October 24, 2011

i know you believe you understand what you think i said, but i'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what i meant

Do you have a favorite clothing item you wouldn't give up for all the fish 'n chips in England?

A few months ago my husband and I drove to town for some un-remembered, unrelated-to-this-story reason. As the miles passed under the tires I started thinking about the man sitting next to me and what he means to me.
"Mike, you are like a favorite, ratty old sweater, or my favorite pair of sneakers."

For some reason, he took that as an insult. I meant it as the highest compliment a wife could pay her husband and he took it wrong. He was so perturbed he wouldn't even listen to my explanation. So, since he won't listen to me, I've decided to explain it to you; maybe you'll understand?

Let's start with the favorite, ratty old sweater. I don't have one. But, I do have a favorite ratty old jacket. 19 years ago we went to Michigan for a family reunion/camping trip. We left here on a steamy hot July morning and headed north. The further north we drove the cooler it got. By the time we got to Michigan it was downright cold. And, guess what I hadn't packed? So, we stopped somewhere so I could pick up a jacket. It was soft, and big, and oh so comfortable. But the best part? It covered and protected me from the nasty elements.

Here it is, 19 years later and I still have that jacket. The sleeves are freyed, the zipper's a tish worn, but it's still soft, and big, and oh so comfortable. It reminds me of so many things-my entire family gathered together to love and annoy the daylights out of each other, beautiful sunsets on Lake Michigan, sitting around a campfire eating burnt hot dogs...I've worn that jacket for a very long time and we know each other. We understand each other. I keep it clean and dry and it keeps me warm and snug. See? Just like my husband. He's a little frayed around the edges, maybe a tish worn, but he's still soft, and big and comfortable and he protects me from the elements...

Now, let's take my favorite pair of sneakers. I bought them right before my back did it's crazy thing. At first they were awkward and stiff and slightly uncomfortable. We had to walk past a lot of miles before I had them broken in, but now? Now they fit well and are very comfortable; they were there for me through all the pain, all the confusion, and all the miles of healing I've gone through in the last 16 months. They were there for me before, during and after one of the hardest times in my life.

Just like my husband-we've seen a lot of miles together and he's been there for me before, during, and after a lot of the hard things in my life.

I see no reason for his feeling injured. It makes perfect sense to me. How about you? Do you understand?

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