what you won’t do for love

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

i have worked out sort of a “secret code warning” for Gary, in the short time we have been married:  when I refer to him as a “pirate,” he knows I’m going to gently nudge him about manners, and when I call him an “old crust punk” (a designation he gave himself!) then he knows I am about to make some suggestions for civilizing him a bit. 

All of it is done with grins and hugs and kisses and good humor and gentleness – I truly did not make any plan to change him, when I was happily agreeing to marry him.  I fell head over heels in love with him in his old crust punk, pirate-ish ways, after all.  So I don’t have any desire to rush in and make sweeping changes that end up altering him from that dude I knew at JPUSA, the mention of whose name would make me break out in massive blushing, back when he didn’t even know I had feelings for him. 

Still, he is a good sport as I nudge him about little things.  Really my BIG urgent mission with him has been trying to get him to take care of himself.  This is a 100% selfish request on my part:  I want my husband to live as long and strong as possible.  I work in senior housing.  I know the men die first, almost always.  I’d like him – US – to do everything possible to keep him around.  I want every year – heck, every day – let’s be real – every MINUTE I can get with him before one of us passes, you know?  And I don’t want either of us to be so saddled with bad health that we can’t enjoy the time together.  So I’m all sort of *urgent* on the good health message.

Gary has this amazingly good attitude and absolute willingness.  He blows my mind regularly in that way.  So he has taken on running, because I run.  Until now, he’s been wearing just whatever he brought with him when he moved here.  That isn’t much.  Last night, it had snowed before our run and it was still wet and cold and windy out when we took off.  We hadn’t gone but a couple of blocks when it became obvious that his pajama pants and Chuck Taylor shoes without socks were NOT going to be sufficient for the occasion, and his hoodie without a good base layer shirt under it wasn’t doing the trick, either.  Dude.  His teeth were chattering, you know?  But he was trying to insist that he would “be fine.”  At my begging and pleading, he turned around and went home and I (with all my expensive, warm running gear on) did the run without him.

I am so tickled about this next thing:  tonight, Gary and I went shopping for running gear for him!  He actually has decent shoes, chosen to fit his own actual feet (not already worn by anyone else, either), and running gear made out of high-tech materials to be light and warm and wick away moisture and the whole everything.  In true Gary fashion, he found some stuff that makes him look like an alien or something – it’s pretty great.  No need to look like everyone else out there, eh? 

I thanked him profusely as we drove away from the sporting-goods store.  My old crust punk would gladly have layered jeans over his pajama pants and ran in his steel-toed work boots.  I know this.  I know how he rolls.  But in his great grace and good humor, he puts up with my entreaties to take care of himself.  He lets me insist that his feet need support.  He even plays along with a good, warm hat for his naked bald (cute) head.  He doesn’t get gruff or grumbly.  He doesn’t try to insist on being the tough guy.  That’s what I thanked him for.  If you had chosen to insist on being the tough guy, that would have been hard on me, I said.  He knows that.  This is why he smiles and plays along, and doesn’t even choke or gasp at the price tag, which does not at all fit in his usual old crust punk sort of budget. 

He’s ready to play along with going to the doctor for a checkup.  I don’t think he’s even going to fight me about seeing a dentist.  For all of these things, I am so very grateful. 

If you’re a tough type, please stop and think about the people who love you.  Is someone asking you to take better care of yourself?  if you’re holding out…why are you?  Could you consider blessing those who love you by deciding to make some changes?

Just a little challenge, from the very grateful wife of one kissable old crust punk. 



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