A Writable Feast

August 6, 2006

My Husband’s birthday came and went this year with little more than professions of love over Grey Goose martinis and exhortations to please put that shitty diaper in the Diaper Genie, dammit. In all of the distraction of BlogHer and blogthis and blogthat and diapers diapers everywhere (cast off from shitty bums), I neglected to acquire cards and gifts and cakes and all of the whatnot that usually attends birthdays.

Which would be fine, really, because the Husband is not a public-display-of-celebration kind of guy. Not particularly interested in gifts and certainly not interested the kind of hullaballoo that puts him in the center of attention. But he does like my attention. To wit: his inquiry, of a few weeks ago, into the whys and wherefores of my lack of attention to all matters Husband on this blog. Shouldn’t you be telling the Internet how great I am? he asked. To which I replied, now I will be telling the Internet that you asked that I tell them how great you are.

See how this works? It’s hard to be romantic on the Internet. This ain’t no quill and quire.

Still, I do see love out there. I know that it’s possible to communicate the force of romantic love through code. I love the Junipers in large part because they write their love so honestly, because they strut the beauty of love, because they show so clearly how it is that romantic love, marital love, is made broader and deeper and higher in becoming family love. I loved feeling the love slip through the giddy comedy of the story told by Liz about her Nate’s love of animals. I feel all glowy when I stumble across random proclamations of love.

But still, I stumble when I try to express my love for, my gratitude for, my partner in crime, life and family.

I could, of course, simply list his virtues. I could talk about how, once upon an ancient time, virtue meant, simply, manliness, and that, to me, he embodies such manliness. I could talk about his beauty, his heart, his wisdom, his courage. I could talk about how the broad curve of his shoulders thrills me, and how sometimes, when he bends his arm around our daughter, I am nearly moved to tears by the tender strength of his movements, by the quiet ferocity of his love for her.

I could talk about how blessed I feel that we found each other so young, how fortunate am I to have shared so much of my life with him already.

I could talk about how he makes me laugh, and about our secret jokes and shared silly language, about how our humor is a like a pillow fort that we’ve built around ourselves for our amusement. About how that silly pillow fort keeps me safe and happy and secure.

I could talk about how amazing he is, about how wonderful we are. About how no words could ever really capture how amazing-crazy-wonderful my life is, with him, and, now, with our her.

So I don’t even try. I whisper to myself, it would sound banal. And, who would care? Who wants to read it? Keep it private; put it in a card, seal it with a kiss, let him open and read and tuck it away in a drawer.

Except, except… I’m writing this life out loud, now. I write my love for her. I lay out this life, my feelings, upon this virtual table, a virtual feast, and make sweeping virtual gestures to say, here, world, see this bounty! See how rich and sweet and messy this life! Come, share, taste!

So why not share him, too?

A bit tough, and sometimes, maybe, sour… But, always, always at the centre of my table.

Happy birthday, Best of Men. I love you.

We love you.

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    bubandpie August 6, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    It’s a hard post to write, isn’t it? I was realizing this week that the two people I rarely blog about are my husband and my mom, because what I have to say about them is so one-note and banal: I love you blah blah blah. It’s so much easier to write about the relationships that, however wonderful, incorporate a substantial helping of grief and frustration and ass-kicking (I leave it to you to fill in the blanks as far as who that describes!).

    I managed to blog about my mom this week, but I’ll be putting off the hubby post for awhile longer now, because there’s nothing I could say that would be better than the pillow-fort made of shared jokes. That is so exactly what it is to be happily married. Yes.

    Mother August 6, 2006 at 3:32 pm


    One word.


    You are both HOT.

    WTF is with the hotness of the her bad mother family?

    Jerri Ann August 6, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    awww Happy Birthday Man! That was awesome writing of your feelings…see you knew you could do it and he is reading this and crying because he knew he was that wondeful, he just needed to hear you *say* it.

    Granny August 6, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    A lovely post. Happy Birthday to him.

    chelle August 6, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    awww Happy Birthday to your husband!!!

    That was beautiful!!

    I am spreading warm and fuzzies this weekend and posts like this one is exactly why I keep coming back. Your love of your family is so apparent in all that you write. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it through reading your blog :) Hope your weekend was great!

