I was pondering on the question, “What is the greatest gift a man could give a woman?” And then it came to me, so surely and suddenly that there was no reason to consult an actual woman. What a woman thinks the answer might be would invariably pale beneath what I know the answer to be.
The greatest gift a man could give to a woman is a live, spontaneous, and unannounced recreation of the music video of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The more it scares her, the better it would be.
Another fun day at my sister’s house in Lubbock. We went to the local LDS ward, where I really hoped to hear some Texan accents. To my disappointment, nearly everyone seems to speak American Neutral. I don’t think there really are any Texan accents out there, let alone Texans. I just see a bunch of normal people with soft-spoken, conservative viewpoints, not the fearless, gun-slinging, barbecuing cowboy confederates I’ve idealized. Still I believe they’re out there somewhere. Where are you, Texas? America needs you. I need you.
Though in the ward’s defense, one of the various things I heard in Sunday school was, from the teacher, “I believe that anyone should be able to have a gun. Now I’m not getting political on ya …” Another phrase I adored was, “Ya wanna know the truth? I hate church. There’s plenty of other things I’d rather be doing. But I come here for Christ.”
Oh yeah, and today marks six years of marriage for Teresa and I.
On behalf of her exceeding excellences, and fantastic fairnesses, I do hearby extoll the bounteous beauties of my wickedly wadical wife. If she were a volcano, she would explode with hotness, burning all the village people. If she were a typhoon, she would be stronger than a thousand Donny Osmonds. If she were a rolling tire, she would roll off the ends of the earth and still I would chase her… for love. Ah, fair Teresa. Why art thou yet so fair? May the gods slay every young man who looketh upon thee. I shall forever praise thy womanly wiles and avenge the flea that layeth a finger on thee.
And thus with a kiss, I die.
I’m sorry I’m a man. I’m sorry for my man odors and man breath. I’m sorry for my brutish tendencies and improprieties. I’m sorry for my irreverent demeanor and evil sense of humor. I’m sorry for the way my brain turns off when you talk and how I never seem to answer your questions. I’m sorry for my inability to cry with you once or twice a month, for my compartmentalized brain and heartless analytics. I’m sorry for my backwards philosophies and advocating of Satan. I’m sorry for my spicy dishes and obsession for all things weird. I’m sorry for my songs about death and cats. I’m sorry for my dirty laundry and unending piles of dishes. I’m sorry for my base desires and insatiable appetites. I’m sorry for my unpredictable opinions, my harsh critiques, my unfeeling, masculine dominance. I’m sorry I can’t stand quilting, Barbies, or velvet. I’m sorry I don’t obsess over babies and for the garbage they eat from the floor when I’m on duty. I’m sorry I make fun of your Reality TV and everything on the radio. I’m sorry I can’t see the good in Country Music or Hamburger Helper. I’m sorry for my evil hypothetical situations and relentless silliness when all you want to do is sleep. I’m sorry for all the burnt pans, the broken blenders, the shattered plates, the melted plastic, and the woodchips in our smoothies. In all things I seek to become more feminine. Let’s go to Zupa’s together. I’ll try my hardest not to make fun of the over-priced salads and chocolate-dipped strawberries or judge the 9 to 1 ratio of girls to guys as consisting of high-maintenance gluttons who think they’re above dollar burgers. I’ll listen to your dance music and reffrain from commenting on its themes of fornication. I’ll go Christmas shopping with you in July and pretend not to hate it. I’ll even put cheddar cheese on our crunchy “tacos” without any reference to the higher orders of the universe. If you will just forgive me for crimes of masculinity, I will do my best to become more feminine.
On a scale of possibility, our little Aspen is off the charts. She is impossible. If one dares to be so audacious as to set her down for a nap, she will use her dark powers to summon a storm of fiery indignation, wailing like a banshee, punishing you with a vengeance. The ONLY way to put her to sleep is to collapse with her on a bed from mutual exhaustion while sedating her with excessive amounts of mommy milk. If you’re a dad, you don’t have a prayer.
Today it occurred to me what my ultimate quest in life is: to serve my lady. My reasoning is thus: in order to provide for my lady, I have to get a job and be devoted to it. In order to make my lady comfortable, not just any job will do. I must educate myself, sharpen my skills, and advance in a career. My lady wouldn’t want to be married to a lazy shmo, so I must engage myself in ambitious and prolific pursuits, that she might be honored to be married to such a man. My lady wouldn’t want to be married to a hedonistic brute, so I must spiritually master myself. In order to woo my lady, I must master my physical appearance. In order to protect my lady, I must strengthen my muscles and train myself in combat. The more I think about it, the more I realize that for a modern husband, chivalry should be anything but dead. I pledge to thee, my fairy lady, my devotion to this most holy quest until the day I die.
I shall devote every day, every hour to the service of my lady. i shall never say a cross word to her nor anything but praise of her goddess-like qualities. I shall slay any man that insults her honor.
My Teresa’s eyes are like an overcast day, blue and gray, when heaven touches earth, and the world is a playground of adventure. The place I want to be.
Ah, Valentines, the time in which we aspire to up our dopamine levels and live up to our romantic ideals. Those who lack means to accomplish this can still experience the rush of sugar. Unto the world, I proclaim that my wife is hot, I love her, and sugar cookies with pink frosting are good. This is probably the worst post filed under my “Romantic” category. On the bright side, I have contacts again, and I look suave.
Tonight I was feeling sick. Teresa asked if there was anything she could do to help. I said, “There is. Run around the house three times.” She did it. Her passing the test of true love made me better.