Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

May 10, 2012

When a man loves a woman . . .

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 3:40 pm
Tags: , ,

TBL is forever up to something. Some things are just stupid, like using White-Out to carefully print a G before Oats and Oatmeal on my cereal box, then waiting weeks for me to notice that he’d done it. And yes, it took weeks. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: being me is exhausting.

Some things are just weird. Like anytime we go out of town, he reads the phone book of the town we’re in. He counts all the irrigation contractors listed in them. And he watches people practice golf on TV. Not golf tournaments. Just people practicing. You may not think that’s weird, but you should. Because it totally is.

Some things are endearing. There was this one morning when I was all weepy because one of the cats chased another cat over my face in the middle of the night. I didn’t want to have skid marks on my face, so I turned on my stomach.

When I woke up I had SHEET FACE!!! I know! Right? I blame it on my mother. She told me if I made ugly faces at strangers through the back window of the car, my face would freeze that way, but she never breathed a word about sheet face. Piss poor parenting, that.

But I digress. Endearing. That traumatic morning, with the sheet face and all, TBL handed me a paper sack on the way out the door. Inside was a plastic container full of yogurt and crushed pineapple, spoon taped to the lid. And, most importantly, a two-pack of 5-Hour-Energy.

And then there’s the weird and endearing. Like the fact not only does he pick up stray cats, but he picks up some that aren’t alive. And by not alive, I mean, you know, dead. A cat was run over in front of our house, and I saw it lying there, which made me sad, and okay, I little sick. But I didn’t do anything.

TBL got a shovel, dug a hole, and buried the cat. Well. OK. But the cat was right in front of our house. A few weeks later, he passed a dog that had been run over about a mile from here. He passed it two days in a row. The third day, he brought it home and buried it.

At first I thought he might be a little, I don’t know, CRAZY? I was okay with that. But I was prepared to deny I knew him if any of my friends saw him picking up road kill.

But you know what? No, don’t guess. I’m going to tell you. A man like that—well, he’ll do things for his wife that maybe other men wouldn’t.

Like, say the wife had a cat, a beautiful, neurotic, tightly-wound Tonkinese named Dabney that she bought in 1987, using the money intended for her husband’s Christmas present. Oh, right. Like you’ve never done that. And it’s not like he didn’t get anything.

So for 18 years this wife (who was, by the way, brilliant, creative, witty—well, I could go on and on, but I won’t) adored that cat. He slept on the pillow by her head, sat on the corner of her desk watching her study until she had two or three degrees, and waited in the window for her to come home every evening.

The last three years of his life, he was blind and suffering from thyroid disease, high-blood pressure, and chronic renal failure. This wife gave him medicine twice, sometimes three times a day, and kept him safely in her home office. He lay on her lap while she typed and read and graded papers and talked on the phone.

When he died, it was a blow, but within three weeks the wife was out of bed and her hair was growing back in. In the meantime, her husband buried the cat outside her office window, and there he stayed for several years.

And then they moved. And you know what that man did? He dug that cat up and moved it to the new house, burying it in a bed of lilies.

You know what that means? That means this man is a keeper. But I already knew that.



  1. That made my heart skip a beat…for both of you.


    Comment by Michelle — May 10, 2012 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  2. And I know all of that is true. You’re a lucky woman. Of course, I’m lucky too because you’re my friend.


    Comment by Your Number One (ok maybe second) fan — May 10, 2012 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  3. Love is hard to find, hard to keep and hard. But when it is love, it is worth it. Thank you for a valentine to all good husbands.


    Comment by ponytail girl — May 11, 2012 @ 8:39 am | Reply

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