Quality assurance in a husband

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A Romanian tried to lodge a complaint with consumer protection officials after his girlfriend refused to marry him.
The man said he felt cheated when she turned down his marriage proposal without giving any solid reasons. He demanded to be “tested” and wanted a certificate to prove he is qualified to become a good husband.
The consumer office had to inform him it cannot do such a thing.
Ha! As if such a Quality Assurance in Husbandry Guarantee existed and Americans wouldn’t already have a monopoly on it. Not to mention at least one liability policy and a slew of lawsuits related to it! Pikers!
Expert. Now, I myself take great pride in having a quality husband, if I do say so (knock on wood!). That said, I think this makes me an authority on husband-picking. Never mind it was purely fate and dumb luck that I ended up with such a stellar spouse. If I can take credit, even where credit is not due, I’m taking it.
So, what makes a quality husband? We all (at least all women) know a quality boyfriend is not necessarily a quality husband. Too many women, I think, fail to realize the two job descriptions are simply far too different. They may seem similar, but generally one is the appetizer, the other the entree.
Quality. A quality boyfriend, for example, will tell you you’re pretty when you are. A quality husband will tell you you’re pretty with your hair in a ponytail, spit-up on your shoulder and dog hair on your PJs because you’ve been tending sick kids all day and haven’t had time to vacuum – or bathe.
A quality boyfriend will spend $60 on a dozen roses without blinking an eye. A quality husband will spend $60 on paint and related supplies for a faux finish in the dining room that you just “have to have,” then repaint it all in a month without (too much) protest because you absolutely hate it.
A quality boyfriend will drive a fabulous car. A quality husband will drive a decade-old beater so the family can afford a “better” car for the wife and/or kids. It’s safer that way, he says.
A quality boyfriend will open his car door for you. A quality husband will check the oil and the air in all the tires, and make sure everything is in tip-top shape before you head out on a long drive because he loves you and wants you to be safe.
Gifts. And yes, sometimes a quality boyfriend will buy you a beautiful ring and grow up to be a quality husband. And, sometimes a quality husband will buy you a vacuum cleaner for your birthday. I never said the equation was perfect.
As for guarantees, with most things in life, you don’t get one. In a perfect world, a quality boyfriend will tell you – even after years of dating, “You haven’t changed a bit!”
A quality husband, on the other hand, will look at you and all you’ve been through together and despite all evidence you have changed – immensely – will say, with all sincerity, “How I feel about you hasn’t changed one bit!”
That, I think, is a quality response and one you wouldn’t want to return for love or money.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt wouldn’t want her money back on her spouse anyway. She welcomes comment c/o kfs@epohi.com; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)

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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.

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