OK, I’d passed the fearsome 40 mark and was still single. I had quasi-given-up-hope, and quasi-pulled-out-all-the-stops-to-meet-men. Part of me kept reminding myself that Katherine Hepburn lived a full, long and happy life as a single woman, and part of me was furiously dating away on Match.com and asking everyone I knew to set me up.
On March 13, 1999, four and on-half months after that big birthday, I hit the jackpot. I met the man of my dreams on a blind date that a friend (thank you Bob) set up. We married on July 7, 2001.
I love My Guy for so many reasons.
1. He takes care of me.
This ranges from bringing me to the ER if I have horrible multi-day migraines even though I cry that I’m too sick to move, to packing me lunches when I leave for the day to make sure I don’t skip a meal, to buying me Lindt chocolates every time he goes to the grocery store to bringing me coffee in bed and laying out my pills every morning. A few years ago, I commuted to Southern California for a job for nine months. He sent me flowers every week and he snuck in a box of candy and a card into my luggage one time. He takes care of me.
2. He loves to shop and will hold my purse.
Captain and MVP of his college rugby team two years in a row, he was also awarded a statue engraved with “Outstanding Trainee” out of 600 men during his six-months in basic training/advanced infantry training (AIT) for the National Guard during which time he was also platoon leader. He thrived playing competitive basketball into his mid-50’s. Many of his golfing buddies say he is “the most” competitive person they’ve every played with. He is a marksman with a gun, and loves to hunt. In other words, my guy is a tough guy.
But, he also loves to shop. For me, this is equivalent to having Rachel Zoe (stylist to the stars)as a best friend and hanging out with Sean Connery during his smoking hot 007 days all at once.
He carries my 15 pound purse. He isn’t threatened if I drive. He watches “The Bachelor” with me. He is a neatnik and loves interior design. Today, he helped me pick out table linens for a baby shower I am hosting.
3. He is a goofball. He is so self-confident, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and loves to tease and have fun.
4. When the going gets tough, he sticks.
He was very, very close to his Aunt Helen growing up. She was his “other mother,” and they had a wonderful relationship that seemed to be based on their mutual passion for laughing hysterically. The first time he introduced me to her, I couldn’t understand a word either of them said for the next 15 minutes, because they were each laughing so hard trying to tell stories.
A few years ago, we got the word that Helen was finally losing her battle with cancer. We flew back to Missouri to be with her. She was at home, laying in her bed.
I had never really faced a dying person before. I had lost loved ones – grandparents, uncles, my favorite cousin – but it all happened far away. I couldn’t imagine what we should say or how we should act.
I hung back as I followed my husband down the long hallway to Helen’s bedroom. He strode into her room and sat right next to her on the bed, took her hand and looked her in the eyes. He didn’t sugar coat anything by saying he knew she’d pull through, and he didn’t talk about happy memories. He looked right at her and told her how much he loved her, how all the things she’d done for him over the years helped make him the man he was, how he would treasure what they’d shared, and he told her that he’d take care of her husband.
I was awestruck by his courage and his ability to love in the face of loss. She died the next day. I could list so many stories where he leans in to tough times, and I love him for it.
5. He is good to my girlfriends.
He sincerely loves hanging out with my girlfriends and talking about life, work, parenting and love. He gives them warm bear hugs, and he plays with their kids. He gives his honest advice (when asked), and he listens well.
6. He is crazy about kids.
He loved raising his three kids, and he loves nothing more than playing with our nieces, nephews and six grandkids. He’s a kid himself and loves wrestling, squirting kids with hoses, pretending to be scared of the tunnels at Train Town, playing games and having fun. He’s also famously strict about manners, honesty, cleanliness and organization.
I didn’t grow up in a big family, didn’t babysit much, and don’t have kids of my own. But, My Guy has taught me how to be really pretty good with kids through his example. That means the world to me.
I didn’t think these were I would’ve listed as the most important when I was looking for someone, but they are the magic that makes me love My Guy more every day.
What traits do you treasure most in your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner? Any that surprise you? Tell me your stories!
A few fun items for you to enjoy:
I think this theory on why relationships work is hilarious (and true).
The best idea for wrapping paper I’ve seen in years.
These were not our wedding vows, but I thought they were beautiful:
I marry you with my eyes wide open. I promise to fully appreciate the gift of my present to support your growth and encourage your power. To take responsibility for my own behaviors and apologies. To participate in a home life that is peaceful. Inside and out. Knowing that there can be trust for what happens when you forgive. Forgiving self. Forgiving others. Growing every day. In you I have found relief. I intend to keep it.
Great recipe for one of my favorites – chiles rellenos.
Whoopi Goldberg is going to direct a movie about Moms Mabley, which given how little most of us know about Moms, and how influential she was, I’m excited to see it.
I used to LOVE watching Arsenio Hall, and I’m glad he’s back. Check out this article with video highlights of some of his most amazing interviews – he doesn’t back off and it can make for terrific interviews.