First things first, I need to clear something up.
I wrote this post and was pretty pleased with it – then I looked back at the title and thought, hang on, that could sound like I’ve got another, alternative husband stashed away in a cupboard – for when I get bored of my current one.
I’m happy to reassure you that this is not the case – as this post will hopefully demonstrate. We’ve been talking about The Groom a lot this month and we’ve talked about what makes a ‘traditional’ groom and what makes a slightly more ‘alternative’ (read: into eco/ethical stuff, non-mainstream, nontraditional) one. It’s the latter definition I’m applying to my other half (otherwise I guess he’d be my other third?). So. That’s alright then.
As I was saying, this month has been mostly about The Groom so I thought I should pay some attention to my groom – especially since it was 8 years ago today that he became my husband.
‘When we were very young’ or ‘Before children’ – you don’t want to see us now, the lines!
On the surface he probably appeared a fairly traditional groom – certainly the hired suit was nothing unusual. But while he was no Groomzilla (thankfully) he did get involved in the wedding planning: coming along to all venue visits, liaising with suppliers, making invites, orders of service, place settings, seating plan and favours (with help from our willing groomsmen and bridesmaids), running around Bournemouth with me at the last minute trying to track down matching ties for the males of the wedding party, and even – and this is the biggie – making the wedding cake. Or rather cakes – he made a fruit cake and a white chocolate mud cake. The mud cake caused me some concern as in the practice run it came out uncooked in the middle but on the day it was fantastic.
He also sorted out the honeymoon in every loving detail (it was a surprise so I knew nothing about it until we were at the airport and I was handed a ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica) and supported me through The Dress Disaster (which one day I will summon up the strength to write about on this blog but today is not that day). All in all, a good bloke, I’m sure you’d agree.
But more important was what happened afterwards, the being my husband bit. You see, we’d been a bit old-fashioned and hadn’t actually lived together (sleepovers and travelling don’t count) until we tied the knot so it was a delight to discover…
1. he cooks – much better than the dishes he prepared for me as a student suggested (super noodles, gravy and pie was a favourite back then). What’s more, he cooks most of the time – more than me. He gets home from work and he cooks dinner.
2. he bakes – not so often these days, we have 2 children under the age of 4, but I and many of our friends have enjoyed his Bakewell tarts, lemon tarts and chocolate torte. He has also made bread on a couple of occasions and only today said he would like to do it again – yes please!
3. he does housework – an equal share. Ok, maybe more than his share (I do do most of the washing though, just for the record).
4. he’s a great dad – but not just the fun bits. He gets up when they wake up in the night. Post nighttime breastfeeding, I rarely do. He gets up when they wake early in the morning while I get an extra 30 minutes (maybe a bit more…).
5. he’s not into sport – at least not in a way that interferes with normal life. He might listen to the cricket on the radio and he follows American football but as it’s usually on in the middle of the night it’s not too much of a problem.
6. he understands my need to Make The Most Of The Day and is sympathetic when we don’t achieve this aim rather than telling me to snap out of it. He also comes up with good ideas on how to save The Day when I think all has been lost.
7. he doesn’t engage in stupid arguments – he just waits till I emerge from my grumpy mood so we can have a nice time again.
All these things should not make him ‘alternative’ but from what I hear anecdotally – from friends and colleagues, and in various reports and surveys in the news, they do. One woman with a similarly hands-on husband wrote to The Guardian’s Family section agony aunt, so worried was she about his penchant for helping out.
So, on this day, our anniversary, I would just like to say thank you to my husband for ignoring what the media and society say he should be, for being ‘alternative’, for being himself, for doing his share in making our marriage work. I want to say thank you, and I love you.
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