Nobody is good at everything.
This is self evident to the degree that it ought not have to be stated.
No one is perfect.
Perhaps it’s human nature. We like our friends, family members and coworkers undiluted. The way some people like their caramel-salted Canadian whiskey.
It’s just less messy to admire a person for everything, than to look too close and have to pick and choose – see the 50 shades of grey.
Take Mr. DeMeer.
He has innumerable excellent qualities.
He is a devoted father and has proven that, in part, by sharing in the raising of 37 children. Uh…four. It’s only four, but it does feel like more than that at times.
He can fix almost anything, which is not to say that he does. But he can.
He has the variety of patience normally reserved for that extreme sect of vegans which refuses to eat anything that does not fall naturally from the vine. Imagine them squatting there in the garden, just waiting for the tomato or grape to lose the battle with gravity and drop into the salad bowl.
Patience like this, it’s a prerequisite for being my beloved for more than 32 years.
Probably the most remarkable trait he has, Mr. DeMeer, is his ability to adapt. This would make him a survivor in the eyes of Charles Darwin.
Over the decades he has come to accept that in many cases – even sometimes when the car breaks down – his help is not welcome. He will listen, he will ask the occasional question – and then support my plan of action.
This becomes particularly difficult for him when he truly wants to get in between me and trouble – when he wants to be protective. Not the easiest thing for a husband, to stand behind his wife and hold her beer. But he does it becomes he loves me.
With all that said he watches too many car shows and he sucks at presents.
He is an apprehensive, uncertain and nervous shopper who makes the most unaccountable choices, much of the time.
Sure there have been brilliant one-offs over the decades, especially in the early days, before the 37 kids when he could afford jewellery.
One memorable birthday, when I was grossly pregnant with someone, he gave me a whole box of lobster tails and a pound of butter. That was inspired.
As in many families, as the kids got more and more expensive, the two of us tended to exchange gifts with less frequency and interest.
That might have been partially my fault.
Overheard at various family holidays and get-togethers:
When have you ever seen me wear yellow?
Did you buy this at 7-11?
Who put you up to this? Was it your sister?
Please tell me you kept the receipt.
Grandma used to say, my tact is all point.
Last Christmas though, he knocked it out of the park and came up with a brilliant gift idea. It was a total surprise…the kind of present you instantly love even though you never knew you wanted it.
He bought the entire DVD collection of the Brady Bunch. If you don’t know what that might mean to a woman of 50 you never had pigtails during the 1970s.
He made this purchase knowing full well he would be expected to watch all five season with me.
I am in high hopes for Valentine’s Day…thinking The Partridge Family, Laverne and Shirley, or perhaps a whole library of Bay City Rollers CDs.