65. My Love Is Like a Red, Red Marker

65. My Love Is Like a Red, Red Marker

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

My Love Is Like a Red, Red Marker

I am, admittedly, a hopeless romantic. Not surprisingly, then, when my husband and I celebrated our anniversary recently, I bought him one dozen red permanent markers. These are, after all, the traditional gift for the man who spends many of his waking hours drawing shapes on the toes of his white tube socks.

Why does he do this? Because, he explains, for every white tube sock there is only one perfect partner. To preserve these sacred unions, my spouse assigns each pair its own symbol — a triangle, a square, a stick-figure wife throwing up her arms in despair.

For a man who on more than one occasion has mended his clothing with a staple gun, such conscientious sock matching seems strange. Just the same, I admit I find my husband’s little eccentricities endearing and often make note of them in a growing file labeled “Mounting Evidence.”

One recent entry reads: “Today husband is very happy. Seems the supermarket is having a buy-one/get-one-free rump-roast extravaganza. Spouse believes a freezer should always contain enough meat to host an intimate barbecue for all branches of the U.S. military.”

I could understand hoarding power tools. Or fishing equipment. But discounted cuts of meat? My husband wasn’t deprived of food as a child. He doesn’t overbuy generally. And, to my knowledge, frozen hunks of beef do not increase in value over time.

His other fixations are no more easily understood. Take this recent notation:

“Today husband is mad at me. In what can only be described as a wild crime spree, I removed sixty-six cents from his change dish, in order to purchase two postage stamps.”

To my husband, loose change is not actual, usable money, but some sort of endangered species he is determined to preserve. Every night he lovingly removes all coins from his pockets, and then gently places them in the dish. When the dish is full, he separates the change and stores it in large containers at an undisclosed location in our garage. As I understand it, the plan is to buy even larger containers at some point.

The Mounting Evidence file continues to grow with each tender entry. But yesterday, it closed with this startling observation: “Today husband claimed I’m sexy. Hmmm. Make sure to carefully match his socks, overstock the freezer and self-fund all future stamp purchases.”


~Carrie St. Michel
Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul

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