“A woman’s place in public is to sit beside her husband, be silent, and be sure her hat is on straight.” (Bess Truman)
Yes; sure. That’s exactly the type of woman I am and exactly what I do in public…when I’m not giving a speech, that is!
The day of my BYU speech it dawned on me that I was going it alone. My husband had the day off and hadn’t even asked about my little collegiate adventure! A few hours before the speech, I mentioned that to him. He replied, “Andrea, you haven’t said so much as a word about it to me. The only thing I know is that it’s today—and the only reason I even know that is because I dragged that out of you. I’m happy to come, if you want me to.”
Suddenly, I wanted him to be there. I’d never given it much thought prior to that moment; actually, I’d never even thought to consider it. But all of a sudden I thought he should be there, for some reason. For me. That’s not to say I wasn’t torn about my desire, however. We didn’t discuss this aspect of it, but here’s the honest truth: I absolutely would not want to sit and listen to my husband speak about his previous life, ex-wife or their experiences yet there I was, wanting him to support me when I spoke about mine! (All right. Go ahead and say what I’m sure you’re all thinking: what a rotten wife. Yes, I am. But what a great husband. Yes, he is.)
He rearranged whatever he’d planned on his day off to be there for me. He sat in the back of the auditorium and met me afterward. He told me I did a good job. And then he finally said the unspoken as he shook his head and joked, “Although what kind of husband am I to sit there and hear stories about your old life, see all those family pictures, and everything else about your first marriage. That was fun.” (Or something like that.)
Yes, I bet it was fun. (NOT!) I don’t know that I could be as calm or as kind about it if our situations were reversed. But let me take a moment to answer his question right now, so there is no doubt.
What kind of husband is he? The best kind.
“Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.” (H.L. Mencken)
The truth is, I thought he was amazing a month before I married him. After I married him, I knew it. And in the year since our marriage, he has demonstrated it over and over again. Lucky me.
It’s my unexpected life. Married to SOME KIND of husband!