Monday, October 29, 2012


I love Halloween. How can you not love a holiday that combines candy, doughnuts, and costumes? I've never been fascinated by the creepy side of the festivities, rather I see it as an excuse to play dress up. I begin planning Halloween costumes months in advance. Our very first costumes together were Red Riding-hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I made Him a long flannel nightshirt, and painted His face.

He has been Tinker Belle to my Peter Pan, Captain Hook to my Wendy, king to my queen, a Hari Krishna to my clown (not one I'm proud of), mouse to my cat, Cowardly Lion to my Tin Man, Ward Cleaver to my June, Prince to my Rapunzel, Mad Hatter to my Alice, a warlock to my witch, a 17th c.Venetian Carnevale reveler to my female version, Pinocchio to my Jiminy Cricket, and many more. Not all of His costumes were physically (or theoretically), flattering. He has often had to wear heavy make-up, tights, wigs, dresses, and pantaloons. He has also endured being extremely hot, itchy, and all around uncomfortable for the sake of pleasing me.

He has never had any input in what we dress as for Halloween. I don't even ask His opinion. He has said "no" to my suggestions, however, He always complies in the end. He indulges my sartorial play-acting endeavors, and He does it year after year with a smile.

He indulges... more reason I love Him.  

Monday, October 22, 2012


I was standing in His living room one day, waiting to go out, and His mother asked Him to do something for her. I don't remember what it was, how difficult it may have been, or how long it would take. I do remember His reaction. He did it, right there and then. Looking at it objectively now, I wasn't so much impressed that He did it, rather, it was how He reacted to her request that stood out.

He said okay, but not in an irritated way. He smiled at me, implying his apology for the delay, but without making an excuse for helping her (He shouldn't apologize for helping His mother anyway). He did whatever it was that needed doing in a matter of fact way (just doing it, getting it done). It was as much as what He didn't do, as did do. He didn't roll His eyes, act annoyed, hesitate, or in anyway let Her know that she had asked too much of Him.

His mother was a typical 1960's homemaker, except for the fact that she had a full time career. In retrospect I am amazed that she managed to do all the things that stay at home mothers of that era did. I haven't analyzed how her choice to have a career might have affected how she raised her children, or how His father contributed to their behavior. I sometimes think that those of us with mothers who were homemakers were more annoyed when asked to help out, because thats what we thought our mothers were there for, to assist us. Either way, I think there is a complicated nature vs. nurture, innate vs. learned component to how we treat our mothers. I have always been impressed by the respect and honor He showed His mother, how He addressed her, and how He helped her. I have especially noted how he spoke about her when she wasn't there. As she got older, and need more help, her requests were oftentimes demanding, and sometimes illogical. However, He did what she asked, never made her feel like she was a burden, or an obligation, and He never complained.

He respected... more reason I love Him.

Monday, October 15, 2012


The unwritten code of teenagedom is that younger siblings are annoying. It probably stems from trying to distance themselves from the immaturity they believed they left just a few years before. You didn't have to actually be mean to them to be cool, you just had to roll your eyes at their simplicity. You could also demonstrate your superior sophistication by either humoring, or ignoring them. However, it was usually un-cool to engage with them.

He was the baby in His family, so He never had younger siblings. He did however become an uncle when He was 11 years old. He was a dichotomy for a tough 17 year old athlete. No one who knew Him on the football field, or the basketball court would ever imagine He had such a soft spot for kids.
He babysat, as well as attend His nieces' dance recitals. At my house He played with my younger brothers and sisters (I was the oldest in a very large family). My father was a very engaged parent, but he was not physical, he was quite reserved. He, however, was game. He would get down on the floor and rough house with my younger siblings. He threw them around. They climbed on Him. He chased them. He let them catch Him. He played ball with them. He played tea party with them. They climbed all over Him, and He never got tired of it. I think it worried my mother sometimes (there were more bumps, bruises, and band aides after He came along). I never had to worry about canceling a date because I had to babysit, we would just take them along.

