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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Romance Spectrum or An Ode to Valiant Husband

I once went to a work Christmas Party with Valiant Husband, where I met one of his co-workers and his wife.  She stood by grinning as her husband told us all about the Advent Calendar he'd made just for her.  He'd constructed it out of wood so it could be used again, and in it he'd built 25 drawers containing 25 days of presents.  Real presents, not Hershey Kisses and lollipops like we do for kids, but things like books, theater tickets and diamond earrings.  Yeah, my jaw dropped.

Then again, Valiant Husband's best friend once gave his wife spatulas for her birthday.  Kitchen spatulas.  Nothing else. Yep.

Those are two ends of the Romance Spectrum, aren't they?

Valiant Husband falls somewhere in the middle.  He's not a huge flowers and hearts guy.  In fact, one Valentine's Day, frustrated by several unremarked years in a row, I sent myself roses.  The card read:
To:  Valiant Husband, to give to Deb
From:  Deb

He has had his great moments.  I still have the tiny Teddy Bear he gave me as we left for the hospital to welcome Eldest into the world.  Someday I'll tell you guys the story of the electronic poem and the emerald ring hidden in the Christmas tree.

But more than these occasional flashes of brilliance, I treasure the everyday care that he gives me and our boys.  Valiant Husband can fix anything.  He's our tech support.  He was the Dad who never hesitated to change a diaper and I never had to worry about leaving him alone with the kids.  He shares his (many) hobbies and gives enthusiastic support to ours.  He is utterly calm and patient when giving driving lessons.  He'll pick up dinner any time I have just one more scene to get to.  Yesterday morning I told him, "Today's the day.  I finish the book today or you have to shoot me."  He laughed and went to work, but later he texted me to say he was coming home early to take Youngest to practice so that I could work.

I'm old enough now to know that this what real romance looks like.  I love Valiant Husband and I'd rather have his unfailing support every day than a fabulous gift once a year.

I'm also old enough to know that I'll take both if I can get them.  :-)

What about you?  Where does your significant other fall on the Romance Spectrum?  Where do you fall?

23 comments:

  1. Your husband sounds like a catch! I've always said, I'll take help with the kids and housework over roses anytime.

    I have a friend who casually mentioned that (she has four kids) her husband had never changed a diaper.

    ?!?!

    And from that point on, I always remind myself that no matter how irritating he can be, my husband is perfect for me.

    The day he demonstrated that he could literally change a diaper one-handed was a very romantic day, indeed!

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  2. Good morning, Lorenda! Oh, my--one handed! Dexterous and a true romantic--you've definitely got a keeper!

    but your friend? She needs to get on that guy! Four kids and NO diapers?

    I'm wondering where you fall on the spectrum? I'm definitely more of a romantic than VH. I like giving little gifts, making a favorite meal or dessert, that sort of a thing. I think we balance each other out.

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  3. Great post, Deb!
    Big Daddy Bear (uh, that would be my hubs. He doesn't particularly like that I call him that. Which is probably why I do. Naturally.) also falls in the middle. When we were dating he would leave me cards or little gifts with sweet messages. Now his notes are more like, "Don't forget to wash my socks!" ;]
    He's my perfect opposite match and I wouldn't give him up for anything. Plus, he doesn't mind my mouth. That's how I know God intended us to be together. LOL.

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    1. LOL, Andris. I can't wait to meet BDB!

      I'll bet he loves your mouth. :-)

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  4. We're in the middle as well. Like you, I never worried a moment about leaving the kids with him when they were babies. I don't think he ever changed a diaper one-handed, but he did his fair share. He is the Fun to my stick-in-the-mud. We balance. He fixes everything around here, except roofing and HVAC. Yeah, he's great. I wouldn't change that for all the baubles in the Advent Calendar you mentioned.

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    1. I think the middle is a fabulous place to be--and I think the balance is key, isn't it?

      Oh, and yes--the joys of having a handy husband...innumerable!

