Do you think I give my husband a hard time? I was thinking that if you read my blog or Facebook posts you might be thinking I pick on him a little. Like, when I said he and Eddie were the world’s worst trick-or-treaters. (They are. I just can’t cover for them on that one any more.)
Or, the time I said Scott confessed he wasn’t handy. Or, when I said we’ve lived in our small town for 10 years and he still doesn’t know the name of the grocery store. Or, when I said the only thing he’s worse at than trick-or-treating, is being a nursemaid to me when I’m ill. Or, when I shared how he tried talking my daughter into using an old DVD case as a lunch box to save a few bucks. Or, how about when I told you he has been holding on to the clothes he wore in high school? He fully expected to get more use out of them when his kids were old enough to wear them. Turns out he was actually right about that one, all except for the “Guess” stone washed jeans. Maybe the grand kids will come through for him.
The truth is, I’m my husband’s number one fan. He actually has a lot of fans, because the deal with him is that if you know him, you like him. He is kind-hearted. He loves kids (all ages). He plays like a kid. He will always tell you the truth. He is quick to listen to your opinion, slow to share is own. He doesn’t cheat. He will admit when he’s wrong. If you ask him for help, he will give it to you. If you tell him a secret, he will keep it. If you walk out of a room, he won’t talk about you. If he told you he would do something and he did not do it, you need to know he’s dead. He will say things that make you laugh, but never in a loud attention-getting way. He will have one 20 dollar bill in his wallet for a month and not spend it, but if you need it, he will give it to you. He will never try to one-up you, and he won’t tell you any boring stories about what he or his children have accomplished. He will give you the benefit-of-doubt, and he will give you a second chance, more if you need them. He will be interested in and listen quietly to what you are telling him. He is bilingual and knows a lot about a lot. He tries to be better today than he was yesterday. He picks up litter in public places. He’s tough as nails, and he prays. Yeah, if those kind of guys seem a little sketchy to you, then I guess you wouldn’t like Scott.
I’ve asked myself how the young and goofy girl I once was, was smart enough to grab on to a guy like him. Maybe it was because he used to look like this:
You gotta admit, that guy right there looks like a bit of a gamble. Yes, my conservative parents may have had some reservations at first, based on his appearance alone.
Do you remember that movie, “Meet The Fockers”? One of my sisters called me on the way home from the theater after she watched that movie. She said, “Go to the theater right now. They just made a movie about Scott!”
It was not long though before my parents understood that their daughter had found one of the highest quality human beings a person could know. That’s when they told me, “Close the deal now, before he learns more about you.”
Have you heard some people say that the new theory is that humans weren’t meant to be monogamous? They say humans are part of the animal kingdom, and it is not realistic to expect animals to stay with the same mate for their whole lives. Why do they say that?
I know some marriages just end up painful and ridiculous. We’ve all been in or been touched by relationships like this. People die in car accidents too. It doesn’t mean I’m going to tell my kids when they get their license that they’re for sure going to die. How depressing, anyway. Maybe we should start having the clergy add this new theory to wedding vows: “Do you promise to love, honor and cherish, ’til death do you part?” Then, the Clergy person will look at everyone in attendance and say, “Like THAT’s going to happen!”
The only thing any of us can do is speak from our own experience. And I’m saying that from my experience I’m going to tell my kids that new theory is a pile of poo poo. Instead, I’ll give them a list of things I’ve learned that help make a long, happy marriage. This would be the list I’d give them today:
1. Choose the right person. If you don’t get this one right, all the points below are going to be a LOT harder. There’s a chance they may not even work.
2. For the love of Pete, do NOT lose your sense of humor. If you’re not laughing every day, then you’re taking yourself and life too seriously.
3. Skip the drama. Speak plainly and kindly when something is bothering you. Don’t be defensive when your spouse does the same. Don’t be bothered so easily. Forgive quickly. Skip the silent treatment. It’s manipulative.
4. You know how when you were dating and you wanted to look your best? Keep doing that.
5. Make friends and spend time with older couples good at marriage; friends who would like to see your marriage succeed too.
6. Respect each other. Respect yourself.
7. Develop common interests. Develop your own interests.
8. Listen to and be impressed with each other. Don’t interrupt.
9. Don’t yell. Don’t lecture. Discuss.
10. Everything in moderation. If you eat too much, drink too much, shop too much, play bejeweled too much, sleep too much, work too much, hunt too much, even hang out at church too much, or do anything else much more than you should, you’re going to fight about it. It may even end your marriage, which will at least free you up to marry whatever it is you love doing so much.
11. Develop your own spiritual lives. Selfishness and pride will be at the root of most of your fights. You were born with these traits. You need divine intervention to tame those beasts.
12.Pray for each other.
I look at pictures of Scott and me when we were married. Sure, we look like we are fresh out of Kindergarten; that does not change the fact that whatever love-struck spell we were put under was pretty fierce, and it was permanent. We have our share of ugly moments like everybody else, but it doesn’t take long before we forget why we were mad and become the President of each other’s fan club again.
This summer we finally made a little office for Scott at the back of our house. It’s a place for him to grade his papers and listen to all those people he likes to listen to blathering on endlessly about sports. This weekend I saw a big plaque on the kitchen counter. It was an award Scott was given at a conference he just attended. I had the great idea that we could pull all his other awards out and put them up in his new office.
When I mentioned this idea to Scott, he didn’t even let me finish my sentence. He said, “No.” He was very calm and nice. But, he said “No” in a way that you just knew this conversation was never going to happen again. What I knew he was really saying was, “Right now, or at no point in the future, will I EVER be okay with putting my awards on the wall. I don’t want to see them, and I definitely don’t want other people to see them.”
I for sure wouldn’t even tell you what those awards are; because even though Scott’s totally okay with me making jokes at his expense, he would consider that kind of bragging a betrayal. And this is just ONE of the reasons I think he is SO cool!
So, I’m sorry I made you sit through this gush fest, and I sure appreciate the fact that you’re still here. But, I felt the need to set the record straight. Because, there is very little chance that I’m going to be able to stop finding my husband humorous. And, it’s quite likely that I will continue to have a lot of fun at his expense. He just gives me too much material to ignore.