Same job, different uniform.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Six Paragraphs on Six Men I've Fallen in Love With

I have been heard to complain that there is a lack of positive male influence in my life. To exorcise my own demon I offer my tribute to Six.

Today D brought me a Valentine's Day card. He is one of my favorite men though I argue with him as much as not. I can say without hesitation that no man understands me like he does. All his highs and exasperating lows--they are mine too. He was my First Date. Impossible to replace. And though I moved away in my mid-twenties and this was acceptable, with his departure I feel an emptiness. I am already smarting from the sting the absence of his hugs will create.

Quality has always attracted me and few have more of it than K. I knew him when we were kids, but we drifted apart in junior high and high school. It might be said with some irony that the woman who would steal his heart, would return him to mine. When I flew to Washington, DC in 1996 to spend some time with him, I must have known that this was the beginning of our adulthood. He treated me like an adult, at any rate, though we laughed like teenagers at Rob Becker at National Theater. Only recently have I begun to value the precious quality of a man that can be bothered to care about anything besides his career, his suit or his own opinion. God's heavenly timer is set just right, always binding us to the people we didn't even know we needed.

Sports lover, movie lover, frustratingly particular about minor details, delightfully clueless about mechanics. A writer. Impossible not to adore! I met J through my sister, who must have called me every day for a month to whisper-gasp about this unknown teenager who flirted with as much charming clumsiness as a girl could wish for. His youth was against him, but though you know his age, it's meaningless when you meet him. A depth of character tempered by a grasp of the absurd makes him the kind of friend and brother everyone wishes for. His sparkle is something I can't imagine my life without.

He is why we call them The Greatest Generation. Boompa was a navigator in World War II who channeled that intuition into managing our family, gathering us in every holiday and serving us when we got there. He surprises me with bursts of manly strength and honesty; befuddles me with his quiet ways. Still waters run deep, isn't that what's said? Why are we so rarely permitted to see below the surface?

With a flash of blond and blue, this little man swept me off my feet. May we add the love of Aunt-Nephew to Lewis' Four? Nephew was a set of hollow letters until now. I crave his raspberry kisses and stilted conversation. Who wouldn't follow this earnest soul when, with the word "play" on his lips, his fingers clasp yours and tug softly in the direction of Thomas the Tank Engine. A beautiful, problem-solving mind, even at two-and-a-half, he will outsmart me soon, and I know it. Trilingual. Gorgeous. Loving. Willful. Three feet of Osh Kosh perfection.

A particular man who cannot be packaged into a tidy description. Even his eye color eludes you, perhaps because of his reluctance to make eye contact. They are grey I suppose. A teacher by nature and trade, he is as much at ease lecturing mid-riffed college freshman as he is addressing a roomful of academics. Easy to love not only for his character, warmth and humor but for his flaws, irritating and endearing. A puzzle. A kind of Switzerland when I am goose-stepping my way through our conversations. A friend of iron will with a cinnamon sugar heart.

Dozens of stern and loving, wise and generous, fun-loving and brilliant, funny and good-natured, devoted and concerned, godly and interesting men are missing from this list. Not without a little awkwardness and self-consciousness, for the friendship of men I am grateful.

And to them all, I wish a Happy Valentine's Day.

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Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Lovely :) Here's to men, or at least the really good ones!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blogger Unknown said...

You - almost - inspire me to write about some truly glorious women I have met in the course of my life, but I think I shall refrain. The problem I face is a simple one; any manageable number of women would necessarily require omitting many, many others who deserve similar mention. So rather than going down that road, I will simply thank God for His gift of the fairer sex to all of us knuckledraggers and slopebrows and leave it at that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blogger Christy said...

I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog..... Just randomly browsing and came across yours....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blogger girlfriday said...

Thanks, Christy.

Lovely photographs! I love Black & White, and what's better than babies?

Thursday, February 16, 2006


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