loving the man [guest post]
[This is a guest post from Helen Krusher]
There is one thing that my sweet, genuine, and compassionate boyfriend does that infuriates me.
He drinks beer.
This, as a habit, may sound innocuous. Natural, even. For he is a man, and men eat of the beefsteak and drink of the golden yeast beverage. I’m sure you now have me painted as a bullying domestic troll wielding a rolling pin in lieu of a hammer, feverishly guarding a padlocked bar fridge behind a moat of soapy mop water. And sometimes — I’ll be honest — I do feel like that. Like I have no sense of fun. Like I am a jailer, a keeper, a cranky ankle-chain cameo in his man-cave caricature.
But let me explain.
My love does not just drink ONE beer. He does not drink TWO beers. He does, in fact, drink ALL of the beers, and indulge further in lengthy reviews of their quality like he’s the fat, lavish toad from MasterChef and the barkeep has just served him pub parma. My sweetheart drinks the Bad Molasses until his cheeks get ruddy and his step unsteadies, and he tumbles into bed at 2.00 am like greying sea foam — the pungent, acrid stink of debris left as the party tide pulls out. It’s that cloying density of sweat and fermented sugars that irks me, along with the ineptly intrusive, ‘Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you,’ to excuse his mountain bear paws knocking furniture in the dark; the gash and whir of his Velcro sleep Apnoea mask; the lethargy with which he conducts his textbook lack of affairs the next day. My darling is never abusive, and he never misbehaves. But he drinks. And he drinks. And he stinks.
During the first few months of our relationship, his penchant for chocolate Porter was a source of great concern to me. I swung weekly from thinking that I could convince him to change his habits to feeling too insecure to mention it. I didn’t want to criticise him, because I knew he had done nothing wrong, but I thought about ending the relationship a couple of times when the post-pub humidity reached its whiffy peak. But as time wore on, and we became closer, I started to see some patterns of my own behaviour reflected in his eyes, and I realised that he’d hefted my shortcomings onto his shoulders as well — without complaint. He had taken my indecisiveness, my cyclonic pit of negativity, and the bewildering enormity of my cosmetics collection in his stride and loved me, asking for nothing in return.
There is an easy truce of acceptance now, whereby I can sleep guilt-free and oxygen-rich in the spare room when Sir comes home from the Saloon stonkered. If this post is supposed to be about love, I believe that the essence of it is simply this word: acceptance. Managing expectations, and feeling lucky — grateful, comforted, whole — to be one half of a circus few people get to see. Nobody is perfect, and, contrary to Hollywood lore, nobody can be perfect for you. Compatibility is a bell curve; there will always be variables. But with my choice, the good far outweighs the bad (smell). His generosity, warmth, tolerance, and series of little tweed hats are like home to me now, and I am thankful for it.
In fact, I am thankful for love every day.
Categorised as: wisdom+philosophy