Just read (www.omg-facts.com) a revealing but, apparently, little known fact: the percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80%. I don’t know how that staggering (to me) statistic was arrived at, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I count myself firmly in that 80% camp. (And I can assure you that, as I write these words, I am not sitting under the watchful eye of my wife, Jeanie.)
Why, you might ask? I remember once watching a TV talk show whose guests Tom Cruise and his relatively new wife Nicole Kidman, along with director Ron Howard, were promoting their new movie Far and Away. The host posed Nicole with the question: Why do you love Tom? Nicole blushed and nodded toward Cruise and said, “Well, just look at him!” And anyone who hasn’t escaped the ubiquitous headlines of the supermarket tabloids knows where their marriage went.
Okay, I will admit that my wife is a looker, someone whom we, in my generation, would have referred to as “easy on the eyes.” She’s beautiful, but in so many more ways than what can be seen. I don’t just look at her; I watch her. I watch her while she’s holding the six-month old child, Elizabeth, whom she babysits twice a week. I watch her while she says hello to the five animals with whom we share our house–two dogs, two cats, and a parrot. She calls them by their names, scratches them behind their ears. And there’s nothing perfunctory about the gesture, I can guarantee you. Because I watch her, closely. I’m sensitive to such things. I would know. And I watch her when she’s on the phone with either of her two grown children, living with their own children on opposite ends of the country. There’s that look in her eyes again, that sound in her voice that speaks really just one word: love. She demonstrates love. Who in their right mind couldn’t love someone who is, herself, love?
I could go on, of course, but I don’t want to belabor the point. All I can add is that I’m pleased to learn I’m not alone in how I see the woman I’m married to. 80%. Wow.
The percentage of American women who say they’d marry the same man? 50%. I can’t speak to that, really, not in this brief venue. Books have certainly been written on the subject. But I am certain of this: my wife is as firmly in that 50% camp answering in the affirmative as I am in my 80% camp. How do I know? She tells me, all the time. Sometimes she actually voices it. But more often, it’s just the way I see her. That’s when I can really tell. She’s shown me her heart, and it’s as plain as the smile in her beautiful eyes.