Friday, November 21, 2008

The Mother of All Compliments

Tom is a bit quiet and shy, so he’s not the most demonstrative guy in the world. Even with me. Before we got married, at our church's 3 hour mandatory communication class (yeah, we rocked that thing!), we had to write down our wants and needs for after marriage.

Here’s my list:
I need to sleep in until 9 a.m. on Saturdays.
I want to be told, on occasion, that I look good.

After 5 years of dating, I knew that I was marrying a morning person, who might be tempted to seize the day and drag me along with him into it, and I suspected he might also need a little nudge when it came to complimenting his wife.

I’m not a prima dona, or at list not too much of one, but we had experienced more than a few ill-fated attempts at compliments in the past. I had read somewhere that men want our needs spelled out for them, which is why I was so blunt. I was looking for-- “You look good. You look nice. You look pretty.”

You see, this is the guy who told me he was attracted to me for my personality. This is not sought-after information when you are 21 and as hot as you're ever going to be. This is the guy who, upon seeing me in my new floral, drop-waisted dress (it was 1992!) said, “You look HOMELY in that dress!”


“Uh, it’s just so soft and pretty?”

“Okay, so are you trying to say I look “HOME-Y” in my dress? And if so, is this a good thing?”


Here’s Tom’s List:

I am not the enemy
Clean counters

Since Tom does not have a blog, and therefore a voice, we will not need to delve too deeply into the first item on his list, except perhaps to posit that w/ five years of dating me he knew that he might, perhaps, be my closest target when I got a teeny bit grumpy.

As for the second item, I guess he desired clean counters. We will not dwell too much on or judge him too harshly for the fact that he answered his questions in a non-standard fashion that deviated from the clearly established I want/ need format.


Soooooooo last night, with a newfound resolve to try to improve my self-image, or get some pre-Thanksgiving action, Tom took a deep breath and said, “Kids, you have the most beautiful mother in the world.” He looked uncomfortable, but he got it out just fine.

Molly: “No she’s NOT, I saw a newspaper picture of the best mother and it wasn’t her.”

Tom: “I never said BEST mother, I said most beautiful.”

Gee thanks guys. Kind of makes me what to go smear raw chicken all over the counters.


Kate Coveny Hood said...

That is too funny. I'm going to be laughing about that one all day!

We need to do lunch soon. Work has been a nightmare (as in I work for crazy people nightmare) - so maybe some time in December when things quiet down?

Rebecca said...

That made me laugh too. At least he tried! :)

Men don't always show their appreciation and love the way we'd like to but as long as they try, I'll give them some credit.

BTW, how about I crash the lunch? I'd love to meet you and Kate and I have been meaning to have lunch forever!

Ash said...

LOL - Dear Hubby has a long lost secret brother!!

Now go cross-contaminate the hell out of that kitchen.


L said...

So funny! :)

Debbie said...

Why is it when they try, it just goes all wrong? Love this!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Kate and Anastasia-- Lunch sounds great!

Christy said...

Oh my god that is so funny. I want clean countertops - where do guys come up with these things. This post made me laugh out loud!

Mags said...

LOL. Men, boys...they don't change much!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I have a husband like that too, but at least we know when they do compliment us - they totally mean it :)

anymommy said...

Too funny because that last line is exactly what I was thinking. Uh oh, time to rub something all over the counters!!! I have a very nondemonstrative husband as well. Every once in a while, he pulls a compliment off, but not often.

Tess said...

My husband does similar things. Like leaving me a Valentine's Day "card" on his way to work... handwritten on a paper plate, "Happy Valentine's Day. We're out of milk." You take what you can get and if it makes you smile that's bonus points.

I tagged you for a meme on my blog. Chose one of your posts that demonstrates life as a "real mom" and add it to the list. Hit my blog for details.

Shana said...

Ugh. The "Tess" comment is me. Long story short: one of my teens set up a mock profile using my gmail account for an experiment and when I picked up my laptop this morning, I didn't realize it was logged into the gmail thing. Blech. So all that stuff, above, from me.

Anonymous said...

It's the thought that counts...

Pseudo said...

First timer here, but I loved this post. Can you do the list after 19 years of marriage?

Unknown said...

You husband is HOT. And his list is hysterical. Clean counters. Ha!

Cynthia said...


Katherine said...

I was laughing so hard reading this that I almost woke up one of the twins. Gotta love Molly's comment -- you know Zoe would have said the same thing!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, you are making me laugh out loud at work so I had to comment. I LOVE your sense of humor - "kind of makes me want to go rub raw chicken all over the counters!"

Also, I feel like I totally identify with you and your husband's relationship. I have been dating my boyfriend for five years and he is totally like your Tom - more reserved, not stellar with compliments, etc. and I am more gregarious and "out there." It is nice to read about you all and that the marriage he and I imagine together really can work. Your family is wonderful and you're doing a great job.