His & Hers: What he loves about her

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller use this space to offer their views on everyday issues.


In my estimation, President Obama won his election on the premise and promise of hope.

That's an interesting concept in these days and times, considering all the weighty sludge that oozes down our economic gutter. Perhaps that message of hope is what people want to hear these days. That silver-lining approach.

Our pastor not long ago preached a sermon on that principle when it comes to relationships (it had nothing to do with Obama, just to be clear). He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that your heart fills up with what you focus on. If you're focused on the bad qualities of your spouse, you will be miserable. If you focus on the good qualities of your spouse, you'll have a healthy and loving relationship. That's the nutshell.

Having learned that lesson from my pastor and now my president, I want to apply the approach to this column. Because Callie was too busy this week to write, I shall take the floor and present you with the top 10 things I love about my cute and talented wife.

10. Cleaning opportunities. Cleaning is a therapeutic exercise. A good time to think, internalize. Heck, with all of the stuff that I fail to put away (shoes, socks, cups) on top of the things she leaves out (pots, pans and paperwork), I have found many more opportunities to achieve mental balance. God bless her.

9. Keeping the books. Because Callie pays the bills, I am often shielded from the extent of our financial plight. That means I only have to freak out every three months or so when we reach a crisis and have to scramble. Seriously, I'd rather have to wash 100 dirty pans than have to pay the bills every month. I'm glad she takes on that role.

8. Those green eyes. They're great. I can read Callie so easily. Usually they're soft and warm. Sometimes they're seeking sympathy. Often they're yelling at me to stop being an idiot. But when they're at their best, they're laughing, sparkling at my wise and superior sense of humor. (Laughing, Callie, not rolling.)

7. Her family. They have some quirks, sure, but I love Callie's family dearly. Her parents have treated me as their own since the first time I met them. Her brother is never shy about extending a helping hand. And her cats, well, they miss the litter box very, very well. Gotta love 'em.

6. Her intelligence. It's not easy being married to someone who knows everything. But somehow she's intelligent enough to keep up.

5. Her patience. See Quality No. 6 for more explanation.

4. The butt-kicking effect. My girl can work up some righteous indignation when she wants. In the end, she can make things right when I can't simply by puffing up her feathers and making herself look big. And if you have ever seen my cute and talented wife, you know that's saying something.

3. Her decision making. She chose me, didn't she? See Quality No. 5 for more explanation.

2. Her caring nature. My wife almost always puts others before herself. Sacrificial in nature, she loves to give. She puts Dawson and Drew above all else. She insists, usually, on making homemade cards and crafts at Christmas. She hasn't had the chance to buy any new clothes in probably over a year. It must be killing her. Actually, it probably isn't; she's probably thinking too much about the rest of her family.

1. Her heart. We've had it tested. It beats much faster than it should. Perhaps that's because it's overworked. Callie loves with all of it, every day, every second. I should be more like her.

See there? All that silver lining garbage made me feel better about my wife. We had a bad day until now. I neglected to ask her to go with me at lunchtime, even to ask if she wanted anything. I had originally thought she was pulling the trigger too quickly on the butt-kicking quality (see No. 4 for more explanation). But after thinking and writing about her good qualities, I think I might just surprise her with something on the way home. After her eyes smile, or perhaps roll, I'll have plenty of time to find some mental balance later this evening (see No. 10). Yeah, can't wait for that "opportunity."

Reach special publications managing editor Callie Clark Miller and Southeast Missourian editor Bob Miller at cmiller@semissourian.com and bmiller@semissourian.com

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