Know more, Mr. Nice Guys

First, let me say, that my husband is a brilliant, brilliant man.

I recently received my first, and to this date only, odd reader response.

I don’t mean to imply that the reader was odd, exactly. Rather, the response was.

The writer, a woman, had come to the (mistaken) conclusion that my husband is a dolt. Reassuringly, she shared that her husband was a Grade A loser as well.

Mind you, I greatly appreciated her support in my time of need – as misguided as it might have been. Nonetheless, it gave me pause for thought.

Did I say that? If I gave the impression that my spouse was less than a blessing, I wasn’t aware of it. He never mentioned it, and as someone who lives in a state of heightened anxiety that I might actually mention him in any way in print, I would think he would have.

More telling, my own mother, who never misses a chance to assure me that my husband may, in fact, be too good for ME, also failed to alert me.

Nice guys. I’m well aware that I married above myself. I managed, through some grace of God, to marry a handsome, smart, and most importantly, truly NICE guy.

He’s one who, as a friend says, should teach “boy school” so other untrained husbands could learn how to act. But now I’m just bragging.

My husband will squirm in embarrassment and, quite possibly, enter some sort of identity protection program over this column. People he works with read this. He would die if they knew he was NICE. So I can’t write THAT.

Few left. The collective wisdom is that there are no nice guys left. Nice guys are an endangered species – like rare species of fruit bats and good customer service – rumored to exist, but rarely seen in nature.

Watch the news, listen to people talk, follow the “trends” – you’d come to the conclusion the only men out there are “deadbeat dads,” federal level politicians, or, at the very least, general slackers who can’t cap toothpaste or find their own socks.

Dog house. Implying that men are no smarter than dogs is big business. (Please, no hate mail from dog lovers, I know, I know, dogs are really SMART).

Most sitcoms and commercials use this premise and have for decades: Men are idiots and women must shoulder the burden to a raucous laugh track at the poor, dumb man’s expense.

Training treats. An Internet company helpfully offers a product called “training treats for husbands.” They package little candies in a box made to resemble dog treats.

The packaging instructs wives to “train” their husbands with one treat for putting down the toilet seat, two treats for hanging up his coat, etc.

Imagine the same “cute” product packaged as training treats for wives? I’ll pause while you consider the outcry.

As a living cliché of female helplessness, I know that my husband has unshakable job security in my life because a) I would truly die without him; and b) I will never, ever, check the oil in my car – ever. Or take out the trash, touch a dead mouse, or repair a toilet if I can help it.

Thus, he’s free to poke fun at me to all his friends for remaining an automotive idiot, and I, likewise, am going to continue to share the fact that my husband couldn’t find the nose in front of his face without asking me where he’d put it.

It’s funny. But it doesn’t mean he’s stupid – just too preoccupied with making sure I don’t run the car out of oil (which I would surely do) to keep track of his keys.

In fact, while we are on the subject of things he does much better than I do, we can add shooing bats out of the house, rotating tires, or anything involving sticking hands down yick-filled drains.

So I’m a girlie-girl. Sue me. He can’t, poor guy, because spouses forego a certain legal protection such as that.

I know, I checked.

Nonetheless, I’ll bet your own personal nice guy – be it your spouse, father, grandfather, son, nephew or the proverbial boy next door – wouldn’t mind hearing from you (and me) once in awhile about how nice a nice guy is to have around.

Dead mouse or no dead mouse.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is grateful for all the nice guys in her life – and the world at large. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

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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