I readily confess that I don’t buy my wife flowers enough. With a horrible effect which combines the sensation of enameled finger nails on a chalk board and a paring knife to the navel, she has become quite skilled at reminding me of this; though one might argue that if she were actually sufficiently “skilled” her barbs would yield actual results. As I’ve said though, they usually don’t.
I’ve long held to the maxim that excuses, regardless of the offence, are odious. So I’m not going to waste this column trying to justify my less than chivalrous comportment….
Actually, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
My bride deserves only my best behavior—and at various points in our wonderful journey together she has proved herself quite adept at demanding it. In reflecting on the daily machinations of even my morning routine, it’s so obvious to me, and unimpressive to her, how much I’ve contorted each of my micro-steps upon waking in an effort to not incur her wrath.
Even before Ruby came along (and my dear full-time-mommy bride mercifully took the lead on the nocturnal chess game with the baby and thus deserved her sleeping in), I was more often than not the first one out of bed in the morning. It’s not that I’m a morning person. I’m not. I’ve long held that the sunrise is a painful specter, only made worse when one has been up all night with a teething babe. It’s just that Heather also loathes leaving the cozy confines of our bed in the morning and thus to give her a few more moments of slumbering bliss, I usually get up first.
After waking, I stumble to the bathroom where I’m sure to close the door first, before turning on the light so it doesn’t blind her (though her eye-lids are closed).
I then shoot a shot of mouthwash—part of a 3 step gargle/floss/brush effort to subdue the halitosis which my wife has been faithful at reminding me is gawd awful in the morning.
After going potty and completing the other two steps on my bad-breath containment routine, I step into the shower. There, I use decidedly femme washing products rather than succumbing to that viral Old Spice campaign a few years back and using more masculine products because frankly there’s no more room in the shower once all of my bride’s washing potions are accounted for.
Washed, I turn off the shower, stretch for my towel while remaining in the shower so as not to drip on the floor (she hates that), and dry myself before stepping out and neatly hanging my towel back on the rack, resisting every slovenly guy’s temptation to leave it in a crumpled heap on the floor—again because I’ve gotten more than one well-worded lecture about that too.
I quickly apply deodorant (the scent of which has of course been “wife-approved”) and put in some hair product (again, originally begun at the urging of my bride).
I leave the bathroom, quietly closing the door behind me so as not to wake my sleeping beauty. I fumble around in the dark for some clothes as I don’t want to turn on the light in the closet, again to preserve my princess’s slumber.
I grab a pair of pants which has already been worn many times and put back on a hangar at the end of the day (in a weak effort to blunt the 10 of loads of laundry our family somehow produces each day, which usually falls to my over-worked wife). I then tip-toe out of the room and continue the next 10 minutes of my morning.
I could go on in such a manner but I’d have to write a small novella counting the subsequent small ways in which I love my wife just to get to the point in my morning when Henry and I walk out the door 57 minutes after I get out of bed. And you get the point.
Even though I don’t buy my bride, who is even more breath-taking than she was on our wedding day, flowers often enough, I really do think about her constantly and have refined many moments of my day in an effort to make her just a little more comfortable.
But none of that holds much water as she’s reminded of my floral neglect when she goes grocery shopping and sees the fresh bunch of daffodils at Price Chopper. Like I said, excuses are odious. I really should buy her flowers more often.
She certainly deserves it.
[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Written by Karl[/typography]
After 10 years in the bright lights of the big cities, Karl moved back to VT with his wife Heather and son, Henry. His daughter Ruby came into the mix a short time later. Karl works in Corporate Development at Dealer.com. He is alumnus of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Karl is married to our contributing writer, Heather.