Thursday, August 27, 2009

I never claimed to be a feminist.

I was reading yet another book on parenting the other day when something hit me that kind of blew my mind. I realized that while of course it's important for me to do the very best job raising Liam that I possibly can, my role as a mother is pretty short lived. Yes, he'll always be my son but the most he'll live in my home is what - 20 years? That's not a whole lot of time in the grand scheme of things. My husband on the other hand? If things go well, we could end up together for like 70 years. 7-0!! Now that's a relationship worth reading up on!

Fortunately, I didn't have to go far to find a book on marriage. Not long after we were married my mother-in-law passed along a book to me that she had received from her brother's wife. She told me it was the kind of book every wife should read. The title? The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbandsby Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Yeah. As you can imagine I rolled my eyes and thought, "Pshaw! Like I'll ever read that crap. Where's the book on properly caring for wives?" And then I shoved it into the bookcase and forgot it ever existed.

But we must have moved it to Nashville with us because about a year ago, I noticed Bill reading it in bed one night. I'm sure I jumped all over him like, You know that's Dr. Laura from the radio, right? The totally conservative bitch who berates women for having sex out of wedlock and sounds mean like Suze Orman? Why are you reading that? And he was like, She's really onto something here. If you did all this stuff, our marriage would be amazing! And I was like, Oh, I see how it is. I suck at being a wife so now I have to read a crappy book to figure out how to fix it? I've got a better idea! Since you're the one reading the damn book why don't you just do what she says and make our marriage amazing yourself?! Humph!

See? I so did not need lessons on how to be a loving wife.

Bill couldn't put the book back on the shelf fast enough (I can be kind of terrifying) which is where I found it this week after realizing the whole 'til death do us part thing is kind of a big deal. (Why I never thought about this before is beyond me.) I started reading it and got sucked in immediately. Yes, there's a lot of crap to sift through but there are also a lot of really interesting ideas. And plenty of things I could see in myself that could use improvement. Her basic premise is this: Men are simple. If you make them feel loved, appreciated and respected, they will bend over backwards to make you happy.

I can get behind that.

Yesterday was our 9 year wedding anniversary and for the first time in the history of our relationship, I went out of my way to plan something special for my husband (imagine!). I got a babysitter, packed a picnic basket with some of his favorite foods, and showed up at his office at the end of the day to surprise him with a blindfold (which he chose not to wear for fear of getting carsick). Then we drove to a nearby vineyard for a wine tasting and a picnic dinner.

It was so much fun! We ate way too much cheese (which I think might be one of my favorite things to do) and talked about all kinds of things just like the old friends we are.

We polished off a bottle of wine and went off to explore the vineyards hand in hand. We took funny pictures of each other while nearby picnicking couples gawked. Then we laughed and laughed and took some more.

Check it out - he's "falling" in love with me all over again.

He was totally surprised and seemed genuinely thrilled that I wanted to do something nice for him. It made me really happy, too.

We still do! Here's to the next kagillion years together.


Courtney said...

Love this, Maggie! Making a man happy, always inevitably comes back two fold making the wife happy ;) As a general rule, when we give to others, we stop navel gazing so much about what we "need".
Glad you had a good anniversary! Here's to many more!

irieiam said...

That's my flavorite to date.

Lori Ashley said...

Congratulations on 9 years. That's amazing. I would have never thought to pick up that book, but I just may have to now.

On the parenting note, I know that our kids are in our homes for a small percentage of their lives, but that percentage has a huge influence on what the rest of their life will be. I think its sad when we forget about our relationship with our spouse because we get so busy with our kids. I've done it too, and we're also working on "falling in love" again. I wish there was some sort of perfect balance, but I guess part of the journey is always striving to find it.

I've heard the saying - A happy wife is a happy life, but I think happiness is fleeting compared to the joy that comes when overcoming hardship.

I love reading your blog, by the way. You're an amazing writer.

Celina said...

9 years? Congratulations, Maggie! I wish you guys love, happiness, prosperity, and peace for the rest of your days. :)

Linnet said...

Happy 9 years! Here's to your next zillion!

Girl Healthy said...

Happy Anniversary!!! What a treat it is to live near a vineyard. The first Valentine's Day that we were married, we took the day off and spent it at a vineyard tasting wine and eating pancakes... not in that order. Anyway, Cheers to you and Bill and a kazillion years together.

Katie said...

Congrats Maggie and Bill! Way to set an example to Liam to cherish the one that you love!

Molly said...

You guys are so great together- here's to happier years to come!