“Good morning dear,” the hubs greeted me through the refrigerator door.
“Good morning love of my life.” Smiling, I thought it was a great response as opposed to my usual pre-coffee grunt.
He looked at me quizzically. “Do you mean that?” Clearly he’s confused. WTF. Of COURSE I meant that numskull. I know I’m prone to sarcasm and occasional exaggeration, but NOT when it comes to professing my undying love for you. Okay maybe I over dramatize it sometimes but there’s truth beneath all that mush.
Sigh. “Yes. Hand me the juice please.”
Case in point, I am fairly certain that I take my husband for granted. I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate him being the major bread-winner in the family. Or that he sleeps on the sofa so I can get a break from the incessant snoring (Is that for him since he’s not jabbed continuously all night?), or that sometimes he’s gone for days on end to care for his cancer-stricken mother. Right, that last one doesn’t directly benefit me, but I think it speaks volumes to his character and that I can embrace and be proud of.
I am not sure I have ever thanked him for picking up all the poop our two monsters deposit in the backyard. I know I don’t thank him enough for giving the Cupcake her baths so I can have 15 minutes on my own. And I’d bet that I never thanked him properly for giving me Kreurig pods for Christmas.
Okay, I confess that last one was deliberate. I see no need for disguising everyday groceries as a cop-out for a stocking surprise. That’s just lame. You’re buying it anyway, why try to pawn it off as a thoughtful GIFT? Those don’t count. I’ll wrap up your deodorant next year and see how you like it.
And I’d bet that I never thanked him properly for giving me Krueg pods for Christmas.
But back to the real issue here. There’s probably a lot I of little things I could do to make him feel more appreciated. For example, I could:
- Do his laundry. Ever since the underwear-shrinking incident, admittedly I’ve been reluctant to step up on this one.
- Run to the door when he comes in from work at night – instead of taking a moment of separation from the mini-me to my advantage and darting off to the far reaches of the house.
- Make him a lunch to take to work. On second thought, that might be too drastic. He’d surely have a heart-attack if I did this.
- Make his favorite rice pudding. I’m not a huge fan, but he loves it. And I make a pretty good one.
- Pick up his dry cleaning. Even though it’s completely out of my way.
- Shower and put make-up on BOTH Saturday AND Sunday. Yeah, it’s true. If I can get away with not doing this time suck routine on one day a week, I do.
- And while we’re on the topic of personal appearance, I’m sure he’d appreciate it if I’d wear anything other than my 24 year old sorority date party shirts to sleep in at night.
And if I did those things — which I will now publicly commit to doing all of them during the course of the next month –I wonder if he’d be more inspired to reciprocate? They (the so called experts) say you have to give to receive. But the problem with men is, most times you just have to spell it out for them.
I. Want. You. To. Do. This.
I have found after 19 years of experience that waiting around for him to get an idea is an exercise in frustration for both of us.
So dear husband, love of my life. Should you be so inspired by my committed displays of affection and in need of a reference guide to follow suit, these are suggested things that really sweep a girl off her feet. And by “girl” I mean, this 40 something woman that still thinks you are the bomb-diggity when you are clearly 20 pounds heavier and with significantly less hair than when we first laid goo-goo eyes upon each other oh so long ago.
- Wash my car. Get the oil changed. Just take it one Saturday morning and return with it all sparkling clean and fluids checked. The tires too. It has to have shiny rims or else I’m on my knees in the concrete driveway cleaning them myself. And that kind of car wash is about as useful as a backhanded compliment.
- Instead of tossing the clothes that I left in the dryer onto some random chair or the kitchen table on top of whatever else happened to be on it, carry them upstairs and put them on the bed. If you folded them, I’d think you were cheating on me so don’t go that far. Just dump them where I can see them and it’s convenient for me to sort and put them away.
- Fix something around the house that makes it better. I don’t really care what it is, surprise me and pick something that may or may not be broken or in need of an update. I loved it when you put bricks around the trees. I’d love it if you replaced the smoke detectors or grout. And if that’s too much bother, just getting all the trash together – AND out to the curb — for trash day would be FAN-FREAKIN-tastic.
- Remember when we were dating and you used to send me flowers “just because?” I used to really like that. I’m not greedy, I’m not talking a dozen roses (I’d rather that chunk of dough be spent in the form of a Michael’s or DSW gift card), but bringing home an unexpected bouquet of grocery store flowers on no special occasion would be really sweet.
- Tell me I’m pretty. Even on a Saturday.
Marriage is a journey. That journey takes a different road when you have kids — and husbands take a second seat. I spend a lot of time focused on being a better and better mom to the Princess Cupcake that sometimes – okay a lot of times — I forget about my better half. And I don’t think that’s a one-way street, neither of us are perfect no matter what the Cupcake still thinks. What could be more appropriate as we are in the throws of a countdown to Valentine’s Day than to spend a little more attention on the spouse of the house?
I invite you to join me in this concerted effort to show more appreciation for the love of your life. Don’t let me go at it alone – tell me in the comments below what you’re going to do to make him (or her) feel more appreciated! And share with your friends!