You Don’t Have to Shave Yo’ Legs

You don’t need no fancy tricks
Painted eyes or glossy lips

I love you just the way you are
Hope you don’t mind my beat up car

You don’t need to change your dress
You don’t need to change your shoes

Don’t try to hide your natural looks
Forget about the cover let me read the book

Don’t get me wrong I like them heels
But the way I feel is the way I feel…

Just be yourself and I will too
That’s all we really have to do…

Go ahead be wild and free
you don’t have to shave yo’ legs for me

Mike and I laughed out loud when Keb Mo sang this recently at the Franklin Theater. Partly because this was a discussion we had early on in our marriage. At the risk of being too personal… When you are a mother of small children it is challenging enough to get a shower every now and then, much less shave your legs. But, it’s hard for me to feel attractive, in that romantic, married sort of way, if I have not. Mike assured me, without reservation, that this was no impediment to him.  🙂

Unfortunately, not all our issues have been that easy to resolve. One of the most difficult things for both of us, during the dark season, when our marriage hung by a thread, was to give one another permission to be who we are. Without demand. Without expectation. It’s as though our accrued disappointments in one another…the ways that the other did not measure up…created a cloud so impenetrable that we could no longer see what was truly wonderful in the other. It has taken time, and deliberate choices, to push through that cloud and find one another again.

Mike will never be the voracious reader I am. It’s just not his thing. However, he has provided well for our family and given me endless hours at home to read with my children.

Beauty does not pierce him quite as deeply as it does me. Still, I can’t tell you how many museums he has traipsed through with me. It’s always kind of fun to see which works will arrest his attention. And every now and then, I see that a fiery sky, a stand of wildflowers, or the smile of a certain granddaughter has nearly undone him.

The lack of fire that I used to interpret as disinterestedness, lack of passion, has come to be an oasis of peace to me. Whereas I am often…TOO often…ruled by my passions, Mike is solid, grounded, SAFE.

Though his work with investment strategies and financial planning lies far outside my realm of understanding (or interest), I know that he is very good at what he does and that colleagues hold him in high esteem. And I definitely understand, and admire, his desire to help people handle their money well so that they can fuel their dreams.

Mike and I love to run together. To travel together. To laugh together. To worship together. To eat wonderful food together. To love on our grandbaby together. He forgives easily and often. And boy, do I need that!

Is Mike all I ever dreamed of in a leading man? No. Do I fulfill all his hopes and desires as a wife? Most assuredly not. We are learning to meet one another closer to the middle in some of those places. But, each of us is also learning to celebrate all that is already good in the other, even the parts we don’t understand.

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way

~I Corinthians 13:4,5