Relationships: You Can Call Him Al

“Oh, you know how men are…” ~ too many people


You know those bonding women conversations–the ones where we try to find common ground by commiserating about the idiosyncrasies of the men in our lives? I can’t relate much. Sometimes, but not so much.

In fact, the other day a 50-something year old woman was leading a group of women in discussion and she made one of those cute comments about her husband. It was something about his not being able to do ‘something else’ without her help, followed by a waive of the hand and an exasperated “Oh, you know how men are!” I found myself–for the umpteenth time in hearing these comments–making a mental note, “Nope, that doesn’t apply to Alan.”

My Al is so not a man cliche.

And today is his 45th birth-day!

A birthday tribute to my husband:

My Earliest Memories of You:

  • I said to Shan, *gasp* “That’s that guy!” I didn’t want to be at that dance; I wasn’t ready for the persuit; Just wanted to be on observation deck. I knew who you were, but I stayed far enough away so you wouldn’t know me.

I had trouble not looking your way though. It may have been the way you danced and stomped and shook those hips which might possibly have Cuban infused blood in them. I have a theory about that: You know that time you fell and cracked your head open and were taken unconscious to the hospital? Just maybe they gave you the wrong blood. I don’t remember a blood transfusion being a part of the story, but you were unconscious so you probably don’t remember. Really, though! You descend from Denmark. Do Danish men dance like that? I don’t think so.

  • Actually, my first solid memory of you was reading your email. I remember being blown away by your honesty.
  • And 3 months later came the, “Where have I seen you before?”
  • Being at Keith & Sherene’s when you called to see if we could meet for our first date. You mentioned writing about me in your journal. What a pick-up line! Oh wait a minute, you really do have too many journals to disprove that. Either way, it worked to catch my attention.

(One month after we met. Valentine’s Dinner at my apartment.)

My Fondest Memories:

While Dating:

  • You fixed me tacos and taught me to ballroom dance in my apartment, watched a movie and then we talked into the wee hours of the night. (Still the most romantic date I’ve ever known.)
  • You made homemade soup when I was sick and watched Gilmore Girls with me after you brought it over.
  • Showing up unexpectedly to help me prepare for a Young Women activity I was in charge of. You sensed the stress in my voice and came (dressed in a tie & all) to help me decorate the church and then stayed to help me clean it up afterward.
  • You took my car to get its oil changed. (A big deal in my book.)
  • You bought me a ring like the one in Family Stone simply because I said I liked hers.
  • My first blessing from you. How sweet the priesthood is!

Married Life:

  • The moment we found out about your deployment date. The definite one.
  • Having 4 Honeymoons: 1) California, 2) Texas/New Mexico, 3) Two-week leave from Iraq, 4) When you returned for good.
  • My 3 day visit to see you in Texas before you left to Iraq. That awful Mexican restaurant we found and then driving up the mountain the next day to find the heavenly Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
  • The excitement of getting your emails or phone calls while you were in Iraq.
  • Your homecoming.
  • Your face hug.
  • Knowing you survived our car crash.
  • Your picking out clothes for me.
  • You in uniform.
  • Wearing this picture of you around my neck for 9 months.

What I Admire Most About You:

  • That you broke the mold (just saying if there was one). You cook, clean, do laundry, write in your journal and read your scriptures nearly ever day, organize, dance, share your feelings, AND be a physical laborer, football fanning, shoot-em up movie going, Mexican food loving, Army fighting man.
  • Faith in God is the driving force of your life.
  • You believe in the goodness of all people, no matter what injustice they may have done.
  • You serve your neighbors, your friends, your family, your wife, your God and your country.
  • Your honesty still blows me away.
  • That you thrive on our discussions about dreams, hopes, love, prayers, faith, trust, scriptures, and believing in ourselves.
  • That you love me, respect me, honor me, and take such good care of me. “Well, you’re my wife,” you say. Ahh, you know how men are!


Long long ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a great expanse of time where I wondered when my husband might desire to go places with me, places I only dreamed of or places only he would know I was  afraid to go–places to be healed in health, in soul or in heart. In that span of time I also prayed that my husband would not have cause to question my love for him, knowing that I would not hesitate to go to those places if he wanted or had to.

Three years and nine months have gone by since we met and although my prayers for my husband have the same intent today,… with you I have never wondered.

Today I pray in thanks for your birth and that we had an arranged marriage.

Happy Birthday, Tico!

Love Always,

Your Wife

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