I was slogging thru some old emails today, and I found one I sent to myself, a while ago, listing all the things I liked the most about my husband. I don’t remember what circumstance drove me to do something so silly, but it served what I believe to be it’s intended purpose – it reminded me.
Sometimes you get so fixated on what you don’t have, or what you think you are missing, that you can’t see anything else.
Sometimes it is the forest that makes you miss the trees.
Among the highlights of this list: “He appreciates good shoes.” “He knows a little bit about everything.” “He would never deliberately hurt me, or his family.”
Historically, I have been fascinated by those who make selfish, thoughtless, impulsive, destructive choices…usually forgetting, until it’s too late, that those same character traits eventually affect me. (Not that I am an innocent bystander – I have wreaked more than my share of havoc.) I’m not sure what made us choose each other.
We met in a bar. He was a wall of a man, clearly younger than me, quiet and unassuming, no tattoos or piercings, who played darts while I lost a pool game and loudly threatened to moon my companions before going to refill my drink…to find that it was already paid for.
He had a job and a car and had never been to prison so I didn’t know what to do with him. So we moved in together.
He had an offer to move to Louisiana and my father became terminally ill and he stayed. I told him to leave, and he stayed.
It hasn’t always been an easy road, the last 15 years. He does not always “get” me. We are not soulmates. We’ve made mistakes, some bigger than others. We neglect. We don’t always communicate. We take for granted. We forget.
He doesn’t understand why I want (him) to paint a room red, or midnight blue, or purple, when he is perfectly happy with beige. I will never spend a saturday night in the basement making bullets for any firearm. He will never write me poetry (thank goodness, because it would be horrifying), and aside from Harry Potter, we will never read the same books. But, once upon a time, he made me a path, with christmas lights, from my parking spot down a very long sidewalk up the stairs to our second floor apartment, just to make me smile when I got home from work. We will never have a spotless house. But once I said “I wish I had a walk-in closet,” and when I came home from work, I did.
I will never hunt anything that hasn’t wronged me first. He will never get a pedicure, or use anything called a “body wash.”
He will never participate in any social media – but if he did, I wouldn’t have to spend any time worrying about his intentions, or anyone else’s.
I will never have to play mind games and pout like a spoiled starlet to keep his interest. I will never have to starve myself and wear stupid shoes (unless I wanna) to impress him.
He doesn’t always agree with my definition of humor. But he knows the meaning of commitment, love, friendship. Honesty.
He rarely broods, or holds grudges. He is puzzled by my tendency to hoard anger like it’s something precious. He’s not violent – but those foolish enough to push him have learned that he will defend what he cares about. I am safe with him.
I will never have to post his bail – probably – but if I do, it will be for a good reason.
Most importantly: “He always does the right thing.” Not because he is better than anyone else – but because the alternative simply never occurs to him. It might not be the right thing by the definition of all who are affected, but it will never be due to pure selfishness or malice. And he bears the consequences of the decision.
Over the years I have watched him learn how to love and care for someone who works very hard to make that impossible. I do not know what made him choose me.
Love is a verb. To commit is an infinitive.