never, ever be a doctor. His sense of
compassion is . . . well, just not there. When I'm down for the count, he looks at me as if I have
leprosy and he's going nowhere near those open, festering sores. There is no nurturing or comforting.
No head strokes or soothing words. The best I get from him is a, "Hope you feel better" as he
high-tails it out the door. And the standard, "You're still not better? Man, how long is this gonna
take?" after, I don't know, a few hours of being sick.
He has the same lack of sensitivity when it comes to feelings. He stands there with a look of utter pain,
as if I'm waterboarding him, if I make him listen to my feelings. And He HATES talking about his
own feelings. In fact, I'm not even sure he has feelings.
❀ The fact that he is wrapped around his 3 daughter's fingers.
This is a good and bad thing. Never has there been a man more genetically designed to be a father of daughters. He is the tampon buyer. He is the fun dad, the one who ensures there are vacations and Disney jaunts and afternoons in the park and Marco Polo in the pool. He has created indelible
memories for our girls.
When we just had the one girl, the two of them would have their Secret Saturdays together. They
would leave the house in the morning and return late in the afternoon, just in time for a worn out 2-
year-old's nap. They made a big production out of keeping their adventures a secret from me. But
every trip ended with unending little girl giggles and a new Barbie. The tradition continued as our
family of females grew. We now have a Barbie population rivaling China.
He is also a collector of guns and an expert marksman. A fact, I know, he will have no problem broadcasting when the boys come a-calling.
The wrapping around the finger, though, is a bad thing when it comes to ducks. You see, my little animal lover Julia, decided she wanted a duckling for Easter. That's right, a duckling. Because 3 dogs,
2 of them, The Morons of the Land and a cat are not enough animals for one house. I slammed my
foot down on that request. A duck would put me over this narrow precipice of maintaining my barely there sanity.
I went shopping with my sister the day before Easter, leaving Julia and her daddy to their own devices.
The picture came over my phone late in the afternoon. "Here's my new ducks!"
Ducks as in plural. As in not 1, but 2. 2 Ducks.
I now hate moronic puppies and ducklings.
And for awhile there, my Hubby.
This is a good and bad thing, but mostly a good thing. I have never had to make a honey-do list in my life. The man is all about getting it done. He's got that Italian thing going. Like his mother, he is an Energizer Bunny going and going and going in his waking hours. He never sits down to watch TV in the middle of the day. He never naps. He mows the lawn and fixes broken things and builds duck
cages and plants gardens and goes shooting and cleans things out and never stops until his head hits
the pillow at night and even then he sleeps 6 hours, tops.
The Energizer Bunny is only a bad thing when we're on vacation and we have to spend every minute of our vacation charged to the hilt. Ask anyone who has vacationed with us, only to return exhausted, in need of a vacation.
❀ Gas and his predilection to share it with me. I will say it over and over and over until I'm blue in the face (from the noxious fumes). Gas. Is. Never. Funny. I don't want to hear it. I certainly don't want to smell it. And I don't want to be anywhere near you when you expel it.
Same thing goes for the bathroom.
We have a bathroom where the toilet has its own room. With a door. That can be closed. I did that on purpose. Because, not everything in married life should be shared. Namely, bubble baths because that is my luxury, not your time to hop in and try to get your game on AND bathroom time. And My Hubby doesn't seem to understand my need for him to be a little more discreet. In fact, I'm pretty sure he
enjoys torturing me with his open door toilet policy.
Throughout this entire half of my life, My Hubby has supported me in whatever role I chose to take on. He applauded me when I chose to stay home with the babies. Even though, I had been the breadwinner in our early years. Even though, there were some awfully lean years when our babies were small. He wanted me to be where my heart pointed and my heart pointed me home, home with those pink, squalling creatures who grew into lovely young ladies. While I was at home making no bread, he dug
in and worked his ass off and gave us a happy life.
And when I decided that opening up my writer's notebook again was my next step, he stood behind me encouraging me, giving me time and space to write, listening to me and popping open the champagne when I finally completed that novel. He cheered me on when I decided I needed to start this blog to
help kick off my journey into seeking publication. I'm not sure he even knows what I do here and I
don't think he reads it much, (I sure hope he doesn't read today's), but he's still behind me and that
means the world to me.
These are just a few of the ways we have lived for better or for worse.
But yesterday was a whole mish-mosh of the better or for worse and so I'm going to recap the bad
and the good, so that you can see for yourself just how a successful marriage works.
Now, I have to preface my example with a little tidbit of information. During our Colorado vacation,
we spent one of our days at the spa.
It was the best vacation day of all.
The spa was across this little brick walkway from our hotel. We would all stroll over there at the end of our days in our big white fluffy spa robes to take advantage of their whirlpools. It was a very cute sight, both families, 8 of us, traipsing around in our robes.
And I have an ultra adorable picture of us, but that is another For Worse of My Hubby's. He has no patience for my lack of technological and map reading skills. We gave our oldest our nav system when she went off to college since she can't find her way out of her bedroom on most days and we have yet
to replace it. The few times we got lost on vacation and My Hubby handed me his stupid iPhone with
its stupid map—oh, you did NOT want to be in that car with all the yelling and finger pointing and the moment I almost threw that stinkin' iPhone out the window.
He cannot understand why I can't direct us from a bunch of squiggly lines just like he can't fathom my lack of computer savviness. And so this morning he claimed he had no time to help me figure out why I could not get the pics into the computer. "Just figure it out" was his statement as he fled, away from my frustrating tears.
