Yesterday was our sixteenth wedding anniversary and for the first time in all those years, my husband reluctantly handed me the car keys and said, "You drive."
And to think that some people say there are no more miracles! You don't get any more miracle-y that than, let me tell you.
I'm not sure why this is, because I have had my driver's license for a lot longer than my husband has had his: I got my license when I was sixteen and his parents didn't let him get his until he was eighteen. So I have much more experience behind the wheel, as you can see.
My husband and I have both totaled cars due to stupid driving and/or Bon Jovi playing on the car radio, or maybe both. We were both around twenty-one years old (this was way before we met). He totaled his on an interstate and probably backed up traffic. I totaled mine on a twisty country road. This seems to point out that both of us have had our share of dumb moments, although he cites my two-month hospital stay and the fact that I once backed a car out of my parents' garage and took the clothes dryer with me as signs of his superiority.
The reason why I had to drive us to the restaurant where we were eating dinner was because my poor husband is currently experiencing a severe allergic reaction to some weeds he pulled the other day. His eyes are puffed up into narrow, reddened slits and if I saw him in a 7-Eleven at night buying Doritos and chocolate milk, I'd think he'd been taking a few too many hits on the bong.
He is really miserable, so it touched me even more than usual that he bought a beautiful card for me, plus sent me off to a local garden center to buy some perennials for the tiny space we fondly refer to as a "yard." He also took me out to the aforementioned dinner which was probably a test of endurance, considering how itchy and grainy his eyes feel. I tried to get him to just stay home, but he wanted a steak and said that if he was going to feel bad anyway, he might as well feel bad with a 12-ounce filet nestled comfortably in his stomach. I couldn't agree more.
"You know those ball washers at the golf course?" he asked while we were waiting for our salads. "I'd like to put my eyes in one of those."
My husband is not the usual type of husband who complains as if each common cold is some rare, incurable disease. I have a hard time getting him to complain at all about the way he feels. Somewhere around Year 10, he broke his hand and toughed it out for about five days before I was able to convince him to call the doctor. The only way I even knew it was broken was when I noticed that it looked bruised and swollen and said, "Oh, honey! Did you hurt your hand?"
He looked at it briefly, considering his answer thoroughly before committing himself to a response. "Yeah," he said.
I remind him frequently that with the amount of money subtracted from his paychecks to pay off those grafters who provide our health insurance, we should be going to the doctor for every single fallen eyelash and hangnail we experience. He just says stubbornly that that isn't his way.
After sixteen years of marriage, I am so grateful to him that one thing that is his way is his insistence that the girls and I have a happy, fulfilling life, doing what we want to be doing, which is homeschooling. If the girls were being traditionally schooled and if I were teaching in a public or private school, our finances would be a lot better off. He wouldn't have to work as hard. And we wouldn't have to play that interesting grocery game where I hopefully say, "Center-cut pork chops?" and he says, "I was thinking macaroni and cheese."
He has given me such a happy life and he's such a good father to Meelyn and Aisling. I couldn't have asked for a better man. He is agreeable to watching Shakespeare on DVD and going to the symphony, two activities which were beyond his sports-loving, man's man ken before we married. He managed to summon the inner strength to hug Meelyn and congratulate her when she was so excited over starting her first period (He wanted to sink through the floor, but rose valiantly to the occasion in a way that would have made John Wayne proud.) He survives our girlish household with fortitude and the occasional window-rattling belch. It makes me happy to think that our girls are likely to choose men like him to marry.
The only thing I would change about him is that I would have him like popcorn. And that's pretty good for sixteen years.
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