When I was eighteen years old, I read Good Advice for Would-Be Lovers, Others in my hometown newspaper and immediately cut out the advice I liked best:
Look for a man who cries during happy movies, writes his own name on cards you send, has you model all the new clothes you buy, slow dances, will bring you a coke at 2 a.m., holds hands, likes to kiss, catches your eye at a party and winks, will help you dye your hair, whose favorite saying is, “It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Fourteen years later, I still think it’s pretty good. The person this advice describes is open and invested, willing to make sacrifices for the one he loves. (Needless to say, those are great qualities for a man or a woman.)
However, I spent most of my college years falling for Quiet Boys Who Play the Guitar (also Quiet Boys Who Like Jane Austen, Quiet Boys Who Have Beautiful Eyes, and Quiet Boys Who Pick Up Your Scarf When You Drop It, to name a few).
And there’s nothing wrong with any of those boys, exactly, except that instead of being quiet because they are soulful and sensitive and deep, they are often just . . . quiet. They are not boys who are easy to talk to and be around. They are not boys who write their own names on cards. They are not the boys for me.
The boy for me, it turns out, played the tuba in high school. And maybe he is a relatively Quiet Boy, but he’s one who is open and invested and willing to make sacrifices for people he loves.
It’s true. It turns out that Mike does just about everything on the list I cut out of the newspaper when I was eighteen.
I mean, I have never asked him to help dye my hair (Pro Tip: because I have never dyed it), but the things he did for me during and after childbirth . . . let’s just say, hair dyeing and coke getting do not come remotely close.
And then we became parents, and he rocks that, too.
So, inspired by a recent Epic Preschool Puke Clean Up in which Mike’s heroic efforts made me fall even more in love with him, I give you . . . Good Advice for Would-Be Parents, Others:
Look for a person who laughs during crazy tantrums, changes dirty diapers without being asked, has you show him all the great garage sale items you buy, reads bedtime stories, will clean up the puke at 2 a.m., holds diaper bags, likes to snuggle, tosses your child up in the air and catches her over and over, will put together all the new toys, whose favorite saying is, “Listen to your mother.”
What advice would you give would-be lovers / parents / friends?