When Michael came in from work the other day, he first picked up one of his adoring fan girls and then walked over to me for my Hello, Honey peck on the lips. And then he did this thing where he kind of involuntarily reached out and touched my hair in the sweetest way. In a way that made me feel very nice indeed about how I looked.
A couple of minutes later, I reminded Michael in passing that I had to leave for a meeting after we got the kids in bed. (He hadn’t remembered.)
Me: “Didn’t you remember I had that tonight? That’s why I’m all dolled up.”
Michael: “Oh…OK.” (Obviously trying not to look disappointed. Or something.)
Me: “Well, so you thought I got dressed up like this just for you?”
Michael: “Well…yeah.” (Walks back into living room where the kids are.)
Enter me, suddenly all big fat boohoo sobs and warm tears rolling down my cheeks. (He didn’t see or hear this, though.) My sister Rivers was in front of the sink doing dishes (that angel). She strode over from across the kitchen.
Rivers: “What’s wrong?!”
Me: “I’m just being silly.” Boohooohooo. “I’m just emotional.” Boohoohoo.
Rivers: “Erin. Seriously, why are you crying!?”
Me: “Because…because…I look and feel so awful every day when he gets home lately and I never realized that he would like it so much if I was happy and looked pretty and did my hair for him when he gets home and I just can’t because I haven’t felt good for like three weeks now and he would never ever say anything about how messy and tired I look every evening with my gross old t-shirts and gym shorts and tennis shoes and hair in a bun on my head and…boohoohoo.
Rivers: “Erin.” (plus a thousand words)
Me: “I knooooooow!!!!”
I have been sick for a few weeks with terrible allergies and a sinus infection and at least two different colds. (Plus, ahem, it may or may not have been a more emotionally fragile time of the month for me.) My uniform this week has consisted mostly of stained old t-shirts and loose yoga pants, with a messy bun on my head and no makeup. I’ve just looked pretty much exactly like I’ve felt.
Michael has definitely been my hero these past few weeks. Pretty much all of the time he is at home he has stepped up helping with our extra-whiny kids and extra undone chores. I don’t blame him one bit for having a wee little bit of hero burnout. It must be exhausting to come home every day and have to be a hero taking care of a poor sick wife and teary children. I don’t blame him one bit for thinking that his wife looked like she was feeling better and had put herself together a little bit for him.
Yes, I know it’s silly and unrealistic to try to be perfectly put together when Michael gets home from work every day. But there’s a nugget of truth here. I don’t think it’s silly to sometimes make an intentional effort to look less tired and haggard than I feel. (I should clarify that “sometimes” refers only my normal end-of-day tired and haggard, not my sick-for-three-weeks tired and haggard.)
Here’s to hoping that the Lord has mercy on me and gets me over all this sickness business soon. And when I’m feeling better, here’s to a date with my straightener, my makeup bag, a pot of Mike’s favorite red beans and rice, and something-other-than-stretchy-black-pants.
In marriage, there’s everything sweet and nothing wrong with a little intentional loving.
|Chalk drawing by me and Gianna. Photo by me.:)|