Nice Guys

I missed the memo about nice guys. 


I’m pretty unoriginal in that I spent a great deal of my youth “wasting the pretty” on jerks.  What I thought was passion turned out to be the anxiety that came along with waiting by the phone, being taken advantage of, and being lied to.   When it comes to love, drama is Fool’s Gold. 

The rest of this might get a little mushy, but just go with it, you cold-hearted, cynical bastards.  It’s almost Valentine’s Day, for Pete’s sake. 

This is my husband, Ryan:

I love this picture of my husband.  To me, it illustrates one of his most awesome characteristics…a sort of light-hearted stoicism.  Yeah, he has road rash on a quarter of his face, but he’s smiling.  This is the essence of Ryan.

I met Ryan in 1995 and it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.  He was cute, but he was just so….nice.  He wooed me in the weirdest ways…impersonating my boss on my answering machine, breaking into my apartment and doing strange things with cookie dough, meeting for our first real date wearing an Elvis wig.  In addition to being nice, Ryan was also hilarious.  Try as I might, I could not resist his silliness and it gradually dawned on me that I loved him.  But where was the “passion”?  I mean, if I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up all the time, how could I possibly be in love? 

And then Jagged Little Pill came out.  Like most angry young women, I adopted “You Oughta Know” as a sort of battle cry.  But then I got the CD and listened to the whole thing and heard “Head Over Feet”.   And proceeded to cry my eyes out. 

 “You treat me like I’m a princess, I’m not used to liking that yet …” Holy moment of clarity, Batman.  Ryan didn’t and doesn’t treat me like a princess, and I wouldn’t want him to.  But he does treat me with respect.  He treats me like an equal.  He cracks me up.  He works his ass off to help ensure that we have a good life. He is the most awesome dad any little kid could hope to have.  And, he loves me. 

So now it’s 2011 and we’ve been happily married for a long time.  We have a wonderful little family.  Who knew the memo about nice guys would be delivered by a feisty little Canadian woman who used to be on “You Can’t Do That On Television”?    Memo received.

© 2011 Jamie Walker Ball