A Guy And A Man, All In One

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - July 18, 2007
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I’m watching a bowling tournament. I don’t want to, but here I am. I can’t believe I’m watching a bowling tourna ... wait. Now I’m watching some show featuring explosions, and cars with names, and monster trucks with flames painted on the side. Yes, you guessed it. My husband has the remote control. Until I wrest it away I will be watching the Speed Channel, or vehicles being blown to smithereens, or kung fu or samurai stuff. As long as it has plenty of action and practically no character development, he’s there.

I’m exaggerating, of course. But just a little.

My husband is an intelligent, professional man who does not pick his teeth in public. He stands upright and has a big brain. So why does he pull a transformer trick when he gets in front of the TV and turn into ... well ... a guy?

You know what I’m talking about, ladies. Guys are those slouchy little demons lurking inside every man. Here’s how you can tell the difference: Men wear shirts and pants, guys wear puka tank tops and rubbah slippahs. Men drink wine with dinner. Guys guzzle beer with everything. Men read books; guys look at the pictures in Road and Track magazine. A man will go with you to see Waitress. A guy will drag you to Transformers.

I’m not picking a favorite and I’m certainly not complaining. Every man has guy potential, and vice versa, and that’s OK with me. I am, after all, sitting here cross-legged on the couch, dressed in tank top and sweat pants, hair pulled up in a ponytail. Not a glamorous sight. I may not be a fan of the Speed Channel but I’m a sucker for HGTV.

I was reading an old diary the other day and was absolutely struck by my descriptions of our then-budding relationship. Everything I liked about the man who would later become my husband is still true today - his decency, his steady demeanor, his sense of humor and honesty. If anything, I respect those qualities as much or even more than I did back then. On the flip side, everything I once found irritating about him is still bugging the heck out of me today. But I’m pretty sure he feels the same about me - my tendency toward bossiness hasn’t diminished over time. We’re just lucky we’ve found ways to accept the bad and embrace the good.

The truth is people really don’t change. They evolve over the years but the core of our personalities remains the same. Every marriage or long-term partnership requires a certain amount of accommodation. And once you give up the idea of achieving the fairy tale happily ever after, you’re more likely to find lasting love in the real, not-so-perfect world.

I pondered that the other night, when the man I married 20 years ago took me to La Mer for dinner. We sat facing the ocean and savored a dinner that took three hours to complete. We had Champagne and wine and talked a lot about us. That was exactly right, because after 20 years together people sometimes forget why they fell for each other in the first place. It was a sparkling, perfect, romantic evening.

The next night I walked downstairs and my guy was sitting there, beer in hand, watching the Speed Channel. And that was OK, too.

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