A few days ago, P was gushing about a friend of hers at school, specifically she was gushing about how he treats his girlfriend. She told me he compliments his girlfriend in front of his friends and her friends, lets people know she’s important in his life. I said, “Oh, he makes her feel treasured, cherished, lets her know she matters.” “That’s it,” P said. Yes, my dear girl…those boys are the winners in the end. When you’re looking (years from now, please) for “THE ONE”, find the man who makes you feel treasured.

That’s really how Spouse won me over. It took months for me to finally cave, but that’s what did it. He wasn’t a big gesture type of guy (although he has pulled off some big gestures since then, and I love them all the more for being few and far between – they’re always surprising when they happen), but he quietly and persistently let me know I mattered to him. He quietly and persistently let others know I mattered to him, and that meant almost more. He wasn’t one way when we were alone together, and another way entirely when people were around.

We talked, almost every single day. Now remember, this is before cell phones were in everyone’s hands and LONG before texting and social media existed. We actually talked, on the phone, every day, for hours on end. We saw each other nearly every weekend. He made me laugh. He taught me to laugh at me. He gave me the space I demanded, but never gave up, and never left. When I had to have surgery, he drove over an hour to see me and make sure I was okay. When the sun was shining and the weather perfect in  San Francisco, we both ditched work and spent a beautiful Spring day together in the City. When my dad had an aneurysm, he showed up and stayed with me in the waiting room during the long surgery. He was just there, in every way I needed him to be so that I knew I mattered to him.

He could be a little overprotective, and even a little jealous, at times (still is). I chafed against that, often, but then came to realize it’s just because I matter, because he does cherish me, that he does that. When we’re out at a party or social event, I know that he knows where I am in the room. For whatever reason, that still makes me feel a little special. He still gives me my room to be me, my space to have my own section of life, but I know I’m his, I matter to him, I’m treasured. That’s what I want P to find someday.


The battle of the blinds

We’ve lived in our house for over twelve years now. Separate vanities in our master bath have probably saved our  marriage, no lie.  Between our vanities is our tub, over which is a huge picture window (I’m telling you, a man designed our house. Who  the HECK puts a huge window next to a bathtub, facing the house next door?). For reference, our house faces east. Now, Spouse gets up before me almost every morning. And every morning, he tilts the blinds open just a bit. The sun is usually just coming over the hills when I’m pulling myself together, shining through those cracked blinds, near blinding me every single day.

I’ve told Spouse a bazillion times to NOT open the blinds even a tiny bit. And yet he persists. Every. Single. Day. “I want the light to come in,” he says. “I don’t feel like being blinded first thing in the morning,” I respond. Who wants the sun glaring in their eyeballs at 6am? We have the same argument over the front-facing blinds in the family room. He walks around opening them, I come along as soon as he leaves for work closing them.

I wish I could say this is the only thing we battle over in the house. I can’t sleep if there isn’t air moving in the room. I like the ceiling fan going every night, summer, winter, fall, and spring. Doesn’t matter how hot or cold it is outside, I want the fan on. I’ll climb into bed, read for a bit, turn out the light, lay down, and after about ten minutes, feel like I can’t breath. Then I will notice he’s turned the fan off, again. I then haul myself out of bed, stumbling my way in the dark across the room (I can’t see a foot in front of my face without my contacts or glasses) to the switch, and, sighing heavily, turn the fan back on.

He likes to leave the garage door open all day on the weekends. I HATE having the garage door open. First off, the dogs are very aware the kids will stand there with the door from the house to the garage hanging open, and, being opportunists, wait for that moment and bolt outside to freedom. Then the chase is on. Second, I don’t like everyone walking or driving down the street to see all our junk, nor what an unorganized disaster our garage tends to be.

Then there are the lights. I know exactly where my kids gained the skill of turning on every light, and leaving them on. I now know why my dad used to yell at us all the time to turn off the lights when we’d leave a room. I hear his voice in my head every day I walk around turning lights off.

I write about this all laughingly, because I love Spouse completely. But trust me, you may hear the sighing from where you are when I have to get up later to turn the fan back on, and when I have to close the blinds in my bathroom at 6am, again.