Know any “boring” men? I have had the blessing of being married to one for 25 years and share this essay in his honor.
In Praise of Boring Men
At a neighborhood picnic recently I heard this joke:
“What does an Ambien do when he can’t get to sleep?
He takes a Romney.”
Apparently, this is one of the chief criticisms of Governor Romney– that he is boring. Based on nothing more than this, I say, let’s elect him president.
If he is boring, then I must like boring men. My father is boring. My brother is boring. My husband is boring. All in the same wonderful way that Mitt Romney is boring. They are all predictable, dependable, stable, and trustworthy. Lord willing, I am raising 4 boring sons…although the jury is still out on one of them, but I have high hopes for him as well.
Husband, father and brother all worked hard –or at least hard enough -through high school, went through college studying things the free-market deemed as valuable, got good jobs, got married (once) and raised happy, secure children. They spent their free time coaching little league, driving ski boats, taking care of older relatives, and serving the churches, schools, and communities where their families were nurtured.
As a child of a boring dad I never had the excitement of wondering what his next girlfriend would be like, if he would be able to find another job before we lost the house, or what kind of mood he would be in late at night. He was always available, always patient, and always kind. Really boring don’t you think?
I apparently did not inherit the boring gene from my dad. On the contrary even as a child I was unusually interesting. My dance recitals were not to be missed affairs. And the school programs I had parts in- well I was so good that Dad would rush away from his office, even during tax season-to see my performances. And my contributions to conversation around the diner table were always greeted with interest and taken seriously. No, I was not boring… like my dad.
As the wife of a boring husband I never have the thrill of considering where is he, who he is with, or if he will lose interest in the humdrum life of our home and family. He is either with us or working … working hard. And I knew what I was getting into, for he was boring even in college, spending long hours studying and working with student groups.
I guess it is true that opposites attract, for according to him I am not the least bit boring. He flies all over the country running his company yet is eager to hear about developments with my fascinating football team mom job. He has encouraged me to write more. And he looks at me with that same intense look he has given me for 30 years and it, like always, causes my stomach to do that same little flutter. You would think he might come up with something new. But then again, why?
Through the blessing of the boring men in my life– father, brother, and husband- -I find that my childhood and marriage have been drama-free. My worries have been few and my peace and contentment immense.
Through the blessing of a boring father, my sons can go about the business of their own lives without their parents’ lives complicating matters for them. Exciting men suck the oxygen out of a room. Boring men, like trees in a deep, cool forest, enrich and refresh the air around them. They encourage growth in others. It’s not all about them.
And now, I must go pack, for my boring husband is taking me to Italy Saturday to celebrate 25 years of marriage. The trip was not his idea nor did he plan it. But that’s okay. I have lots of fun ideas and like making travel plans. And he will make sure we don’t have the excitement of forgotten tickets, lost passports, or missed trains. And, engineer that he is, he will likely engage me in what is to him a fascinating conversation about the efficiency-or lack thereof- of airport security lines. But that’s ok, so long as he gives me that look, every now and then.
He may be boring, but I like boring men.