Monday, November 30, 2009

Me Tarzan!

On behalf of Team Mars, I have a confession to make . . .

Men are babies.

We put on a good show most of the time. We puff out our chests and beat them like Tarzan, swinging on our ropes from tree to tree. We bear our teeth in the face of danger and roar all macho-like when we emerge victorious against some treacherous and snarling adversary.

Then we head back to the tree house and snuggle with Jane.

It's been over twenty years that my wife and I have been together, and it never fails to amaze me that she's still there waiting for me when I swing back around. Not just waiting, but also willing to engage. To ask me how things are going in my neck of the jungle. And to provide, in the midst of my constantly-turbulent surroundings, a setting that is familiar, stable, and welcoming.

She makes my life easier in some profound ways . . .

1) She remembers the cream. It's a subliminal thing, for I never put it on the list. She just seems to know when I'm running low on my International Delight Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer. It finds its way into her shopping cart, rides along in the back of the van, and there it is in the refrigerator door when I need it. And I need it, people. Coffee sucks without it . . .

2) She does my laundry. Back in college, she let me do it. And it all went in one load: dirty socks and underwear; jeans and sweat pants so filthy they could stand up on their own (or so my mom used to claim, though I've never actually witnessed such a thing); that itchy purple sweater I got from some well-meaning relative upon completing four years of high school; and my tennis shoes with Minnesota topsoil ground into the grooves. People knew when I washed clothes. Somewhere along the line, she recognized my ineptitude and took over. Now, my loincloth smells like a mountain breeze . . .

3) She is predictable. By and large, she's Grey's Anatomy, WWII historical fiction, anything smothered in barbecue sauce, Pepsi, and chocolate. Never dark. She does surprise me occasionally. Linger on something curious and new that causes a lifting of the eyebrows and a "Hmm. Really?" But after all these years, I find these to be only slight variations on familiar themes. I rest easier at night knowing that curve balls will be few and far between.

4) She doesn't nag. She could. Some say she should. And sometimes I wish she would. But for the most part, she lets me be me. When the decisions aren't of the monumental sort, she lets me swing away. Occasionally, she'll offer a simple "Is that really what you want to do?" And after all my muttering and justifying, she'll let me take my cut and deal with the consequences. The best part? If I go down swinging, she doesn't lay on the "I told you so!" Instead, she holds my hand and reminds me that I am more than the sum of my poor performances.

5) She listens. Regardless of the topic - and trust me, it can run the gamut from petty to poignant - she lends an attentive ear. She lets me reason things through by talking them out and providing her perspective for consideration. We don't always agree, but we come out with a stronger understanding of both the depths and the varieties of our unique points of view. In a world that seldom takes the time to hear and consider what I have to say, she is my faithful sounding board, my harshest critic, and my most passionate companion.

Yep. I'm a baby. But I'm man enough to admit it. And more than willing to confess that I'd be lost without my spouse. I'd be an unheard, beaten down, constantly confused dude sporting dirty knickers and drinking crappy coffee. And that would just be gross . . .

So let's hear it, Team Mars! How does your spouse keep your corner of the jungle running smoothly? And Team Venus? We love you. We'd suck without you. We thank you . . .

Brian (who blogs here)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your writing is like a warm blanket I swear...I'm always smiling and content when I'm done reading your posts!

This was such a great read, because I'm a sucker for romance and mushy stuff and your wife sounds like a saint!!!

I don't really have adequate words to really describe how incredible my guy is...one of the best things to recognize, like in your post is how big of an impact the little things make!

Shelle-BlokThoughts

thecheekofgod said...

Shelle,

Interesting that you showed up as "Anonymous".

Little things matter; recognizing them is damn near heroic!

SciFi Dad said...

I don't know how, but there is never anything growing on any of the toilets... when I lived with other guys, I would sooner use the toilet at school than the one in my house.

She does the laundry and the shopping as well, but it's the toilets I never notice.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I am your #11 follower and i l'd like to grab your button. Is it ok ?
Also i'd love to have your blog in my friends-followers' list.
Hope you have a happy start to the X'mas season.
:)

Anjeny said...

I have to say it does take a real man to admit what/who they are and not afrai to admit that they really can't do it without their women.

Just so you know, I think I can speak for Team Venus that we do appreciate what our spouse do to take care of the family and go swinging off in the jungle to fight those lingering dangers out there to keep the family safe. As much as I know that my hub can't live without me or life would suck big time for him without me, I feel the same way about him, too.

Thank you for such a thoroughly well written post.

thecheekofgod said...

@SciFi - Toilets. Ew . . .

@Betty - Take all the badges you like. We'll make more . . .

@Anjeny - Thank you. On behalf of Team Mars, I accept the lovin'. Y'all rock!

Just Jules said...

You know what else I notice? We serve as nurse, even if we too are ill. Men apparently are struck down twice as hard by illness as women by the way they react.

Seriously though... it is sweet that you notice these things - especially the toilet. My one and only cleaning instruction to my hubby when I was gone on a week long trip was to wipe down and around the toilet every day (we have four boys/ men in the family. It needs to be every day) He....ummmm , well did it on the day of my return I am pretty sure :) oh well, only small species had started growing.

Chief said...

yes, we are a good team truth be told. We remember your creamer or your favorite brand of shave cream and you... well, you, remember your birthday!

Just jokes. I do think we all work as a team and were made to compliment each other!

Another Suburban Mom said...

Your thoughts about your spouse are so sweet. I can really feel the love between you two.

I know for me, that trying to do the little things to make Hubman's life run smoother is one of the ways I try to show him how much I love him.

ZenMom said...

Such sweet sentiments so sincerely stated. :)

Domestically Disabled said...

Very well written. It's great to hear your perspective and I really enjoyed your post!

David Edward TF said...

Pah, what a wimp.

WE BELONG