Last week was Valentine’s Day and this year I gave Jeff an easy out for the occasion. I told him specifically what I wanted. I made myself clear and I reminded him twice. And then I waited with anticipation. I wanted a Top Ten List of things he likes best about me. You see, Jeff tends to be the type of person that points out things he doesn’t like. If he says nothing, then in his mind the assumption is that everything is good. This system works great for Jeff and he has always been this way so it is very much engrained in him to go about life this way. So despite my gentle coaching on the issue, Jeff continues pointing out the bad and remaining silent about the good. And I am fairly certain that he still feels it is working out fine for us. But this very negative way of providing feedback is less acceptable from my perspective. To be completely honest, it down right stinks. As a wife, it is tough to be married to someone like this. It seems I constantly hear about everything I have done wrong and I rarely get any thanks or praise for the things I have done right. Back when the NOTV 2011 started and I was enthralled with my cleaning program, Jeff pointed out that I had missed the soap dish when I cleaned the bathroom. He did add the house looks nice as an after thought when he could tell I was irritated by the soap dish comment, but these are the kinds of things that are just so frustrating to me.
So a few weeks ago when I was thumbing through the Grand Haven Tribune the Top Ten List idea was inspired. I saw one of their male columnists who had done a Top Ten List for his wife as his monthly column. I told Jeff that I loved the idea and that A Top Ten List was what I wanted for Valentine’s Day as well. As a bonus, the list was a completely free gift, so I really thought I would get some version of the same. I knew it may not be as great as the one in the newspaper, I mean that guys was a professional writer, so I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so refined. But I at least thought some thoughtful kind words would be thrown together on a piece of scrap paper for me to cherish. The list would serve to remind me that I am a good wife after all even though I am forgetful and I occasionally bump the van into the garage.
On Valentine’s Day I waited patiently for this gift until it became apparent that it was not going to happen and then I did what any woman in the same situation would do, I got mad. And then a short time later, I started crying. All the while Jeff remained, as any good man would be in the same situation, and that is to say completely clueless. Anyhow, we handled the situation alright and for the most part I am over it, but this is to serve as my TOP TEN LIST. Written by yours truly, which admittedly might seem a little bit arrogant coming from anyone else, but come on it’s just me, Vern; one of the most unpretentious and humble people in the world. Enjoy!
10. I am compassionate. I can easily put myself in the other person’s shoes. Whenever possible, if those particular shoes are not working so well for the individual, I try to help out in any way possible.
- I don’t judge others. For the most part, I do not judge others. I won’t say never, but hardly ever.
- I am open-minded and willing to try new things. This is how I end up swimming in the
English Channelin December.
- I am dedicated. I persevere. I endure. I think this is why I am good at running long distances and at having babies without drugs to aid me. I can just endure anything as long as I know that there is an eventual end to it.
- I am flexible in both meanings of the word. I can touch my toes and I can roll with the changes of life without so much as pulling a muscle or missing a beat.
- I am in great shape. I take pride in my healthy choices in life and I make them a priority on a daily basis and even better yet I can be ready to go anywhere in five minutes. Seriously it only took five minutes for me to prepare for our weddin!
- I am a great mother. While I am not perfect, then again who is, I make time with my kids a priority and I try to plan fun, educational opportunities for us every day!
- I am intelligent. While I am no Einstein, I can hold my own in the realm of intellect and since there is a hole drilled into the middle of my brain this doesn’t come without saying so I felt it necessary to add this one!
- I have a decent sense of humor. While I could not handle the pressures of being on stage for a stand-up comedy routine, and I am no Adam Sandler, I am able to share my humor through the written medium which I do see as a gift and occasionally I am quick enough to pull off a joke or two in person. And sometimes they are even funny.
- I can laugh at myself, make fun of myself and pick on myself like none other and luckily for Jeff I can handle it pretty well when others pick on me as well.
Since I am not one to hold grudges and I am a helpless romantic, I also made a list for Jeff. Here are the things that are the very best about him!
Jeff’s Top Ten List
10. Jeff is probably the very best dad in the world. He is at least in the top two! He is so great with our kids and he is a great provider to our family.
- Jeff is smart about a lot of things especially sports statistics which I find very cool.
- Jeff is confident. He makes up his mind about things and then he sticks to his guns.
- Jeff can be very funny although he doesn’t show it unless he knows you well and then he just picks on you. But still he can be comical.
- Jeff will always help a friend in need. When I was dating him, he helped me clean up a big mess (think cat hoarder house) that was left by some college kids who had rented the upstairs of my house. They trashed it big time before they moved out. He even brought his carpet cleaner and cleaned all the carpets. And he was not even getting any at the time!
- Jeff is trustworthy. He keeps his word and tells the truth (possibly to a fault).
- Jeff is a good looking young fellow. Seriously, he is cute!
- Jeff is financially smart and saves money like no one I have ever known! He gives our financial planner a run for his money.
- Jeff is practical. He always analyzes everything thoroughly before he makes a choice or decision and he always picks the practical choice.
- Jeff is probably the very best dad in the world. Our kids adore him as a result and I find this side of him totally attractive! It is what I love the most about him!
So now another Valentine season has passed. While I won’t hold my breath waiting, maybe next year I will get a list created by Jeff. I would encourage all of you to do the same little exercise with your significant other. It really makes you focus on all the good things instead of getting stuck on the bad.