I think you can tell a lot about the goodness of a person by how they treat children, whether they engage with them, find joy in their silliness, and by how well they accommodate their limitations.

He played... more reason I love Him.    

Monday, October 8, 2012


Traditionally, the term "stud row" refers to the practice of lining up prize stallions to be selected for breeding with mares. Ironically (or maybe sarcastically), our high school had its own stud row. A row of blue chairs bolted together, and then bolted to the wall. These seats lined a segment of the hall with the highest student traffic. They sat positioned below the administrative offices, above the auditorium, adjacent to the cafeteria doors, and directly across from the sophomore lockers (there were no freshmen in our high school). The school was built in the 1960's, and has always had the notorious chairs, along with their accompanying name. The occupants of these chairs were the athletes, and their entourages.  Of course girls were commonly seen sitting, and standing along stud row, as that is where court was held.

However, the majority of girls did not feel welcome on, at, or near stud row. It was impossible to get anywhere in the school without passing these chairs, and it became a painful daily gauntlet for many. The remarks coming from stud row were indiscriminate. Cat calls, whistles, barks, and howls were followed by laughter from the perpetrators. Most girls held their books to their chests, looked at the floor, hugged the wall, and prayed to become invisible as they passed by. The truth is not all the young men on stud row participated in the collective humiliation of the student body, but they were deemed guilty by association. It was an offense of omission, rather than commission.

One day He and His friends were sitting on stud row. I had been talking to them, but my friend wanted to speak with me, so I said goodbye and we left. Actually, we just stepped around the corner into the cafeteria. As my friend was sharing what I am sure was a very important snippet of high school drama, I heard His friend (one who was an admitted heckler), begin to bark at a young lady. From my vantage point I could see a mortified girl hurry past. Abruptly, I heard His friend annoyingly say "what?". He said "just stop". Obviously He had given the perpetrator a physical indication to stop. I know this seems simple, and maybe even inadequate under the circumstances. However, it was that day that I began noticing how He stood up for those who could not, or dare not defend themselves. He did not call attention to Himself when He did this, or even belittle the belittler. Rather, he quietly noted His displeasure of their actions. That is a feat for a young man.

He spoke up... more reason I love Him.

Monday, October 1, 2012


It was a cold, wet Saturday night in January. I had been dying to see a movie that was indy enough to only show in the city. I knew He had no interest in seeing it, but He drove an hour on the icy freeway without complaint or hesitation (at least thats how I remember it). The 7:00 show was only half full. About 20 minutes into the movie He excused Himself. He didn't say, but I assumed that he was going to use the restroom. Its hard to count time passing when you are engaged in something, but I realized a short time later that he had not returned. I left our coats to mark our seats, and went to find Him.

As I emerged into the lobby I saw that He was sitting on a bench just outside the theater door. His eyes were closed, and His head was resting against the wall. I thought He must not feel well. I asked Him what was wrong? He opened His eyes and said "nothing, just resting". I suggested that if He were tired He would be more comfortable in the dark theater. He said He would rather stay out in the lobby. I started to become a little irritated with His evasive attitude. Eventually, He said that the movie made Him uncomfortable, and that He would rather not watch it. His tone was neither accusatory, nor upset, but insisted He was contented to wait. He wanted me to go finish the movie, as it was one I had really wanted to see. Well, of course I wasn't going to sit though the rest of the movie while He waited in the lobby.

We drove home in silence. We had been dating for a few years, and were in a pretty comfortable place as a couple, enough so that silence was not awkward. This was uncomfortable. For an hour we listened to the snow falling silently around us. I didn't ask Him what issue He had with the film, as I already knew. The thing is, as a young woman I should have been the one insulted by the content of the film. Instead, He was offended for both of us. He had a personal standard of decency that He was not willing to compromise, but neither was He going to lecture. He was just going to do what He felt was right. I never did see the rest of that movie, I didn't want to.

He left... more reason I love Him.