We have much in common—the same sort of outlook on the world, our parallel lives, although she is sadly, much younger than me, and her three bambinos are boys while my little quesadillas are girls. (I’m super fluent in many languages, man.)
We have a few other commonalties, one of them being our undying love for Fabio Viviani, from Top Chef. She tweeted me from a field trip the day he followed her on Twitter and we both squealed through our Twitter DM’s like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.
Fabio does not, for the record, follow me no matter how hard I try to lure him in.
It pretty much goes without saying that I adore this blonde soul sister of mine and so when she asked me to guest blog on her inaugural post series, I was as thrilled as if Fabio had sent me a DM on Twitter, proclaiming his undying love for me.
Thank you Shell, for having me. I’ll try not to be a boor.
I have been married a long time. A very long time. As in, I got married when Madonna was asking her Papa not to preach, The Karate Kid was only on Part II, a little something called Email was invented, along with another inconsequential invention called a laptop computer and most of all, my boobs were still so vivacious, they didn’t hang low and wobble to and
fro . . . yet.
And it hasn’t been just a marriage. It’s been a good marriage, actually, a great marriage. I’ll be honest, not every year was bliss. Everyone has their rough patches. When you’re first starting out and you don’t have the symmetry of a life together quite worked out yet, it can oftentimes be a tough battle. Especially when the children are small and their need is endless and he goes off to golf and you’re wondering when your break is coming as you scrub encrusted rice cereal off the floor and wipe away angry tears. Yes, we’ve had those days. Many of them.
But I think I can safely say most of our hard days are behind us. We now see the wisdom in keeping each other enveloped in happiness. We understand how pointless it is to waste time, wallowing in anger or bitterness.
Our three girls are halfway to grown, from teenagers up to college age and they are all quite busy with the headiness of youth and carving out their own lives. We now have come almost full circle, back to each other. I call these days of he and I together, our salad days—the easiest and happiest of times.
Not too long ago, someone asked me my secret to a happy marriage. I had to stop and really mull that one over, because a good marriage of longevity becomes like mastering a second language. You don’t even have to think about the words any longer to get it right. That’s right, senorita, I can order my queso without batting an eye.
But after much contemplation, it suddenly came to me. It’s all about one little detail in the man you pick.
A man who will buy your personal hygiene products without even flinching is the best kind of man—a good husband kind of man.
And my husband has always been the tampon buyer in our House of Estrogen.
I’d like to share with you all a few snippets of my husband’s foray into feminine hygiene purchasing, to show you exactly what I mean:
After we had our first baby, I sent him to the store to buy pads.
Now, he knew my tampon preference, but he had on idea about pads.
He told me he wasn’t sure which pad to buy, (this was before the days of cell phones) and so he had asked a salesgirl. As she was giving her two cents about the best pads, (she liked the extra long ones), another salesgirl came up and persuaded him wings were the way to go and as the two of them debated pad preferences, another woman entered the pad fray and told him the minipad was her sanitary napkin of choice.
He came home with a shopping bag filled with three boxes of pads in an effort to avoid a maxi pad smackdown, while trying to do his best for a post pregnancy wife.
Another time, we were on vacation in a small town nestled in the mountains of Tennessee, when I suddenly was in dire need of tampons.
My hubs popped into the local grocery store and grabbed my brand of tampons. When he got to the register, the cashier asked him, “Is that it?”
And being the funny guy he is, “Yep and I’m not even buying anything else as a cover for my tampon purchase.”
The cashier gave him a nod of approval and said, “That is just a downright righteous thing you done there. I need to applaud you for that.”
And applaud she did, stopped in her cashier ringing tracks and began clapping.
The cashier, next to her, asked, “Why you clappin’?”
And the cashier giving my husband a standing ovation said, “This here fella is buying his wife’s tampons and he ain’t even buying anything else to cover it up with.”
The other cashier said, “Well now, if that ain’t somethin’.” And she began to applaud my tampon-buying husband, too.
To this day, my husband is quite proud of that story.
But then there came the day when I had my uterus taken out—a slap-clapping, jig- dancing-in-the-street, moment in my life.
If he thought his tampon buying days were over, he was about to be sadly mistaken.
Three hormonal nightmares. Three girls on the same cycle.
It is why we drink wine.
Those girls count on their dad, just as I did, for all their tampon buying needs.
He called from Costco the other day, because that’s how we buy them now, by the pallet. I grabbed the phone the same time my middle girl did. Here’s the conversation:
Husband: (thinking he was addressing me) Hey, I don’t understand. Why do I have to buy the pink box for one girl and the blue box for another? Can’t they just use the same kind?
Middle Daughter: No, Daaaad. I need the pink box because my flow is heavy. We don’t all have the same kind of flow, you know.
Husband: Uh, I could have gone my whole lifetime without knowing that.
So there you have it.
A man who will buy your tampons is not afraid of what life with a woman entails. A man who will not hesitate to stand in in the feminine hygiene aisle contemplating pads, understands that happiness is borne out of the smallest, but most meaningful things.
The other day I moaned and groaned because I’d forgotten my flavored coffee creamer at the grocery store and I would have to use, heaven forbid, plain old sugar for my coffee in the morning.
The next morning was a Saturday and my girls all had friends who’d spent the night. My husband got up early to do his Saturday morning man things. I’m not sure what those man things actually are, but I know it always entails a trip to Home Depot. I think a trip to the Depot for him is like me in a shoe store, a fantastico experience. (I amaze myself with my fierce bilingual skills.)
He came home from his man jaunt with my flavored coffee creamer and two dozen doughnuts for the girls.
Before we’d even woken up.
I will advise my girls to always look for a man who will gladly buy their tampons.
Those men are the keepers.
Because tampon buying leads to hot doughnuts on a Saturday morning and the offer to get up with the baby in the dead of the night and flowers for no reason and a man who does the cooking without a complaint because he knows you hate to cook and the shoulder massage that doesn’t turn into a frontal massage within seconds.
Wait a minute, who am I kidding? My husband has never been able to last more than 5.8 seconds before the ole’ reach around. I know, because I’ve timed it.
But you get the point.
The secret for a good, strong marriage is in all the little things and a man who understands the wisdom behind the little things The little things add up to an “And they lived happily ever after” kind of life.
And it all begins with tampon buying.
If you missed the announcement about the switch from BFF to Things They Can’t Say, you can find that HERE. Also, if you have been a BFF but would prefer the new “featured” button, just shoot me an email