I had no way of anticipating the extent to which my life would change after I met you. I truly believed I knew everything there was to know about selecting a wardrobe, ordering from a menu and dealing with the common cold. Little did I know that, at least according to you, I was like a lost child raised by wild animals in the wilderness; I needed to be educated and cared for.
When I was sick you made me get into bed. I felt well enough to carry on but you seemed to think you knew more about my condition than did I. You placed your hand on my forehead, took my temperature, gave me medicine and on the stove warmed soup which you brought to me in my favorite bowl. You repeatedly asked how I felt and there were times when your obsessive attention to my health became extreme and you took me to the doctor. You were so annoying.
There were times when you had the audacity to question my sense of fashion, or as you so frequently remarked my lack thereof; how dare you. I tried my best to leave the house wearing my most beloved pants and shirt but you almost always caught me. Why was it so inappropriate to combine my favorite striped shirt and plaid pants? As I looked in the mirror the combinations of colors and intricate patterns seemed to complement one another so very well. What gave you the right to save me from potential unwanted embarrassment? You were so pretentious.
Who in their right mind doesn’t like thick juicy cheeseburgers? Can there be anyone who hasn’t craved salty hot French fries? What about creamy vanilla ice cream with gobs of rich chocolate chips that seem to find their way into each and every bite taken? But, somehow you found that I enjoyed those items too much, and far too often, so you took it upon yourself to control the portions I ate and limit the occasions upon which those delicacies found their way into my stomach. Who made you a dietician?
What about those vegetables and fruits. Sure, I sometimes enjoyed an apple or found that I craved a ripe orange but who eats mangos. I didn’t object to the occasional ear of corn but you purposely placed spinach, cauliflower and broccoli on my plate. You tried to justify your attempts to force feed me by alleging that those awful tasting and despicable looking foods were, in fact, good for me. Who did you think you were fooling?
I couldn’t fully enjoy a leisurely drive in the family car. Everyone knows that seat belts are purely cosmetic and not really needed; that is everyone but you. You made it clear that we could not start a journey, even a short trip to the store, unless my seatbelt was properly fastened around me. I would have been much more comfortable without that restraint but with your insistence I always used that useless safety device.
You were one of the many taken in by reportage, you know, the widely exaggerated stories about the unhealthy relationship between the sun and the bodies’ skin. I must acknowledge that the sunlight occasionally caused my skin to become red and painful but the scarlet color always faded away. You however, insisted that I cover the exposed areas of my body with messy creams called sunscreen. I don’t seem to recall that you ever attended medical school.
As I grew older I asked that you ignore my birthdays but you instead always remembered them with a cake, a present and a kiss. I told you that I preferred not to dance when the band played a slow song but you made me hold you on the dance floor. Although you didn’t care for my favorite restaurant you pretended to enjoy the food.
You left make-up and hair curlers scattered about the bathroom countertop and empty shampoo bottles in the shower. You always remembered our anniversary but were forgiving if I forgot. You said “I’m sorry” far too often albeit the argument itself was most often my fault. How could I have tolerated all of your annoying habits?
If in fact you found my shortcomings so offensive what in heaven’s name fueled the desire to continually refashion me. I guess I have now come to understand what kept that spark alive and as I bask in the afterglow of your life it is that realization that now leaves me breathless; you loved me. Thank you for caring about me.
Amid the plethora of faults you were still just my style and the idea that you were so imperfect; well I wouldn’t have wanted you to be any other way.
You were so remarkably imperfect.