Once when my husband and I were newly engaged, we had plans for a big date on a friday night. But when he came to get me, I could tell by the look on his face he was too tired to go anywhere. So being dressed up with nowhere to go, I decided to amuse myself the best way I knew how. I asked him a provoking question inspired, as we women sometimes are, by a foolish magazine article I had read earlier in the day.
"Which feature of mine do you like the best?" I asked him, eager to hear the reply.
I give him points now for not groaning aloud.
"I don't know. What do you mean?" he responded wearily.
"Well, do you like my hair? My mouth? What?"
"I don't know," he repeated.
At this point, I became exasperated. "How about my eyes," I said, pointing him in the right direction. "My eyes are nice, right?"
His answer could only have come from a very, very weary man.
"You wear pretty eye make-up sometimes," he said.
"You have got to be kidding me!" I fumed. "You like my eye make-up?!"
"I like all of you," he answered hotly. "It's not any one thing. It's the whole package."
I was mad at him for the rest of the night. Matthew, however, never crawls for forgiveness over a simple honest statement. He just let me get over it.
And I did. Because he was right, of course. Some women have a special feature that really stands out-like beautiful vibrant green eyes or a plump mouth or a sweet dimple. I don't. The most I can say for my eyes is that they are intelligent eyes. My mouth is not like "the red, red rose", and I have a lopsided smile. And though few people will admit it to my face, I have a prominent nose, and it's crooked to boot. If you take each feature separately, they're nothing special, but together, in some mysterious way, they make up an attractive woman - the one my husband fell in love with.
I'm not overly sensitive about my imperfections, though I did tell everyone when I was a teenager that I would marry a man with big feet and rough hands. That was simply because I had already at that time destroyed my hands by working and cleaning with them, and my feet were a size 81/2 which I considered to be on the big side for a female foot. Unfortunately, I've come a long way since, my friends. After being pregnant with four children, my feet have stretched themselves to a size 10. That might be bigger than my husband's, but I don't know; he won't let me do a comparison.
He has no problem having a little fun at my expense, though. Like the time he pretended to get a running start just to get my foot into a sneaker - at the shoe store! Or the time when I was shopping for new socks after my third child, and I couldn't find socks for my shoe size. Until I did. That's when I discovered I was now wearing the extended sizes. That evening I laughingly asked my husband what I would have to do if my feet continued to grow - buy the extended, extended sizes?
"No," he said. "We'll just cut the toes off." Then he laughed himself silly.
"I am not a wicked stepsister!" I shouted after one of his little jokes.
"No, you're my big-footed Cinderella," he responded gallantly.
I can just picture how that fairytale might have played out if I had been in Cinderella's shoes. The King would have adjured the Duke to find "the big-footed gal who wears these size 10s!" And my stepsisters would have been petite little things with size 6 1/2 feet. When the Duke showed up they'd be trying to stuff the toe of my slipper with tissue when he wasn't looking just so they could claim my Prince. But no dice. I'd have my other glass slipper stashed in a duffle bag over my shoulder. Besides, my Prince Matthew would know his big-footed Cinderella anywhere.
Oh, and he doesn't have rough hands either. They're smooth as a baby's bottom. But don't get me wrong; there are times when I love those smooth hands. I don't, however, think he equally enjoys me rubbing my guitar callouses down his spine.