Friday, July 8, 2011

Target Practice

It occurs to me that when I post about my husband, I may seem unduly critical. I don't mean to sound critical. Florence King once responded to criticisms of her book Southern Ladies and Gentlemen by saying that she does not stereotype people, she just "points them up", the way Betty MacDonald "pointed up" country people in her book, The Egg and I. I like to think I just "point up" my husband.

Still, it is more than time I pointed up his many virtues, instead of his endearing faults. What started me thinking about his many virtues most recently is the Bruno Mars song, Grenade:

I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same
The first time I heard this song, I wondered how often Mr. Mars was likely to be called upon to catch a grenade for his girlfriend, as opposed to say, picking up his dirty socks, or maybe even running a load of laundry. Sure it sounds romantic to promise to catch a grenade for your lady fair, but that's not the kind of promise that can be easily tested. If he had said, "Honey, I love you so much that I'd even carry your purse for you while you try on clothes at the mall", she could reply with something like, "Does Saturday work for you? Because I need a new dress for your class reunion next month." That'll weed out the talkers from the doers. But what do you say to someone who promises to catch a grenade for you? "Let's go see if they have any at the Army Surplus Store"? No, the extravagant promises of the type Mr. Mars makes are the sort that sound impressive (if you're 18) but are useless in every day life.  

Mr. Mars' other complaint about his girlfriend, besides her unwillingness to make suicidal gestures on his behalf, is that:

Should've known you was trouble from the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open, why were they open? 
This is just a guess, but maybe she was checking for incoming ordinance.

My husband, on the other hand, is not given to making extravagant promises. This is what he does. When we first met, I had a job making home health visits, and a car in its death throes. I had known him for about a week when I mentioned I needed to rent a car to make a home health visit because mine was in the shop. He immediately loaned me his. We spent the rest of the weekend coordinating schedules so we could get the health visit, his grocery shopping, and my grocery shopping done, not to mention getting lunch and going to a party together that night. By the end of the weekend, we were like an old married couple. 

Then he repaired the broken clock on my oven, and exterminated a carpenter beetle that was making a hole in my front porch.

He didn't stop doing helpful things once we were married, either. Twice he made the twenty mile round trip to bring me my extra car key after I locked myself out of my car. Then he bought me a magnetic key holder for the extra key.

And since I broke my foot, he has done all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, chauffeuring, and pet care. I never doubted for a minute he would.

For that matter, I don't doubt that if it came right down to it, he'd catch a grenade for me.

He just won't sing about it. 


  1. You've got a great husband there. I hope someday I'm so lucky.

    And I hope that your foot mends well and quickly.

  2. This is just a guess, but maybe she was checking for incoming ordinance.

    Am actually giggling out loud.