Holidays with Mr. Wonderful

I just read that Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson have split-up. That’s sad. They seemed like a cute couple.

Granted, once your husband gets voted “The Sexiest Man Alive” that’s got to throw off the balance of power in a relationship. I would not want to be married to The Sexiest Man Alive. Who wants to be scrubbing the kitchen floor in old sweatpants and a ratty T-shirt with the sexiest man alive wandering through to grab a snack? Can you imagine the Sexiest Man Alive driving car pool?

Somehow, I can just hear an exasperated “Sexiest” spouse saying “Sure, sure, Sexiest Man Alive but can he take out the garbage? Oh no!” Who was voted “Most Useful Man Alive? I want to meet him.”

Wonderful

As for “Most Useful Man Alive.” I think I married him. I do think Mr. Wonderful is pretty darned cute but I am very grateful that he’s more than just a pretty face. He’s quite handy too. He is a very funny man. Good sense of humor. Very clever.

These wonderful attributes are what has kept him alive all these years when prior to every single major holiday or hosting event at our home he has responded to my pleas to help prepare the house for guests by doing one crucial thing that is sure to impress our guests — cleaning the garage. I know of no earthly reason why having a houseful of visitors should move a man to think that this would be the perfect time to organize his screw collection and polish up all his socket wrenches, but it does.

I’m working myself into a frenzy scrubbing floors and swabbing decks and folding guests towels and swearing that under-penalty-of-death-will-anyone-actually-use-the-pretty-things and he’s out back washing his tractor?

Draft

As I write this, it is two days before Christmas. I have spent the day scrubbing and dusting and polishing everything to a fresh pine-scented shine. Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, has spent the last few hours prying and pounding and splintering wood. He is currently enamored of new windows and insulating the walls. I applaud his temerity but question his timing. This house has been drafty for 106 years, give or take, but tonight we need to remedy fix that?

Primarily by drilling holes in floors and walls and flinging insulation everywhere. These are the moment’s that try a wife’s soul. Still, he knows he’s special and I love him. His very presence warms my heart. Sometimes this happens as I do a slow burn as he drags in eight new windows and stacks them in the foyer — directly across from the Christmas tree. He has also developed the dreadful habit of shouting “honey come here!” and forcing me to stand around whatever drafty window he has declared his personal nemesis.

I was game at first but at this point, feigning interest in random wind patterns is getting old. He also has started standing around with his cheek pressed against the wall checking for “cold spots.”

I’ve tried explaining to him that the only “cold spot” is my dark little Grinch heart if I have to sweep insulation out from under the tree one more time. I’ve never claimed to be smart and if there was any doubt let me assure you: Smart women don’t nickname their husbands “Mr. Wonderful” in print. That, my friends, is a recipe for frustration.

He has been recognized, photographed, and receives a fair amount of fan mail. Let me warn you if you should head down this path, one minute you are tossing out a funny little anecdote, the next you are fending off a man who has begun to believe his own press.

Communication

I believe communication is the key to a happy marriage. This is why I feel the need to communicate with him whenever possible — whether he wants it or not.

“Honey, I love you, but you’re crazy” I said as I followed the trail of insulation bits and splintered wood across my previously pristine floor.

He turned, midstride, and flashed a megawatt smile, green eyes twinkling (he really is cute), “Nah, I’m wonderful. It says so in the paper.”

How did I get so lucky! Clearly, I married the Funniest Man Alive, too.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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