And I say to that, I have to put up with flatulence. He needs to put up with my technologically challenged brain.
So, no pics of the robes for now.
But, anyway, on our spa day we had massages, some facials, a little pedicure and manicure for others. After our treatments we were guided into this pathway of pools. There were mineral pools and whirlpools and rainshowers and steam rooms and at the end, this perfect room called the relaxation room with heated loungers and rainforest sounds and books and magazines and chilled beverages and it was just sublime.
I loved that spa. I loved the tranquility. I loved the pools. I loved the smells coming from these fabulous scented candles that were everywhere. I loved the gigantic dressing tables with every cosmetic need a girl could ask for. I wanted to spend my entire day there. In fact, My Hubby had to finally send someone to fetch me out of that relaxation room. I spent the rest of my vacation talking about how much I loved that spa.
Now remember that story for a second as I continue on with the mish-mosh.
Yesterday we went to dinner with our dear friends Tim and Michelle.
As we were getting ready to leave My Hubby asked me if I was wearing a new shirt. And I was. I'd bought this beautiful blouse, all white gossamer with peach embellishments and a peach, satiny sash at the waist. Just lovely.
I told him that yes, it was new, waiting for the compliment. Because he is good like that with the compliments. When he didn't say anything, I asked him if he thought it was pretty. He shrugged and said, "Yeah, I guess. If you're a fairy."
Obviously, he is not well versed in gossamer. In fact he is not well versed in fashion at all. His idea of high fashion is khakis.
So that was a black mark.
When we were at dinner, one of the girls called. This is not uncommon. They will call to report clothes being borrowed without asking. They will call to report a dog pooping in the house because that's what I want to hear about in my time away from the Morons. They will call to find out where we are dining so they can convince us into bringing home some extras.
But, this time my Hubby picked up the phone, interceded the message and told my daughter she would not be able to talk to me because, "Mom is with you 24/7 and she is relaxing right now and I will not have you bothering her over arguments with your sister."
That was a good Hubby.
But, then the hill just plummeted to its ultimate depth on the way home.
As we lingered after dinner, I told a very interesting story. I could feel My Hubby's foot tapping under the table, but Tim and Michelle seemed into my story.
On the way home, My Hubby had the oafish nerve to suggest that my story had bored everyone.
It was one of those defining moments that as soon the words fell out of his man mouth, he got this look on his face, like, "F***k, I can't believe I just said that. Now we're going to have to talk about feelings. Shit."
As I sputtered and yes, talked about my feelings and would not let the "boring" thing go, he tried very hard to right his stupid-ass faux pas. By the time we got home, he was apologizing and saying I most definitely was NOT boring, it was just that I'd told him the story on the way over to dinner and that's probably why he found it boring because he was ready to go and yeah, NOBODY else, he was SURE, found my story boring.
It didn't matter. The words had been said and I wasn't about to let him take them back.
I fell asleep in my bed watching my DVR'd "Glee", full of resentment.
I woke up at 4:00 am, realizing I'd fallen asleep with my makeup on. I was in my bathroom washing my face when I heard the chugging of a tired car engine. I peeked out my window to see a car creeping around my driveway. I raced to the bedroom and shook My Hubby, hissing of home invaders at our doorstep.
He barely cracked an eye as he informed me it was most likely the newspaper delivery and if it was home invaders, he was all, "Bring it on! Go ahead and see what happens, if you try to invade my space." And I will have to say, I pity the home invader who would try to break into our home because I do live with Rambo.
Just be warned.
Of course, I went back to the window, peering out into the night for the bad guys and wouldn't you know it? A few minutes later a truck came winding down our driveway.
I thought, the hell? I don't even think there are 2 cars on the highway at 4:00 AM but they're all here, cruising my driveway.
I woke him up again. A fact that pleased him very little as he barked reminded me that we do indeed get 2 different papers. But, I was not convinced. I was certain this was a driveby stakeout right before the home invasion was about to go down. I kept getting up and checking for more cars during this rush hour on my driveway. Finally, as I stood at the window for the umpteenth time, My Hubby yelled said, "Please, get your little ass in bed. Either that or go wait to be home invaded out in the family room. You're keeping me up."
Lack of worry over our safety-Zero Husband Points.
Yelling at me-Negative Husband Points.
Calling my ass, little-One Million Husband Points.
This morning I was still annoyed over the yelling and the "boring" statement. I opened the front door because I certainly wasn't about to do that in the middle of the night with the Bad Guys most certainly standing right behind the door to stab me and there, there indeed, sat 2 papers. Alongside the papers was a box I hadn't noticed yesterday, a delivery from the afternoon.
I brought the box in, puzzled and shocked because it had my name on it. I don't get the packages in our family. Shopping Boy is the one who gets all the deliveries.
I brought it into the kitchen where my husband stood. He saw the box and said, "I was wondering when that was going to get here."
He told me to open it with a little glint in his eye.
And I couldn't believe what he'd done.
Candles. The beautiful soy candles from the spa. He'd ordered all the different scents that I'd oohed and ahhhed over. He'd made sure I had a reminder of my fondest memory of our vacation.
I placed my gorgeous smelling candles around my bath and filled the tub with bubbly, hot water and then, I took a bath . . . alone.
That Hubby of mine, I think I'll keep him.
Today's Do It Download: "Good Man" by Josh Ritter. I love Josh Ritter's sound and I love this song. For that man, that good man who has stayed by my side all these years, trying his hardest to be the best man he can, for me, all for me.