Monday, November 12, 2012

The crumbs at my table

I love being married to Mark. Two things I love: Whenever I make dinner, Mark is always so excited about the food. "Tacos! I love tacos!" Now, this doesn't just happen on taco days; it happens often. And he says it that way only Mark can. Yeah, you know the way I'm talkin about--like he actually believes you have literally just invented the taco. Plus,  he will give me this reaction even when I shamelessly ask for the ego boost: "Hey Ma-ark, look what I made..." And Mark dishes out the praise. How fun is it to cook for someone who is always pumped about eating your food? I'll tell you: So fun.

Second thing: Mark used to (and maybe still does) wonder why I am so particular about telling him if there's something on his shirt or in his teeth, etc. He would generally respond with, "Who cares what people think? Don't worry about it." I explained to him that the reason I do it is for good karma--I am providing a service I hope people (namely him) will do for me so I don't end up looking like a mess. (You know how we serve people the way we think they should want to be served? That's what I was doing when I think about it, and it was really all about me. I know, self-centered.) Anyway, this one time we had some friends over all evening for dinner--a couple we are really close to who we met through the business school--and after they left I passed by the little mirror hanging by our entry way and was like, "oh my gosh! Look at my face!"  Because I had been cooking that afternoon and the day had been kind of warm, I had not realized that my mascara had run, making dark circles under my eyes. I gaped at my reflection while hurriedly wiping away the black smudges and saying with exasperation, "Mark! How come you didn't tell me I looked like a zombie all night?! I am so embarrassed...!" At first I was astonished by Mark's response: "What do you mean? I can't see anything... Under your eyes? Hmmm, I didn't notice. I thought you looked great." Not noticed?! how could he not have noticed?! I looked like the night of the living dead. But looking at Mark's face, I realized that he wasn't just saying that. He was being genuine, honest Mark. As I sighed at my reflection in the mirror once more and wondered how Mark could have overlooked my appearance, it dawned on me. While I am continually conscious of every crumb that lands on his chin or every fuzz ball on his shirt, he sees me as "looking great" even with runny mascara and flat hair. After all my efforts to "teach" Mark how to discreetly tell me if I had something in my teeth or stuck to my face, it was not that Mark didn't care about me that he didn't say anything--it was that he just doesn't focus on the crumbs. Mark simply does not weigh his affection for people on those things. What first was an annoyance--couldn't he help a girl out when she needed someone to tell her when her makeup had run?--suddenly became one of the most endearing moments of my marriage.  I am so grateful that I have a man who can see past the small stuff. Bigger things matter to this guy. And I love him for it.

By the way, we live in Michigan now.


Rachel B said...

I would be excited by your food too!!!! And you DO always look great no matter what--that is just a fact.

Steel said...

I think this trait of Mark's is closely connected with his ratio of cowlicks to total head surface. Also, we're bummed to miss you guys for Thanksgiving. Hope you have a great time!