      We also laugh together a lot. Which makes the kids roll their eyes. But that just makes it even more fun. :-)

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    2. LOL. My hubby works hard so we can hire a handyman. Otherwise, we may be looking at a trip to the ER. ;)

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    3. I'll bet he has lots of other strengths, Samantha, or he would never have won someone as lovely as you!

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  5. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. It'd be great if someone wanted to send me flowers, etc...but I'd be just as happy if that someone would do the dishes. :) LOL.

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    1. Both are equally lovely, aren't they! :-)

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  6. What a sweet post. I'm a total romantic. In fact, I just got back from searching for exotic chocolate for my husband. He loves dark chocolate and he loves extremely spicy stuff, so I hunted down a dark chocolate bar with chili peppers. You gotta love Whole Foods! My husband can be incredibly romantic at times, but he also completely forgot my birthday one year. He claimed he knew the day he just didn't know that day was the 19th! I'm like you, though. I'm old enough to know there is a lot more to romance than romantic gestures. My husband takes care of me if I'm sick, works his fanny off to provide an excellent life for me and the boys, (I help!), and he never hesitates to share his knowledge and love of history, culture and music with the kids. He has answered many a historical questions I've had when researching books, and he always is ready to tell me if he thinks my plot works or not. He's even beta read for me! Several times! If that's not love, I'm not sure what it!

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  7. Aw, what a sweet gift! That's just exactly the sort of gift I love..tailored to him because you know him so well. I'll bet your hubby will love it.

    And beta reading! That is lovely! You dh sounds wonderful, Julie...

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  8. Oh Deb! I love this ode to Valiant Husband!!! And I need to know now all about emerald ring story. :)

    So for me, Love is Hot Builder reading my novels, not because he likes to read romance or read at all really (he's usually too busy doing something), but because I wrote them. :)

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    1. Ask me sometime when I've had a drink and I'll share the emerald ring story! :-)

      Hot Builder has his own reputation as a world class husband!

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  9. Valiant Husband sounds AMAZING! I know, I'm thinking the same thing Marquita...I want to know the emerald ring story as well! My Dear Husband falls on the amazing super hero husband spectrum. He is a world class father and for me there is nothing more beautiful than that. He is supportive. He lets me write whenever I want. He cooks for me. cleans. He is a man of few words. Which is good because I've got plenty of words for the both of us! ; )

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    1. Cooks and cleans--Superhero indeed! And there's another story for balance--

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  10. Oddly enough, I think my hubby is more romantic than I am. I know that's probably a weird thing for a romance author to say. :)

    He does thoughtful things that show I'm on his mind, like inviting me to lunch or forwarding a funny email. He'll stop to pick up my favorite wine without me asking, or he'll see something in the gift shop at work and get it for me. And sometimes it's just practical things that really help me out, like taking our daughter to the YMCA so I can have quiet time to write.

    He's definitely a keeper and I knew it from our first date. He was different from other guys I had dated. Although I had set the bar low with the losers I had been dating, he cleared it ten times over. LOL

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  11. Oh, he is high up there on the Romance Scale! Congrats on having the amazing good sense to keep him!

    :-)

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  12. I feel I must make an addendum to my previous post...my DH just put all my work clothes in the dryer. #husbandherofail

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  13. Hi Deb!

    On our first anniversary my husband decided to get me a gift he thoght was perfect! A new vacuum cleaner to make things "easier" for me! Obviously he fell a little short on the on the Romance Spectrum!

    Unfortunately to him he had to "beat" his awefullness in the 42 years since then and every year he tries to "top" his worse of the worst! This year to celebrate our 43rd he decided a new broom was in order which actually was better than the 42nd - a new hammer and nails so I could hang new pictures I had of our grandchildren myself!

    So in the Romance Spectrum he may get a ZERO but in ingenuity he rates a TEN!

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  14. And he definitely wins on the humor scale, Jeanne! Gotta love that!

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