    Mamacita Tina August 6, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    Well said! Bravo!

    Bobita August 6, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    Have I mentioned that I love you? :)

    This is a magnificent post. A wonderful, honest tribute to your Love.

    My husband reads almost every one of my posts. And when I write about him…he is delighted! Even when I paint him in a “less than favorable” light!

    In This Sister’s household I have been known to hear one of his comments, fling back my head, gaffaw while stomping my feet and say, “I can’t WAIT to blog about this!!!” In response to which he either rolls his eyes or snickers!

    A good man is a treasure. Indeed.

    Bobita August 6, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    Oh…I almost forgot…

    Happy Birthday to Nate!

    Mrs. Chicky August 6, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    HBM, I think you’re off the hook for the next 5 birthdays. And Christmas. And Arbor Day. That’s soo much better than anything I’ve written in a card for my husband’s birthday. I hope he loved it (oh, and all the comments too. Here’s another one. Your husband? Rwaaaarrr.)

    Lady M August 6, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    That was beautiful!

    I have an anniversary coming up and want to write something to spotlight SwingDaddy. Like bubandpie said, it’s a challenge not to be one-note, so I wasn’t sure whether to write it. You’ve inspired me to go for it!

    jennster August 6, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    awwwwwwww-happy birthday to MR her bad mother! :)

    Mayberry August 6, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    I’d say that gift far outshone a few martinis and possibly even some get-out-of-diapering-free cards. Happy birthday Her Hot Father!

    nonlineargirl August 6, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Right, no one cares, no one wants to hear about your love. Ha! I say. We love to read about love, to know there is more of it out there. Despite what Tolstoy wrote, I doubt that all happy families are happy in the same way. I like to hear about the hows and whys of other happy families’ happiness.

    metro mama August 6, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    It is tough, isn’t it? I don’t know how to do my hubby the justice he deserves.

    You did a lovely job.

    lildb August 6, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    god*damn* but it’s difficult to husband-blog. those are words that don’t come so easy. I know just how yous means.

    so I admire you greatly for squeezing it out and making it beautiful.

    you’re such a lovely human, HBM. :)

    mothergoosemouse August 6, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Happy birthday to the husband, whom I know I will love too (in that platonic way, you know) when I meet him.

    Pillow fort. What a metaphor. You are brilliant, as always, for that describes the closeness that we share too. The closeness of shared silliness and delight in our girls and each other.

    IzzyMom August 7, 2006 at 12:22 am

    I don’t say much about my hub either but you’ve inspired me:

    My husband is amazing and I am truly not worthy. I am beyond lucky.

    This is a super tribute. Happy birthday to your lovely Leo man :)

    crazymumma August 7, 2006 at 12:25 am

    awwwwww, he be sooo lucky. Just look at her…reaching out to pull his hair…excellent. Anne

    sunshine scribe August 7, 2006 at 12:26 am

    We already knew he had good taste in women and know we know what good taste you have in men. I loved your pillow fort imagery.

    This was a stellar tribute.

    Happy Birthday to him!!

    Kari August 7, 2006 at 12:31 am

    Happy Birthday!

    (What a hottie.)

    What a wonderfully written birthday message.

    Mom101 August 7, 2006 at 12:46 am

    The love comes through loud and clear, m’dear. In all the best–non banal–ways.

    He looks remarkably as I pictured him on the phone when he gave me your wrong cell phone number. And what’s more, now I can picture you together. I like what I see. I like what I hear.

    Happy bday to da man.

    LOD August 7, 2006 at 12:48 am

    I dig the pose. A man always looks much more smoldering with a baby strapped to his back.

    L. August 7, 2006 at 2:13 am

    Happy birthday to him, happy celebratin` to you!

    That was lovely.

    My hub doesn`t read my blog — but that has its atvantages, too (heh heh heh…).

