First off this week, I want to thank everyone who voted for Tales From Hebei over at My New Chinese Love for the Lotus Blossom Award. If you haven’t heard already, Jocelyn’s Speaking of China won the award this year, and I send my congratulations to her. I was honoured to be nominated after only a year of blogging and appreciate people taking the time to vote for me!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and in the spirit of the season, this week I present to you, my ode to my husband.
He’s honestly the best husband I could ask for, for so many reasons. I’m sure your husbands are pretty good, but mine is far and away the best.
When he’s not making me laugh and providing me with fodder for this blog (speaking of which, just yesterday he confused the words “cucumber” and “barbeque” – there’s not really a story behind it, but I sure laughed!), he’s busy working at providing us the best life he can. He took care of arranging the majority of our wedding himself, since the language barrier made it nearly impossible for me to contribute much more than opinions. He is patiently trying to help me learn more Chinese and trying to find a way for us to purchase our own home. He is a loving son and grandson, and I’m thankful to his family for raising him so well. He has a great smile and a kind heart.
But my husband’s best features just might be his ears.
I know, you might think it’s weird, but one of the things I love about him the most is that he listens. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have mentioned something once, only to find him taking care of it just as soon as he has the time. Here are a few:
If something is in need of repair in our house, all I have to do is tell him and he will either try to fix it himself or track down a worker to come and fix it. From dripping faucets, to washing machines that don’t spin, to lights that have shorted out, he takes care of it all. And he even cleans the hair clumps out of the shower drain without me even having to ask!
The instant I mention feeling even a tiny bit under the weather, he interrogates me about my symptoms and comes home laden with medicine for me to take. He dispenses advice (no spicy food if I have a sore throat, drink more hot water, have some ‘easy’ food like porridge if my stomach is upset) and chats with me online from work to see how I’m feeling and make sure I’ve taken my medicine ‘on time’.
While out shopping one day and walking past a cell phone accessory stall, I said (half to myself) that I wanted to remember to look online for a case for my e-reader so I could carry it with me in a bag and not scratch it. A week or so later, a parcel arrived from his mother, containing a little hand-knit pouch just the right size for my e-reader! Gee, I wonder how she knew…
One day as I was cooking lunch and coughing up a storm in our kitchen, I happened to get grumpy and rant a bit about the mould that grows there (I happen to think that living in a mouldy house doesn’t exactly help my respiratory system’s health – crazy, I know). Just as soon as we finished eating lunch, he locked himself in our cold, unheated kitchen for the next hour to scrub as much of the mould as he could off the ceiling and from behind and underneath the cookstand.
After racking my brains trying to think of something that I could get for his mother and grandmother as gifts at Spring Festival, I finally asked him one evening if he thought they would like a small piece of needlepoint if I made them one (hey, I used to do the odd cross-stitch kit when I was a kid and it’s like riding a bicycle). Although he doubted my ability to actually do this, he agreed and a couple of days later came home with all I needed to make a couple of pieces. Granted, they are gigantic pieces and unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish even one of them in time for Spring Festival this year, but it’s the thought that counts, right?!
And just in case you need one more example of why my husband is awesome, here it is. One evening, about a week ago, we were watching a TV show or movie online that mentioned “bubble wrap” and how awesome it is to just sit and pop the bubbles. I had to explain to him just what “bubble wrap” was, but once he knew, he understood and agreed that there is something inexplicably great about popping bubble wrap (some things are just universal, you know!).
Neither of us mentioned this conversation again, but then he came home from work the other day and announced that he had a present for me. I felt terrible, as I had nothing for him, although it wasn’t a holiday, it was just a regular old Friday evening. I told him so and he just shook his head, saying it wasn’t a big deal.
With crinkles at the corners of his eyes, he led me to the living room and started digging around in his backpack. Then he presented me with perhaps the best present ever: a piece of bubble wrap!
Just in case you’re wondering ladies, no, he doesn’t have a brother (China’s one-child policy and all).