I heard it said that girls secretly want to marry their Daddy -- if he was a real Daddy and not some "low life." Boys, on the other hand, can't imagine being married to their mom...not in a million years!
Boys may love their mom and think she is the very best mom a guy could have, but the girl of his dreams is lots of things and "mom" isn't one of them. A guy fantasizes about being married to Rachel...she has a face like Rachel McAdams, a figure like Rachel Weisz, and cooks like Rachel Ray.
So, a boy finds that perfect girl and marries her. He doesn't even think too much after that about the whole "mom" thing until he discovers his bride isn't his mom in some special way that's important to him. And it's usually extreme. For instance, he didn't expect his young wife to cook like his mother, but she has trouble boiling water and can't even make toast in the toaster!
Then, he has some adjustments to make.
My adjustments weren't primarily with food. What Cathy didn't know how to cook, she learned. We have laughed about the number of times that she decided to try a new recipe out when we were entertaining guests. Usually it worked out. Usually.
My adjustments came in another form. I told you recently about my mom's mercy. Well, let's just say that I didn't marry my mom.
My first clue was very early in our marriage. As a kid, I often suffered with headaches. I have now been told they are a form of migraine. They were more frequent and debilitating than they are now...and...I happened to marry a girl who had endured one headache in her life until then (I have given her many more, but that's another story.).
Cathy just didn't understand my pain. I had grown up with this merciful mom who suffers frequently with migraines. Mom listened and consoled me. Mom doted over me, often letting me stay home from school because I was sick (I could have gone many of those times!). Mom checked on me and made me feel special. Cathy?
My second clue took place one day when I was working a crossword puzzle. The clue was "merciless." I knew the five-letter word began with "c" and ended with "y", but I couldn't figure it out. I finally consulted a dictionary...this was long before the internet. I looked up "merciless" and, there, next to the definition, was my wife's picture!
At least, that's how I remember it.
Cathy has a simple way of dealing with it when I am sick. She sends me to the bedroom, closes the door and says, "Don't come out until you're better!"
My health has vastly improved.
To the reader: I started joking about this in sermons many years ago. Cathy would come home from church and tell me about all the people who offered her sympathy. However, as the church grew and many people were attending who don't really know us well on a personal level, she asked me to explain that we have a great marriage. I tease her in public and she dishes it out often when we're among close friends and family.
Now you know.