cat in hatBack in the stone-age when my husband and I dated, no one followed us around with a video camera waiting for him to choreograph a fantastically entertaining proposal that the rest of the world could watch and swoon over. Nope, he didn’t even get down on his knees, or one knee and who the heck ever started such a ridiculous tradition anyway? He just began talking to me as though we were going to always be together and began throwing out “what ifs” and sounding like he was thinking out loud. So I eventually asked him if he was talking about us getting married and with a surprised look on his face he said, “Well, yeah, I thought that was the way we were going. Don’t you want to get married?” Of course, I wanted to get married so we went on planning how we could make it happen. See, boring!
This man of mine didn’t put me into a house with all the finest features and a huge debt, he put me into a house with four rooms and a path. No, I didn’t misspell bath. In rural Arkansas in 1965 there were still houses that had a path, and ours was one of them, but it was a house we could afford and the roof was tight, it had a bedroom for us and one for my two boys plus a kitchen big enough for all of us to gather in and a living room just the right size. Boring, right?
Oh, and did I fail to mention that when my husband-to-be was making plans for us those plans included him adopting my two boys? I had been married before and that marriage was a disaster but it left me with two adorable boys that this boring man thought he would like to have for his own, along with several more kids the two of us were to produce. So when he was making plans for our marriage he planned how to care for two boys. How boring can it be to plan for the care of two small children instead of talking about flowers, music, the kinds of cake to have at the wedding and all the rest of the hullabaloo that goes into wedding preparations? Ho-hum, just a boring man.
Down to earth, future planning, loving someone enough to want to share everything with her including her kids is the kind of man I married. The kind who thinks it is more important to provide safety and stability to a wife and kids than it is to drive the latest car, attend the car races, see the biggest concerts or have other entertainment that didn’t include kids. No, this boring man took the kids and wife fishing because the kids and wife liked to fish, the man didn’t. He swore when he was through with the Army he wasn’t sleeping on the ground ever again yet he took the kids camping and slept on the ground because the boys liked the adventure of camping out. How could I have fallen for such a boring man?
When anniversaries came along he didn’t sweep me away to some extravagant locale with cameras rolling to capture the perfect moment for display on You Tube, but he did sit up with me when the kids were ill, when I was ill, or when I wanted to watch more than one movie and stayed up later than was good for me. He was right there with me.
The cameras didn’t roll when he put in the bathroom for me the next year after we married, but the camera in my mind captured the picture of him under the house running pipes for the plumbing and snuggled against each side of him was a small boy “helping” with the plumbing. No, it wasn’t captured for the world to see but I’ve never forgotten the patience he had with two small helpers who constantly got in the way. What was I thinking when I chose to marry such a boring man?
After only five months of marriage, I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24 and the resulting surgery was going to prevent us ever having those other children we talked about before marriage. Did he get mad and leave me because I couldn’t live up to the plans for more children? Why no, he didn’t, he just mentioned there might be other kids who needed us and we would just have to be ready for them. That was almost prophetic as we wound up helping raise four more kids who needed homes and my husband said, “Bring ‘em on!” Such a ho-hum man.
Seed companies, chemical companies and others who do business with farmers often have a barbeque supper or a fish fry and invite the farmers so they can thank the farmer for using their product, or perhaps to ask the farmer to use the product. When Bob was invited he wouldn’t go because he didn’t want to eat fish or barbeque if the boys and I couldn’t have some too. He wasn’t comfortable having what he perceived as a treat and his wife and sons not get a treat. It took a couple of years for me to convince him that we didn’t feel slighted and we would have our own treat at home while he was having his. Isn’t that a boring attitude for a man to have?
It was fifty years ago today I met this boring man after having travelled a broken road that, as I believe, was leading me right to him. But it took me four months to get him welded to me “until death do us part.” Being married to a boring man has many compensations, not the least of which is getting to tease him about his boring-ness!
May 10, 2015

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