The Better End of the Deal
On August 31st 1997 in San Luis Obispo, California, I hit the jackpot. I joined Team Phenix with the best guy I've ever known. It's been a fabulous journey, but at the risk of sounding dull, the days of routine maintenance are far more plentiful than candlelight dinners and dreamy walks on the beach (we live in Atlanta and are coastally challenged).
So with that in mind, I thought it appropriate to share some of the more mundane, but real insights I've learned about my husband. When you've been married 21 years, you have enough data points to make bold declarations and offer astute insights about your spouse.
Oodles of data points.
Enough to write 100 blogs. But since no one wants that kind of PDA, I'll limit my thoughts to the 10 that you may appear in your family.
Here we go...
1. Naps are the best.
Put the tv on. Keep the dog and kids away. Let the guy get some rest. Everyone wins.
(I didn't promise deep observations, did I?)
2. Fall date-nights are better on Fridays or when Georgia Tech football has a terrible season.
As you can imagine, this makes me conflicted. Do I celebrate fighting traffic or a losing record? I realize this is SUPER specific, but fall game days are real. Don't you have an equivalent dilemma? Someone please tell me you do!
3. Broken things don't fix themselves.
We should probably have a direct withdrawal account with The Home Depot since even Amazon can't beat Billy's drive to fix what's broken ASAP. He is the master fixer and as much as I hate it when something breaks, I breathe easy knowing he has a garage full of gadgets.
4. You do you.
Billy doesn't carry any expectations that we will fit into conventional roles. He likes to shop, I like to work in the yard. He owns more shoes and I dominate the book shelf. I am the chef, he is the dishwasher. The only rejection I consistently feel is his refusal to warm my cold toes at night. Sorry to drift away from positivity, but seriously - what's the big deal warming up my feet? #smh
5. Life is better when you lighten up.
I was raised in an intense family. We rooted our conversations with strong opinions, we passionately defended our ideas, and we swore were right until we finally realize we weren't. Billy married me in spite of my well-worn habits. For 21 years he has shown me you really DO catch more flies with honey than vinegar and slowly but surely he is getting me to lighten up.
6. Dishes get clean no matter how you load the washer.
Billy does almost all of our dishes, but for years I secretly scoffed at how inefficiently he loaded the dishwasher. I knew better than to interfere and risk being given the job, but in my mind, I knew my approach was superior. That is, until I noticed it didn't matter. The dishes were clean no matter who loaded the machine. Scoffing at your spouse (even in your head) is immature.
7. Praying together sounds more awkward than it is.
Yeah - yeah -yeah - he's a pastor so I'm a "pastor's wife" (whatever that means to you - I prefer to think of him as an Executive Producer's husband - but I digress) - you probably expect this to be on my list. But truly this short, five-minutes-before-leaving-for-work habit is a game-changer. Nothing is better than having your spouse pray for your day specifically and consistently. It is SO much easier to "assume good intentions" when you start with asking God for guidance.
8. Selfless with selfies.
I have yet to have Billy ask me to take his picture and yet I take his picture ALL the time. Between my annual #100happydays, the demanding Christmas card project, and my everyone-squeeze-together moments he could easily be irritated or moody with my snap-happy demands. And yet, nary an sigh or impatient attitude leaks out. He makes me happy by smiling and giving me something I want. It's the best!
9. No one believes in me more.
If I could bottle the confidence he has in me and sell it, well, I wouldn't be flying commercial airlines. I don't know how he came to trust me so much, but it's a gift.
10. I got the better end of the deal.
Believe me. I have a healthy self-esteem and in no way is this a self-deprecating thought. I speak what is empirically, measurably, by-any-reasonable-standard TRUE. I legitimately married up.
Biased observations? Perhaps.
But since they are true enough to me, they are true enough.
Happiest of anniversaries sweet man of mine.