Monday, March 19, 2012

Love Notes and Lunch Bags

This month officially is Women’s History Month, so it seems a strange time to do a two-part series on men.  However, I feel compelled this month to express how a few very special men helped this little woman learn to have faith in the male species.

A little over a week ago, I wrote a post about my debt ofgratitude for gay men and how they helped me believe in mens’ ability to love. Tonight, I’d like to pay homage to three men in my life who regularly shore up my faith in the generally larger and hairier gender.  They have nothing particularly identifiable in common other than that they are married and that I know them; and yes, I’m aware that the latter commonality has nothing to do with these men’s awesomeness.

The first two of these fine gentlemen is a childhood friend with whom I reconnected 2 years or so ago, and the second is a former coworker from up in the northeastern corner of the country. Both are around my age (approaching/stepping over "the hill"), both have young children and both have demanding jobs. In other words, they’re in the prime “mid-life crisis” time of life. And both clearly, without question, adore their wives, a fact that’s identifiable simply through what they note on Facebook.

It may sound trite to measure a man’s adoration of his wife by what he posts on Facebook. But give a listen... They don’t gush. They don’t fawn. They don’t overkill it. It’s not about them looking for attention from their Friends about how sweet they are to their wives (not sure why Facebook Friends are capitalized, but go with it).

But here and there, they brag about the simple joys of being married to their spouses. They post cheerfully that it’s date night. They proudly announce the arrival of a new anniversary. They state how much love they feel on the date of their better half’s birthday. It’s as if they revel in the little things so much – the simple moments which serve as proof that they get to share a life with these lovely women – that they have to share their joy with whoever will listen.

The third man, however, is on a level all his own. I won’t share his name, but he is the husband of a former coworker of mine. And he epitomizes true, unadulterated, pure adoration. He is love personified when it comes to his wife. So who is this amazing wife, and what does this gentleman do that is so amazing? Well, the wife is funny, creative, astonishingly smart and feisty, and she will regale anyone who will listen to her about what a challenge she is to live with (about which I can only take her at her word).

And him? He leaves her little love notes around the house. Nothing fancy or overdone, but little reminders that he is thinking about her. Often. When she’s working, he makes her lunch in the morning and writes and draws on the lunch bag – hearts, sweet comments, funny remarks, quirky sketches. Every day. No exaggeration. Every. Single. Day. And he drops everything when he knows she needs him, even a little bit. 

This is not someone seeking praise or attention. He’s very friendly and kind but also generally low key. He doesn’t announce what he does or ask if anyone has noticed. He does what he does simply because he feels compelled to let his wife know, every day, that he adores her.  To me – and maybe I’m alone in this – this man alone proves to me every day that men have the capacity to love right to their very core.

These aren’t the only three men I know, of course, who do things for their wives that would just make you melt as well as make you a believer. There are other examples I could give. But these men are the three whose actions – and their incredible consistency over time – most resonate with me. So through this simply little post, I wanted to give them a little thank-you for giving me that boost of faith.

How about you? What actions strike you and make you believe in love?

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