    Mommy off the Record August 7, 2006 at 2:31 am

    This was a lovely tribute. I especially loved the “humor is a like a pillow fort” metaphor. So sweet. :) Happy birthday to your hubby!

    kittenpie August 7, 2006 at 7:52 am

    Oh, nice. It is harder to write about in a way because it’s more complex in many ways, isn’t it, the love for a husband rather than the love for a child. It also feels like something stupid to bag about, something more personal, while we are expected to brag about our children. Anyway, nice job straddling the line as usual.

    mamatulip August 7, 2006 at 9:17 am

    Fabulous post. I feel the love.

    Mrs. Davis August 7, 2006 at 9:40 am

    Beautifully said. I understand your hesitation about writing this one, but WOW, you captured it so well. Happy Birthday to him!

    Pattie August 7, 2006 at 10:05 am

    You said it beautifully…. What a lovely family you all are.

    TB August 7, 2006 at 10:51 am

    Not banal, lovely. The pillow fort is what really got me.

    Kristen August 7, 2006 at 11:36 am

    That was a great tribute, HBM.

    Andrea August 7, 2006 at 11:53 am

    That’s beautiful. I feel just as lucky as you to have found love so deep so young. It’s clear from your words how you cherish him.

    Jezer August 7, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Dammit, MU stole my word.


    blackbeltmama August 7, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    There is something about a man carrying a child in a backpack carrier that just makes your heart swell. I love when my husband carries our daughter around in that thing. . . sometimes he even vacuums while doing so and that REALLY makes my heart swell.

    Dawn August 7, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    Maybe it’s hard cause our husbands were our big external loves, and our babies our internal loves?

    Love, just different love.

    And I concur – Wonderbaby has quite the hunk she is jockey of in that backpack….

    Christina August 7, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Awww…that was a very touching tribute. I have tried to write posts like that about my husband, but I end up erasing it and can’t find the right words to make it make sense.

    Happy birthday to HBH!

    mo-wo August 7, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Nice HM but I do wonder if this was what he had iin mind from your spicy avatar? Surely you’ve topped this write up with another live version of a ‘sensitive post’ for bad daddies

    nudge-nudge wink-wink

    Melissa August 7, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    I adore that picture. I adore any man who takes care of his kids. Happy birthday HBH.

    Her Bad Mother August 7, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    He’s got a fat head now, people.



    Dutch August 7, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. And it didn’t disappoint.

    soleclaw August 7, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    awwww, how sweet!

    penelopeto August 7, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    happy birthday, her bad husband!

    there are too many dimensions to these wonderful men, but you’ve caught a whole bunch of them. have fun in the pillow fort, and thanks for including us in such a wonderful post :)

    Amber August 7, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    OH! Holy crap that was sweet!!


    Mother Bumper August 7, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    Happy (belated) Birthday Her Bad Man, glad I could share in the celebration. Such a sweet birthday wish and greeting, makes me wish I could do bump daddy the same justice. What an inspiration ;)

    Haley-O August 7, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    Aww…so sweet! And, I love the phrase “public display of celebration”! It’s perfect (for me! I never want parties for myself–although I somehow managed to enjoy my humungous wedding…).

    I’m sure Her Bad Husband must be feeling real loved after this. So. nice. :)

    Kvetch August 7, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    Feels good to get all that out and into the blogosphere, doesn’t it? Leaves room for so much more. We’ll be waiting.

    Angel Baby August 8, 2006 at 12:23 am

    Wow. Your hubby is pretty darned good looking.

    I totally related to your hesitations to write about him, though. I’m always afraid that it will sound trite. Silly. The words could never truly relate the deepness of the feelings I have…

    MommyWithAttitude August 8, 2006 at 1:56 am

    That’s beautiful.

    I write about my husband but only things that are insignificant irritants or stories from which someone might infer that he’s patient or funny or just generally swell. But nothing about the depth of our relationship… I don’t like to jinx that by gabbing about it!

    Bri August 8, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Best of Men – You definately have one of those.

    Happy Birthday BoM!

    roo August 8, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Here are some more belated birthday wishes for your husband. Your tribute to him was lovely.

    Also– that’s a foxy man you’ve got there! What a handsome couple– Wonderbaby has a lucky gene pool to swim in.

    Mama C-ta August 8, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Um yeah, so totally gonna steal this for my husband’s next birthday. He’ll think I’m the best wife ever, because you clearly are!

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