Lynn Beisner’s husband fearlessly carries her purse, helps her daughter shop for prom dresses and enjoys being the passenger in his wife’s car.
So yesterday we were in the pharmacy and my hands were full and my husband is carrying my bag. We got a bit separated, so it looked like Pete was just a guy with a purse. A red-neck made a snide comment, so Pete held it with model pose and began skipping…literally skipping. It was the least “manly” thing I have ever seen, and yet showed such security in who he is. Then as the guy made disgusted noises, Pete just stood there and laughed so hard he could barely stay upright. I am so in love with this man.
Here are five other things that don’t fit the traditional model of masculinity, but that I love about my husband:
1) He shops for special occasion clothing for both my daughter and for me. We HATE to shop. I kid you not when I say that I would rather do calculus homework than shop with my daughter for a prom dress. The one time we picked out a dress together, we just picked the first thing in the first store that looked vaguely serviceable, and bought it without trying it on. Pete puts up with our whining, instinctively knows will look good on us, and wheedles us into trying on a handful of options.
The stereotype of a man sitting patiently by a dressing room is reversed in our family. I usually just go and sit by the changing room and answer email while he brings me things to try on. He is honest about how a dress or suit looks on my pear-shaped body. But somehow he makes unflattering looks the designer’s fault, and flattering looks about me.
2) He lets me drive. Most guys I know need to be behind the wheel. But whenever possible, he lets me drive. This isn’t because he is a bad driver. It is because I am a lousy passenger. I was in a very serious accident years ago, and have a few P.T.S.D. responses. They are subtle things, like screaming “We are all going to die!” But rather than trying to get me to change, he just takes the passenger seat. Believe me, when we lived in the rural South, this spoke volumes about our relationship and earned him a reputation for being “whipped”. I cared more than he did.
3.) He has the least manly laugh, but is utterly un-self-conscious about it. When something really tickles his funny bone, his entire face screws up and he loses himself in belly-jiggling giggles. No, they are not manly guffaws. They are remarkably high-pitched for a guy. But they are filled with so much joy and true good humor that I find them utterly endearing. They make me want to work incredibly hard at amusing him just so that I can hear and watch him laugh. I swear it is almost as satisfying as watching his O-face.
4.) He can be very patient and infinitely tender. I have no idea how he does it, but he can make cuddly, purring fluff-balls from scraggly ferrel kittens that are too old to be domesticated. His gentle touch and patient spirit is why my kids went to him with a splinter or a huge knot in their hair. He is the only person that I will let change my dressings after a surgery. He goes slowly, softly and yet persistently, communicating his intent before touching.
5.) He finds ways to make me feel nurtured during times when I need it. Two examples: One year when I was incredibly busy, I would go all day without eating. So, he started packing me a yummy and nutritious bag of bite-sized food so that I could grab a few bites when I had the chance. Second example: when I was working on an urban campus, I became overstimulated very easily. He bought me noise-canceling earbuds and loaded an iPod with my favorite happy songs. It was like walking through the noisiest, most visually stimulating environment protected by a bubble of his love.
Get to know Lynn’s husband, Pete Beisner, better: read his fantastic post 23 Tips For Supporting a Partner With Chronic Pain