How many of you love boots? I know, right?! Me too! No matter the type (booties, riding, stacked, moto, stiletto, cowboy, thigh-high) a boot is a very special thing. Despite living in a mild climate, I own my fair share of boots and booties. My favorite is a black leather pair of Dolce Vitas I bought in San Francisco five years ago. They were hard earned, but are even harder worn. Boots are the best.
Now, how many of you love beards? Seriously, right?! I mean why would anyone want excess hair on their face? And let’s talk about the beard hair that’s dangerously near the mouth – aren’t they worried about it soaking up food and drink throughout the day? Doesn’t anyone think of the smell factor? Oh, and how about us gals who aren’t interested in a hairy snuggle session? I don’t get it. Can’t we just give it a rest with the beards?
As it turns out, my husband loves boots as much as I love beards. I would have never guessed! He is a very fashionable guy and usually is right on point with both male and female fashion – except when it comes to boots (and a handful of other trends, but let’s stay on target here). Being the stylish, and good looking, dude that he is, growing a beard is to be expected. I should have seen it coming.
Boots. Beards. In the scheme of things, they’re insignificant. But, in the context of a relationship, specifically my marriage, they represent something bigger. We are individuals with our own set of likes, dreams, challenges, and expectations. Yet, we are meant to encourage, support, strengthen, and forever love each other. It can be tricky.
In the last 9 years of marriage (whoot whoot), there have been times where our conflicting opinions on boots/beards seemed major. Probably because it felt personal. My response to his lack of boot enthusiasm would bounce between two extremes: 1) defiant bitch, and 2) teary-eyed victim. Sometimes, I would angrily put them on and stomp around like, “you seriously think I give a %^#@ that you don’t like these boots? I’m my own woman, dude.” But, most of the time, I would poutingly pull them off and then slip on some husband-approved footwear as I sniffled.
I was more subtle in expressing my beard objection. I would drop a less than enthusiastic comment now and again. The most compelling was, “Interesting. Your beard has a reddish hue to it.” And I may have held back on a kiss or two. #sassywife
Neither one of us knew how to navigate our differing opinions. One day, Isaac had a breakthrough over breakfast with a good friend. In their discussion, he realized something. I will never forget these words:
I don’t love your boots, but I love how much you love your boots.
My response was nothing short of, “Go tell it on the mountains! I am free! Break out the boots!!”
Until it hit me.
“Wait a minute. What does this mean for the whole bearded husband thing? Dang it!”
Yeah, you guessed it. The beard comes and goes, usually with the seasons. He loves it. I love him. I (kind of) love how much he loves the beard.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “hello, Captain Obvious.” Like I said, in a vacuum it is all so crystal clear. But, marriage ain’t no vacuum, folks. It’s more like a wind tunnel. No, a tornado. A hurricane! A blizzard! Yes, a blizzard. Marriage is a blinding blizzard. And, I love it. I love my man.
Life isn’t a vacuum either. Whether you’re married, single, divorced, retired, unemployed, in school, or somewhere in between, it’s relevant. Who are you meant to encourage and support, but instead criticize and deflate?
Whose boots are you hating on?