Tag this as: All you need is love.
Warning! This is an extremely sappy post. All those who can't stand that sort of thing stay clear!
Today marks the 17th anniversary of the day my darling and I first started dating...
I hadn't intended to write anything - after all, it's not a day we celebrate anymore, not the way we do our anniversary (which is in 37 days, but who's counting?)
But a few days ago Michele posted this, gave her answer, and then asked "What else does a "real man" know how to do?" The first version of my answer was tinged with sarcasm, written by my inner snark, and felt off. I deleted it. I told the little snark to take a break, and tried again. This time the words just started tumbling out.
So here, without any more preamble, is the longer version of my original comment. Thanks Michele, for reminding me of all the reasons I fell for him.
A real man? Hmm. I live with one, and in my experience a real man knows how to use his intelligence to recognize & learn what he does not know, and puts that new knowledge to work. A real man takes pride in his home as much as his car, has a soft spot for the vulnerable, and has a great capacity for love, hope, compassion & belief.
He's a study in contrasts and can enthuse about wines one moment, video games the next, and looks just as comfortable at an art show show as he does a hockey game. He knows what type and colour of flowers looks best on the mantel, and buys them not because he "has to", but because he wants to. He knows how important the details are in making a house a home.
He looks forward to being in his parents' company. He knows how important it is to say "I love you", and he does it often, unabashedly, and without guile. He knows how to gain the trust of a way-shy animal simply by being himself.
And he knows that the ties of love are bound by the small and quiet gestures just as surely as the big grandiose ones.
Happy no-longer-an-anniversary honey. You raised the bar so much there's no way anyone else will ever measure up. And that's just fine with me.