Friday, February 19, 2010
Introducing Guest Blogger, my Husband, Mark Gardner!
So I’m Mark – Jennifer’s husband. Today we’ll start an experiment – Jen has asked that I occasionally be her ‘guest blogger’ and provide a man’s point of view to counter her playful, blunt, and decidedly feminine banter.
I pride myself on being rather educated – as denoted by the fact I just used “rather” in a sentence – so why is it that when I interact with Jennifer I find myself blathering like a schoolboy? (note: see the education denoted by the fact I used “blathering”?? I can do this all day baby!)
It’s funny – I am a salesman by trade. Going way back to my grade school days (Jen will hate this, but for most of her blog readers, I come from a time before microwaves, cell phones, the internet, and (GASP!!!) – episodes of “Full House”) my kindergarten teacher told my parents that I would make a living “using my mouth” – which thank the Good Lord meant sales or something sales related versus being a lip model. In high school, I was state runner-up in debate (finished 2nd to the satanic beast-master little 4 foot 2 inch homely looking girl from Marble Falls, Texas, who wiped me out – I’m convinced she had femur removal surgery to get the “gee you’re short sympathy vote"). In college, I had aspirations of being a lawyer until advisors quit laughing and told me that perhaps four years was enough for me as it pertains to higher education. My first job out of college was 100% commission selling door-to-door War Bonds (sorry – joke for those “pre Full House” readers of this blog…) – no actually not War Bonds but I did sell door-to-door. I made $18,000 a year. Today, I’m Vice President of Sales of the largest publically traded Chinese company (I love saying that because no one knows what that means!!) and God has given me a very successful run in telecommunications sales for the past 17 years (yes, that’s also dating me. I rode a donkey named “Skipbo” to work in the early years. Met Moses once – he was nice, but always complaining about his lunch being ‘boring’ and ‘redundant’ and ‘for the love of God can somebody get me something other than ‘angel food cake’ and please tell all those people wandering around in the desert to quit their griping??’).
So what Mark - what’s your point? Here’s my point. When Jen and I have ‘discussions’ (translation – I did something that even a monkey on a rock would know was wrong and we are having a fight) and I’ve organized my thoughts into an outline equipped with Roman numerals, put my thoughts into PowerPoint and a Microsoft Office Project Gantt chart (figure THAT one out pre “Full House” crew!!) – I mean I am ready for the big push, the big sell, the ‘even-that-same-monkey-on-a-rock’-can-see-my-logic (Jen uses too many commas – I’ll claim hyphens as my own because (a.) who doesn’t like to say “HYPHEN”?? and (b.) hyphens let you do that whole “run-your-words-together-for-effect” thingy) – I’m about to lay on her the most sensible, logical, amazing, “Mark-you-are-so-wise-you-great-sensei-with-your-hyphens” stuff and: WHAM!! She tear’s up. Or she pouts. Or, she shares she’s hurt (by me) in some way. Sometimes, to me at least, it seems like she’s hurting for the dumbest, most illogical, most over-the-top reason one can imagine. I mean, isn’t this the woman who went to TX state UIL drama (whilst I was in debate)?
And then it hits me. My job, as her husband, lover, best friend, and provider is to come to her rescue. To acknowledge her feelings, no matter how crazy they may seem to be. My job, to quote our pastor, is to use my strength to hold her up just as a male cheerleader holds up his partner. Strong, supportive, and taking care to never drop her. To be honest, I don’t always immediately apply that approach – sometimes I stubbornly stick to my “logical” explanation, and try to out-argue Jen with my amazingly prepared, smooth talking, ‘ask-that-monkey-on-a-rock-over-there’ point – but ultimately I’m convicted by her heart, her love for me (and dangit she’s so beautiful it kills me!!) and my love for her that I have to throw everything out the window – logic, amazing arguments, PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Projects, Gantt charts, monkey’s-on-a-rock, career, college, and grade-school experiences – all of it out the window because of this: she is my wife, and I will rush to protect her, and I will uphold her because of my love for her and her love for me. So, that means, I’m operating in uncharted waters. I often feel at a loss when I let go of my rather logical (and, as evident by the use of the word “rather”, apparently ‘educated’) approach and just love, and forgive, and apologize, and acknowledge.
And then it hits me again – this is how God loves us. We come to Him with logic, and reasons, and well thought-out points, and our accomplishments as to why He should love us and accept us and give us our hopes and dreams – and He just smiles and says, “Oh child, I love you with a love that defies logic. I have loved you for all eternity past and will love you for eternity future. Nothing you will ever do, have done, or could do, will ever affect my love for you. My love for you is supportive, strong, and I will never drop you. Let go of logic, put away your PowerPoint. Let go of your Gantt chart. Forget about your accomplishments and know that I will rush to your rescue always because my love for you is not based upon you but upon Me.”
I am so thankful for a God that loves without logic. I pray that I can continue to love Jen in this way and let go of all that I lean upon to make sense of a relationship. God is the original author of this approach – I mean He even made the monkey-on-the-rock. He made the rock too. So, I’ll let go of these things to the best of my ability and love Jen and uphold her when for the love of me I have no earthly idea why she’s upset and ‘blathering on’ about how someone stole her “Full House” VCR tapes. I let go of what I know.
Except ‘HYPHENS” – I won’t let go of them because hey?!? – who doesn’t like the word “hyphen” and the whole ‘you-can-run-on-a-sentence-in-a-rather-educated-manner-but-it-doesn’t-matter-because-of-these-dashes’ thingy? Gotta go – Jen wants some new furniture and I’ve got to get my PowerPoint presentation ready to combat her….
(Editor’s note: I don’t want to give the impression that Jennifer is some raving, emotional, lunatic that I have to ‘endure’ or ‘put-up with’ or ‘outsmart’ – on the contrary: at the end of the day, the monkey-on-the-rock (let it go Mark…) and I end-up agreeing: she’s usually right. Which means I was wr…wro….wrrrngg….what’s the word again? Oh yeah --- wrong. She’s right and she’s gorgeous – man I’m dead meat!!)