Saturday, August 13, 2011


: a waxy solid usually colored cosmetic in stick form for the lips

My husband J turns 37 today.  He and I laughed together last night about what a post with 37 things about him might contain.  Even as we joked, I had another idea percolating in the back of my mind.  There's an event that recently happened that says so much about who my husband really is.  So in honor of his birthday:

On our last night in Tobago, J and I got dressed up for dinner out.  I had showered, dried my hair, donned a dress and even put on a bit of make-up.  I don't wear make-up with any regularity because most cosmetics make my face (especially my eyes) itch.  I decided years ago that I'm just going to look the way I look and not spend hours trying to find concealer and eye liner that I can actually wear.  Even so, there are times when a little make-up makes me feel dressed up.  This was one such night.  Yet after I was ready I looked in the mirror at my colorless lips and complained aloud, "I stink at being a girl.  I don't even have any lipstick to wear."  I borrowed J's chapstick (having lost mine en route to Tobago) and stopped worrying about it.

We returned home to Nashville the next evening and jumped right back into life.  Within an hour of getting home, K had announced to us, "School starts Thursday and I don't have a backpack!"  J and I looked at each other wide-eyed.  She was right.  Yikes.  So Monday morning, J took K to Target for a backpack and lunchbox.  When K showed me her purchases, J reminded her, "Show Mommy what we got for her."  I looked in her cute purple backpack and found a tube of lipstick in the bottom.

Surprised, I looked up at him.  J shrugged his shoulders and smiled, "I wanted you to be able to feel like a girl when you want to."  It's not a big gift, I realize.  Clearly I don't buy lipstick very often, but I'm sure it costs less than $5.  Yet I hope you realize what a big gift this tube of lipstick was.  It's a big, huge, invaluable gift to have a husband who buys you lipstick not because he wants you to look a certain way, but so that you can feel like a girl.  It's a priceless gift to have a husband who listens to the little things you say and then acts on them without being asked.  It's a treasure to have a husband who doesn't worry about buying the wrong shade or what people will think when he's checking out or whether I might take the gift the wrong way.  I hope K will remember her father giving this gift to her mother and that she'll want a husband who loves her just this way.

I'm not sure J saw this tube of lipstick as momentous.  Later that night, I hugged him and thanked him again for it.  "I could count on one hand the number of husbands I know who would buy lipstick for their wife."  After a pause I added, "In fact, you might be hanging out on that hand all by yourself."

There's a lot to celebrate about J on his birthday, but I hope one tube of lipstick tells you all you really need to know.

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