By Louis De Lauro
21 years ago, the teachers at school held a wedding shower for me and somebody baked a delicious chocolate cake.
A plastic ball and chain was attached to my ankle and I got 30 index cards with suggestions or maybe they were specific directions on how to be the perfect husband.
Make her breakfast.
Bake her cookies.
Get her a puppy.
Bring her flowers.
Give her awesome neck massages.
Learn to play guitar and serenade her with love songs.
Remember she is always in charge.
I can’t remember the other 22, but these eight stuck with me. Do you why they stuck with me? I’m 0 for 8! I’m terrible.
She makes breakfast.
She makes cookies.
We don’t have a puppy, but we do have a funny cat.
I don’t bring her flowers. She made it clear to me, NO flowers.
Neck massages, she’s not interested.
I’m a juggler, not a musician. I throw and catch stuff. This is not cool.
Sometimes she’s in charge, but much of the time she insists that I make the big decisions.
So clearly I am a typical man. I can’t follow directions. And I’m not the perfect husband.
My wife had a very serious surgery last year and I held her hand in post-op. I had tears in my eyes. She woke up. She looked at me funny and then wiped crumbs off of my face. And she whispered, “I love you. Thank you.”
The teachers gave me some funny suggestions on how to be the perfect husband and put a ball and chain on my ankle. Funny stuff.
How is this a teacher story? Well, I’m going to teach you something. Being a perfect husband is an impossible task. I walked into post-op to comfort my wife with crumbs on my face. You can’t be a perfect husband. But here’s what you can do. When things get very difficult—and things will get difficult—hold her hand.
And don’t let go.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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