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    Why My Husband Doesn’t Call Me “Honey”

    October 12, 2013


    Image credit: flickriver.com

    We were sitting around a bonfire with our church people last night, and terms of endearment came up as a topic of conversation. Suddenly I realized something for the first time in twenty years:

    My husband doesn’t call me “Honey.”

    “What does he call you?” someone asked.

    All went quiet to await the answer. What does the pastor call his wife?

    I could hardly believe the words that came out.

    “Woman.” “Big Mama.”

    Marshmallows burned and went aflame as the revelation settled like falling ashes. I shuffled coals with my shoes.

    Somehow the conversation moved back to s’mores and then we went home. Me and the old man.

    I smiled later, thinking how it must have sounded.

    Hey woman, bring me a beer.

    You made dinner yet, Big Mama?

    As I type these words, Honey delivers a plate of scrambled eggs and home fries to the end table next to where I’m sitting.

    “Here you go, Big Mama.”

    He squirts on the ketchup, and I reflect on a recent day when my daughter asked me about the piece of paper taped to Dave’s underwear drawer, typed up by an immature newlywed long ago:

    “Even if a woman knows in her head that her husband finds her beautiful, she still needs to hear it.”

    I chuckle at what I needed then. I wonder if I needed him to call me “Honey”, too. If I wanted him to cup my face in his hands like they do in the movies and tell me I’m beautiful. 

    I wanted him to be everything. Why settle for Mr. Right  when I could have Mr. Perfect?

    The leaves are falling and Mr. Wonderful is going to cut wood for the winter today. I watch him go, dressed in flannel, jeans and boots. Still-black hair at fifty. He’ll come home sore tonight, from all the lifting.

    I try to imagine him saying it. “Honey,  can you help me stack this wood?”

    I can’t hear him saying any part of that.

    But just knowing him, who he is…. Makes this Big Mama want to go help him tonight, and then anoint his calloused hands with salve. Hands that have changed soupy, up-the-back diapers at three am. Hands that push a vacuum and wither in dishwater. Hands that massage tired feet.

    Hands that have loved me more than words ever could.



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