I am giver. A nurturer. I take care of the people in my life. How did those qualities manifest themselves when Buckeyes Boy went back to work in October 2009? I turned into a housewife from the 1950s.
When Buckeyes Boy arrived home from work, I would offer to hang up his jacket and ask him what he wanted to drink. As I poured his beer or wine, I would place cupcakes or cookies on a plate for him to eat. (If I had an apron and blonde hair, you might wonder if I was June Cleaver!)
One of my friends visited us for a weekend and observed how Buckeyes Boy and I interact. He commented to his boyfriend that he was a bit taken aback by our relationship. According to his boyfriend, he was surprised that “a strong woman like [City Girl] would act so subservient.”
(“Subservient” definitely has negative connotations. It makes me happy to make the people I love happy so I don’t see being a caregiver as an obligation, but rather a privilege. Yes, I have very nontraditional views about sex, but when it comes to relationships, I’m actually very traditional. I try to date guys who appreciate both sides of my personality and who respect that I choose to care for them. I like to be a wanna-be porn star in the bedroom, but I’m comfortable being subservient or deferential in other personal settings. Putting myself in your shoes as a reader, though, I understand if I’m catching you off guard.)
So, Buckeyes Boy worked 12-hour days and was lucky if he got one day off a week. He might not eat anything until dinnertime at which point he rushed to grab something quick before whatever event was being held that night at the Convention Center. When he came home at 10pm, he was exhausted, yet needed time to unwind. By the time he fell asleep, it was 2 or 3am and then he had to wake up at 8am.
The combination of lack of sleep, poor diet and long hours caused Buckeyes Boy to be sick — a lot. More often than not, he would arrive home with a headache, sore throat or an upset stomach. Or, we would be watching TV and he would fall asleep sitting up while listening to a Pod Cast. I did what I could to help him feel better by getting him tea with honey…or Motrin…or Imodium…or a pillow. I empathize when someone I care about is sick, and my nurturing side kicks into overdrive when my man is the patient.
Buckeyes Boy would thank me after I helped him out in any regard, but the following conversation warmed my heart:
“I’ve never met anyone like you,” Buckeyes Boy said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“A lot of people say they love you or they care about you, but you don’t just say it. You show it. All the time,” he explained.
“Of course I do. I don’t want you to forget that for a minute, and it makes me happy to make you happy,” I told him.
“Thank you for taking such good care of me,” he said as he moved in for a kiss.
I kissed him back and smiled to myself. June Cleaver would be proud!