Small Grand Gestures
As we worked to make moisturizer the other night, The Bibbed Wonder and I were discussing marriage. We talked about relationships, their failures, the behaviors that led to the failures, and we eventually circled around to our own marriage. We cracked jokes about each other, our relationship, and what we would do if we ever called it quits. Of course, my jokester husband turned on an old country-western song with the twangy chorus of IIIIIIIIIII'ddddddddd keeeeeellllll yoooouuuuu.... Only when I looked at him in exasperation did he acknowledge the song and have himself a good laugh. Honestly, I don't think he really needs me because he finds himself so entertaining. Of course, who would be at the center of all his shenanigans if I weren't around? During this light-hearted conversation, he had two epiphanies.
The first was, "if you ever leave me, I'm done. I will tell people I don't know how she put up with me for as long as she did, and I will be sincere when I say it. I love you more than the world, but there won't be another wife." Now, I could take this one of two ways. I could put a positive spin on it and believe that my darling means he just won't be able to move on after I leave because no one compares to me. I knew he had to find me charming; I just knew it. OR I could put a negative spin on it and believe that the poor man is suffering through each day with me and will never subject himself to such torture again once he is free from his shackles of marriage with me. When I asked my bibbed-wearing charmer to expand on the subject, he laughed heartily and told me I'd figure it out. Sigh...he may be a bibbed-wearing charmer, but his communication skills are lacking.
His second epiphany was when he frankly stated, "I don't put any effort at all into this marriage, and I think it does just fine." Again, I am not quite sure how to interpret this one. Does he mean he finds our relationship effortless, easy and fun? I feel our relationship is effortless, easy, and fun...for him. There is the finger thing, his loathing for trees, and his ridiculous stories about me...just to name a few things...sigh. Again, I could negatively take this and interpret his statement to mean he just doesn't feel it's worthwhile to put any effort into our marriage. He did expand a little on this one. He asked me if I felt like our marriage took effort? I responded with, "No, not really. I just like you. I think you are funny, intelligent, have integrity, and are very hardworking. I'm proud to be your wife." He came back with, "I'm happy you recognize all my wonderful qualities...insert eye roll. I feel like if we have to make a conscious attempt to be good spouses, it's just not worth it." Then he played the country song again...sigh. He has an annoying song for every scenario as well; add that to the list with the finger, the tree loathing, the ridiculous stories, etc.
Although I am not experiencing grand romantic gestures, I am swimming in love. Yes, I could shove his finger into unmentionable places and tell him it's a Covid temperature check. Yes, I tire of continually having to point out I do not have a drinking problem, do not steal from Wal-Mart, and did not pick him up with an ice cream truck on his first trip off the farm...sigh...but his humor keeps me on my toes and makes life interesting. He truly does make me laugh out loud every single day of our lives together. It's the small gestures that are grand. He milks my goats, so I don't have to go out in the cold. He jumps on board with a lot of my impulsive, creative ideas. He is staunchly supportive of me, my goals, my dreams. He is a champion for my causes, and heaven help you if you slight me in any way...he will be offended for both of us.
I believe I know the true meaning of his epiphanies, and they acted as my "ah-ha moment." We love each other, respect each other, value each other, and support each other. I think I would be suspicious if he brought me flowers, jewelry or took me on fancy dates. I did all that before he came along, and it wasn't right for me. For me, it is the small gestures. He sends me to the house to take a nap when I look pale. He runs a bath for me when I am tired or unwell. He gets up at the crack of dawn every day to make our dream come true. All those things speak more clearly than any material gesture. My advice to my baby girl will always be to look for the Eric's in this world. Sadly, I believe they broke the mold when he was made. I guess she'll just have to stay with mommy and daddy...insert wink. Thank God the mold was broken! I could not handle any more Eric-ness in my life...said with a concealed smile.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, look for the little grand gestures in your life, and of course, wash your hands.