In my extended family, we have a lot of characters.  Comedians.  Dirty Joke Tellers.  Awesome Movie Quoters.  We’re a lot of fun, pretty much (and you might think so, too, if not easily offended). 

It’s hard to marry into our family and get a lot of spotlight time unless you can roll with the punches.  And so far family members have brought in some damn hilarious inlaws.  Just adding to the fun.  So because we’re one big mess of attention-seeking little hams, it’s sometimes painfully obvious to me how much Tony sticks out when the whole group is together.

It’s nothing the group does, of course.  Everyone has always welcomed Tony with open arms.  Trust me – if you want non-judgmental, you got it with this fam.  But Tony just sticks out a little because, well…he’s Tony.  He’s quiet.  He’s shy around people he doesn’t know well.  He hates when the attention is on him (just mentioning our wedding ceremony gives him wee heart palpitations).  He doesn’t need to fill the silence with words…(why are you all looking at me?).

Anyhow, because many of you see only this limited side of Tony, I want to do him some justice and reveal the man I know and love.  So here goes.

He’s wickedly funny.  It’s more subtle, but if he’s comfortable enough around you, he’ll rattle off something pretty unexpected.

He’s also extremely tender.  And if he knew I was using  his name and the word “tender” in the same sentence, he’d be horribly embarrassed.  (Sometimes I feel like he’s my teenager and I’m his painfully uncool mother.)  I’m digressing, as I tend to, but simply put, he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  Literally. 

LITERALLY. 

I could say some horrible things to him, throw some low punches, and he’ll still fight fair and listen to my screaming banchee tirade.  And then he’ll reassure me that “no, you’re not a bitch” when I realize what a bitch I’m being and start crying.

We’re very different.  My emotional personality is the wild child of all personalities.  I feel deeply, get my feelings hurt constantly, will throw a sarcastic remark out on the table and then be put off if I get one back.  I’ll be mad at you one minute, but if you apologize, I’ll be eager to put everything behind us.  Pretty much, I’m not cut out for jury duty.

He’s much more even-keel.  His emotions are steady, he’s usually in a good mood and he’s almost loyal to a fault.  He has a thousand and one close friends and would probably post your bail money if you asked him nicely enough.

Sometimes it’s frustrating to me that he’s more laid-back than I am.  “The dishes will get done, who needs plans, let’s just go to the movies”…pretty much sums up his thought process.  I need things done right away.  If I decide on something, it must be done.  No matter if it’s 2 in the morning.  And I’ve been known to have some pretty crafty ideas at 2 in the morning.

We bicker sometimes because I get frustrated that he doesn’t always fit into the mold I wish he would.  He’s not a Prince Charming.  He’ll never be the man who remembers to open the car door for me.  Or pull out my chair.  Or buy me flowers.  I probably should have guessed this when I fell for this bandana’ed little bad boy so long ago. 

But.

He knows when I’m anxious and knows when I’m being irrational about getting what I want.  And sometimes I think we work because while I care about the stupidest things, like which side of the bed I sleep on and how I like the refridgerator arranged (OCD, anyone?), he just…doesn’t.  He lets me do my thing and is happy to just go with it.  Is it bad that he’s starting to sound like a trusted pet?

He’s the man who will always keep me balanced, reminding me that things are never as bad as they seem, lending an ear when I need it the most, and always encouraging me to go after what I deserve. 

He’s that kind of man, and I’ll take that over flowers any day (although, if he wants to send me flowers…)

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Beer

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