I don’t care what the popular love songs are preaching, marriage is nothing like a love song.
Now, some of these mushy songs talk about unconditional love, a concept that should be reserved only for pets and children. To be clear, I mean your own pets and children. No one should be expected to unconditionally love all pets and children.
So, when I hear a love ballad I don’t think of my husband. And to be even more brutal, I admit to not loving my husband unconditionally. If he were to lose all our money in Vegas or find himself a girlfriend I certainly wouldn’t be saying, “Honey, I love you no matter what.” I’d be telling him to pack his bags and get the hell out of the house.
Instead, I think of my seven-year-old boy. The love for my boy is absolutely unconditional. When my boy behaves recklessly I gasp. Then I dramatically grab him and say, “Oh, honey! Are you okay,” as he smirks. “Please don’t do that I again,” I cry as I pretend not to hear him say, “That was fun!”
And when my boy is old enough to have a girlfriend, I will be devastated. I will sob, face down in a pillow, while I listen to my special mix of love ballads. But then, when the relationship begins to sour (fingers crossed) I will accept it like the levelheaded mom that I am and give him my blessing.
Honestly, my husband isn’t likely to lose any money in Vegas nor is he likely to find himself a girlfriend in our town of 4,000 people. So, he isn’t a horrible guy. In fact, he’s a very nice man. But he is no longer my Valentine. There’s a new guy in my life. And as I sit here listening to Lionel Richie, I make this list of reasons why I ask my boy to my Valentine and not my husband.
- When my boy runs up to me to give me a big hug and kiss and follows it with, “I love you Mama,” it’s because he wants to kiss and hug me and tell me he loves me. When my husband does it, it’s because he wants to have sex.
- My boy’s naked body is adorable and smooth. When he dances naked his long skinny legs and arms wiggle like overcooked spaghetti. My husband’s naked body is hairy and a bit doughy. And I’m never surprised when I see lint or food crumbs fall out of his belly button.
- Cuddling with my boy is comfortable and warm. His body is small and fits perfectly anywhere next to me or on me. Cuddling with my husband is hot (not in a good way), scratchy and often smelly.
- When my boy burps or farts it’s incredibly hilarious. And both smell like a Hawaiian Mist air freshener. When my husband burps or farts, it’s gross and suffocatingly stinky.
- My boy tells me interesting stories about his day at school. They are filled with comedy, drama, and confusion. He also shares good scoop about his classmates. My husband tells me about his bowel movements.
- My boy and I can share a laugh, an inside joke, or a reference to any movie or TV show we’ve watched together over the last four years. Unfortunately, my husband remembers nothing. When I make a reference to a movie we’ve seen recently, confusion fills his eyes. “Eh,” he says.
On Valentine’s Day, I shower my boy with chocolates and other Valentine paraphernalia. My husband gets a store bought card purchased in haste. I do love both males in my life. I just happen to unconditionally love everything about my son while I only love some things about my husband.
About the author: Anne Archer is an ex-CPA, by choice, and an ex-ESL teacher, by the community college’s choice. She now takes care of her 7 year old boy while writing the “Savvy Shopper” piece for her local newspaper. Anne shares her stories not suitable for print on her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReallyPeople).