Like many couples who end up exchanging vows to part only upon death, my husband and I are a study in contrasts. He is loud. When I attempt to project the Voice of Authority, I end up sounding like the Incredible Shrinking Woman, holding forth from a raft of dish detergent bubbles swirling down the drain. He is gregarious and content to be the center of attention. I am happy not to encounter a member of the human race for an extended length of time (my family excepted). I could not go without music for more than a few days. My husband is a shameless admirer of the Bay City Rollers. (You may argue, but the latter example is a stark contrast).
This is not to say that we do not, as the politicos say, share daylight on many issues. Dinner at the family table most weeknights is a must. Books are highly valued, and television shows – not so much. And, probably most importantly, the more twisted the sense of humor, the better. That is why we shared a much needed laugh recently when I presented my husband with his Father’s Day Card. This is what was imprinted on the card:
When I look at you,
I see a wonderful family man.
It shows in all you do for us each day
as a husband and a father.
My husband opened the card and commented on how lovely it was. “Really?” I inquired. “But it’s so simple, so plain.” “Exactly,” my husband responded. “You think I don’t know from shopping for cards for you?” he teased. Then, in a serious tone he added, “This kind of card is hard to find.” Like me, my husband recognizes the fine line between a sweet, realistic sentiment and overkill. Crossing that line makes all the difference. My husband regaled me with examples of the schlocky innards of the cards he passed over for Mother’s Day: “When I gaze upon our children, I feel eternally grateful that I chose you to be the mother of my children. “I owe all my happiness to you, the mother of my children.”
Man, we shared the best laugh. How do couples with any sort of history actually present each other with this drivel? Someone should come up with a line of cards called Real Life. For Father’s Day: “I value you even though you don’t know how to fix things around the house, you refuse to get more than one estimate, and it ends up costing us lots of money. I got over it a long time ago because you got over the piles of shoes and handbags loitering at the entryway of our home.” “Even though I disagree with you that Major League is appropriate viewing for our elementary school children, I still think you’re a great dad. After all, you take all three kids shopping for shoes.”
For Mother’s Day: “You make great rice. Seriously, you don’t even need a rice cooker. But would it kill you to make me some roast potatoes every once in awhile? I am an Ashkenazic Jew. I NEED potatoes.” “Thanks for doing homework with the kids for two years. You’re the best!”
People would totally buy those. TOTALLY.