The first time I saw a friend of mine after Bart and I got engaged, she asked me straight off, “Why do you want to marry him?” On paper this sounds sort of harsh, I think, but the way she said it wasn’t that way at all – she genuinely wanted to know what helped me come to the decision. She was in the midst of trying to decide whether or not to continue maintaining a long-distance relationship herself, so I knew she was looking for some brilliant insight on my part (oh, she should have known that she was coming to the wrong source).

My answer spilled out without my brain even really considering it and I told her, “I know he’ll always be interesting and fun.”

And Bart is that, of course. There is no one I’d rather be with on a regular basis, someone who can make me laugh or listens with seeming interest while I regale him with stories from work or (more often) about the lives of people who I don’t know, but whose blogs I read. Bart is interested in so many of the same things I am and we feel the same way about many many important things. He tells me the things he’s learned and we talk about places we want to visit, the way we want to parent, what we admire about other people we know, the things we’d do with a million dollars. I have no worries that someday I’ll find myself with Bart and neither of us will have anything to say to the other.

But there are so many other things about Bart that I couldn’t have know then. I couldn’t have known that he would do the dishes, every day, that he would come grocery shopping with me, even when he hates it more than almost any other errand, that he would rub my head even though it leaves long blonde hairs all over his shirts, that he would let me use his library card even though he stresses a lot about books being overdue, that he would make the bed for me, even though it doesn’t matter to him at all.

But perhaps the thing I love most about Bart is that he just is so even-tempered. I can count, absolutely, on him not getting angry at me. (I am not so even-tempered, so I’m even more grateful to him for being so to balance out my on-occasion-explosive personality). Today we discovered I’d made a mistake on a purchase we’d made last week. It wasn’t a major deal, but it did end up costing us about $100. I felt like an absolute fool, of course, but it was a huge relief to know – to know without any doubt – that when we walked away, he’d say “Don’t worry about it; it’s no big deal. It was probably the computer’s fault anyway.” How can you not love a man who not only says that, but can be COUNTED on to say that?

I’m glad my children will have a dad who is so reasonable and so slow to anger. I’m even more glad that he’s my husband.

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  • Reply Ralphie November 9, 2007 at 2:52 am

    This is a lovely, lovely post Janssen. You guys really are an extraordinary couple, in a hundred good ways. We are very greatful for your friendship and example.

    And we really must go on a cruise together soon.

  • Reply Bart Bradshaw November 9, 2007 at 2:57 am

    How about a cruise to Hawaii? In May, perhaps?

  • Reply Noelle November 9, 2007 at 3:03 am

    What a sweet post! Sounds like you got a winner Janssen! Though, I have to tell you, it made me miss Phil! I feel the same way about many of the things you mentioned but Phil is off watching the BYU football game with some friends and I am here with my computer…blogging. 🙂

  • Reply James & Angela November 9, 2007 at 4:56 am

    that’s my Bart to a “t”. You’re both lucky.

  • Reply She Likes Purple November 9, 2007 at 5:13 am

    That’s beautiful.

  • Reply Nina G November 9, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Like his mother-in-law (me) has said from Day One: Don’t you just love Bart? Yes, I do!

  • Reply Karen November 9, 2007 at 5:47 am

    I second that, but I include you both.

  • Reply One Smart Cookie November 9, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    That’s so sweet.

    I always find myself wishing that I could be more even-tempered but, alas, it is not part of my make-up. I will have to settle for being balanced out by Matt!

  • Reply TheMoncurs November 9, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Aw, that was a really sweet post. It’s so nice to end up with someone who balances out some of your less than perfect traits, isn’t it?

  • Reply Heather November 9, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Sounds like you really snagged a winner in Bart. He sounds surprisingly similar to Rick… thank goodness for even-tempered folk who bring balance to the force.

  • Reply sort-of grown-up November 12, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    That’s so sweet and sincere.

    : D

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