I hate buying greeting cards. As someone who is trying her best to be a writer, I hate the greeting card industry for the most part. So rare is the time you find a card that fits your circumstances and relationship without over the top rhymes and amateur poetic meter. The cards are either so sugary sweet you get a cavity just from reading it or they are full of my least favorite greeting card line, ever: “I know I don’t tell you this enough, but I love you.” Seriously, how many people out there never tell someone they love them? The amount of cards that say, “I don’t say it enough” makes me worry for the world. No wonder families and relationships are on the brink… just tell someone how you feel, already! Especially if they are important in your life.
I haven’t bought my husband a birthday card yet – and today is his birthday. Not just any birthday, either. Eric is officially 40. None of the “Husband” cards I read fit our relationship. Normally, I turn to funny cards with a double entendre because unlike conventional wisdom for people nearing 40 with 3 kids and 15 years of marriage, we still like to get it on frequently. But, I couldn’t even find one of the funny cards… this year all I saw were fart joke cards. And, I certainly wasn’t going to get him a card that says, “Hey, you are old and over the hill!” because in a mere 16 days, I too, will turn the big 4-0.
Finally, I decided I would write Eric something on my own. I said to myself, “You know what? I’ll honor his big day with a blog.” And then I sat down at my computer and just stared at it. I wrote a few things, went crazy with the backspace button to erase it all, and then tried again. See, this blogging about Eric thing is where I have a hard time. I write about motherhood, my children, my struggles with mental health, my wrestles with theology and politics. My blog is generally my place where I sort out life. I lay out my struggles for the world to see, because as a good friend told me this past week, “Mandi, we like to see that you don’t have your crap together because we don’t have our crap together, either. You are just brave enough to say that to the whole world and we aren’t.” So, for all you that don’t have your crap together, Hi… I’m obviously your poster-child.
I was told at a young age it wasn’t polite to brag, yet I feel if I write about my husband it might turn into that. See, he’s just really awesome, and our relationship, well, not to overuse a word, but it’s awesome, too. If there is one area of my life that I feel absolutely secure in, it’s my relationship with my Eric. I write to process life, but with Eric, I don’t suffer from insecurity and uncertainty. He is my island in the middle of the stormy seas of my life.
And so I feel really uncomfortable writing this. I tried to write something privately, as well, but that led to a blank piece of paper. And, I was tempted to wax so poetic that Eric might think I was trying to audition for a position at greeting card company. Maybe their job is harder than I think, and I shouldn’t judge them so harshly. Sorry, greeting card writer. Your job is probably really stressful. Does it pay well? Just curious…
Anyway, my husband… Eric is the Han to my Leia; the Tenth Doctor to my Rose; the Eleventh Doctor to my River Song; the Westley to my Buttercup; the Zack to my Kelly; the Oliver to my Felicity; the Peeta to my Katniss; the Mr. Darcy to whoever Mr. Darcy was important to (admission time – I’ve not really read any Jane Austen. And now, I’ve lost all homeschooling mom cred, anglophile cred, writer cred and girl points). Seriously, our love story is my favorite love story. It puts those other couples to shame…
But if I did write something to him, it might go something like this:
I love that we’ve known each other since we were in kindergarten. I love that so many of my memories in life involve you. I love that we finally figured out we should be together shortly after college. I love that our first kiss was awesome and awkward all at the same time. I love that you shocked me the first time you told me you loved me and left me speechless. I love that the day we got married was the absolute best day of my life. I love that parenthood showed me a new side to you, a tenderness I didn’t even know you possessed. I love your strength – you are strong when I’m weak, and I really feel like you’ve had to carry more than I have these past 10 years. When I’ve cried, you held me. When we grieved, you put my needs ahead of your own. And now, when I struggle, you encourage me. When I doubt myself, you help me believe again. When I need to laugh, you always know how to make me smile. I wish I could see myself as you see me.
I could write a book reminiscing about all our memories together – from childhood to dating to marriage and parenthood. I love when we recall the good and bad together… i love how we linger in each memory and laugh together. I love our private jokes – “it’s black” and too many bubbles and untimely emissions and long nights at the office and you taking a long awaited dare. I love that you keep me on my toes and have always challenged me to be better than I think I am. You are wonderful and brilliant and funny and playful and spiritual and my Mr. Fix it and adventurous and strong and scruffy and hot and well, you rock. You make 40 looks easy and you certainly make it look good. I love you, I love being your wife, and I love every day when we add another page to our story. We always wanted to grow old and gray together, and I think we’re about half-way there. So, happy birthday, Sweetie.