Thursday, March 13, 2008

Evolution of an (ideal) man

This post is not actually about my real husband. Well, I guess it sort of is, but it's mostly about my perception of who my ideal man would be, or should be.

My ideal husband has evolved considerably. When I was five, my ideal man simply had to hate onions and mushrooms.

When I was ten, he still needed to hate onions and mushrooms. But it would be nice if he was cute. And even nicer if he were Michael Perham. (Who, incidentally, I haven't seen since I was eight, for those who were wondering.)

At fifteen, I became more practical. He didn't need to absolutely HATE mushrooms and onions. It would be more practical if he tolerated them, but didn't insist on eating them at home. He needed to relish adventure. Ideally, he would love rock climbing.

At twenty, he needed to be a Christian. And he needed to be nobody I had ever met, because I was such a hopelessly awkward adolescent I never wanted my husband to have to endure remembering what I USED to be like. He also needed to be a missionary type. Except I was pretty sure he didn't exist, since a) I couldn't imagine anyone quality could ever possibly want to marry me, and b) I wanted to live my life on the edge, maybe minister to the homeless in New York City or the people living in longhouses in Borneo. I figured I might not live long, and I didn't want to burden a husband and children with my death. Besides, it was lots of fun to just put a pack on my back and go wherever I wanted. Why waste time hoping to get married?

At twenty-five, I realized onions weren't the worst thing in the world. I actually used them when I was cooking for a slew of Net 99 Bible workers in Manhattan. (Though, the first time I cut raw onions, I couldn't sleep that night because I could still smell them on my hands, no matter how much I scoured them. I finally had to stuff my hands under my pillow to be able to endure being in the same room with them.) But I still was pretty sure I hadn't met the man of my dreams, and that he didn't exist. I couldn't even imagine getting married, so surely it was impossible, right? Anyway, if he did exist, he needed to be as passionate about running a revolutionary school as I was, and I had a hard time imagining he was out there. And I was beginning to realize that if we wanted to run a school, he had better have some good communication and conflict management skills. (Not to mention, they might be useful for living with me...)

At twenty-six, I met Alan. And since he didn't strike me as my type, I kind of ignored him, but figured he was a nice guy to hang out with. He was obviously harmless, since he didn't flirt with me and apparently was smart enough to figure out it was hopeless to pursue anything with me, since he lived in Africa and I lived in America.

At twenty-seven, lo and behold, love found me. Before I knew it I was caught up in a whirl of wedding plans. Then the next thing I knew, I had moved to Africa. And I discovered that my new husband:

a) Could endure onions and mushrooms, but didn't demand them or even request them.

b) Was adventurous (he had eaten flying ants--ew!) and able to do without (having grown up in Africa).

c) Is not just cute--he's the most attractive man in the whole world!

d) Has no memories of me before age twenty-five. Whew!

e) Is a genuine, wonderful Christian, and so well-rounded a communicator and conflict manager he amazes everyone (including me).

f) Has a passion to run a school, and enjoys visioning with me about what that will mean. Yay!
Now if I could just get him out there rock climbing with me... Nobody warned me that getting married might cause kids, which could considerably hinder me having hobbies or getting anything else in life accomplished! (But oh, what fun they are....)