Thursday, September 23, 2010

You might be surprised, but I married for love

It has finally gotten to me. After hearing the same phrase over, and over, and over, I have a new pet peeve.
I like to pride myself on being a fairly tolerant person. Yes, I have some things that grind my gears a little bit... such as tags sticking up above the collars, hearing someone scrape their teeth against their fork while eating, and dragging the knife across a ceramic plate in a sound akin to nails against a chalkboard. I also occasionally push the cards back into a neat organized pile while playing a game... but I usually only do it once or twice and give up.

But overall, I try not to be annoyed by petty things.

However, I've about had it with the phrase "You picked him!". For anyone wondering if I was in an arranged marriage, what I'm about to say might shock you: I really did choose to marry Jacob.

Yes, I understand he can be a little constant in his jokes or picking up on linguistic nuances. Yes, I realize his sense of humour is a little weird sometimes and I very well know he can play the fool; however, I might add he does this to interact with people.

I can't even count how many times from how many people I've heard that one single phrase: "You picked him!!". I also get "He's yours!"... both said (almost always) with a half-joking/half-condescending tone and a self-satisfied little laugh at the end. Guess what? You're not even a little bit clever, original, or funny.

In fact, the next time someone says that, I might just snap. I might just break down from my normal response, which is usually a "Yes, I know" preempted by a smile, and start LISTING EVERY SINGLE REASON why I married him. Unfortunately, it will likely be with someone who means it in a casual, friendly manner who is trying to engage us in banter.

It's not even the phrase itself. It's the way it's said, what it implies, and the intentions that may or may not be behind it. It says to me I'm "stuck with him", and it's not a good thing. It says I shouldn't be satisfied with his sometimes-childish antics. And it screams disrespect.

For anyone who has ever even considered the idea that my husband, with whom I have been happily married for three years, doesn't deserve respect, please let me enlighten you:
• For our first wedding anniversary, he spent about 150 hours creating paper 101 origami roses, and on each one placed a typed-out reason why he loved me. He then colour-coded those reasons (yellow for character, white for spiritual, red for physical) and arranged for the waiter at our restaurant to bring out one rose to represent one year, and the rest to represent 100 more years of marriage.
• His "honey-do" list (which he created himself) is written on the side of the fridge in dry-erase marker. The first item on the list is "make Alicia feel loved", and he has it permanently checked off. He looks at it every day as a reminder, though I dare say he doesn't need one.
• Shall I list the breakfasts in bed, random flowers, poetry written, and countless shows of love?

Okay, maybe not. You'd probably puke half way through.... lol

Instead, let's list a couple of other things:
• Anything he picks up, he can accomplish. From cake decorating, to cooking amazing dishes out of nothing in the cupboard to building a staircase on the front of our house, tiling the bathroom, replacing flooring, carpeting downstairs to constructing a vanity, specialized fish-tank shelving unit to creative activities such as embroidering a home-made leather baseball for our third anniversary, painting, drawing with precise detail, and writing poetry. I'm not sure I've ever met someone who can touch something and just make it work or create it the way he wants.
• He knows an astonishing amount of random trivia, the etymology of words, and absorbs information from everywhere... though he can never remember where he learned it.
• His work with small children, games with teens at youth group, and gentle dealing with our puppy makes my heart melt. Once we have kids, I can guarantee he'll be an excellent father.
• How different he is compared to who he could be. I can't lie: his childhood wasn't good. He's fortunate and can't remember it (another result of the accident), but it's a blessing. He has been able to recreate himself to the person he wants to be without the hindrance of a painful past.
• He has settled right into my family and has made an effort to get to know them
• He is willing to work a job he can't stand (plus overtime hours) because he's determined to provide for us and our future, but is also making strides towards a career in which he can help others.

If I were to list other things, such as his patience and understanding or other character or physical qualities, I think I'd run out of room.

But if one more person says "You picked him!" I might just fill their head with everything I didn't list here and more.


  1. All that matters is that you're happy. It's upsetting that you should have to justify it to everyone. They're not married to him and shouldn't care.

  2. Usually I don't have to justify it, or if the opportunity arises, I usually don't feel the need. But it feels like unsolicited 'advice', and you're right - they shouldn't care. :)

  3. I picked mine too.

    Nobody else sees the private moments, or the 3001 small things he does for you every day.

    They don't know the inside jokes, or that his antics may be the only thing keeping a smile on your face that day.

    Some unsolicited advice: hold on to him tightly, and don't take it to heart when people are rude or insensitive. They probably don't know they're saying anything wrong.