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Appreciating our men on Valentine’s Day

DeenBess Sherman

Deena Bess Sherman

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Updated: March 9, 2013 6:10AM

When we think of Valentine’s Day, we picture chocolate hearts and roses — usually with guys giving them to ladies. This year, I think we should take time to honor the gentlemen in our lives.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m absolutely crazy about my husband. He’s a big, strong, burly, bearded guy who can be found brewing beer or fixing cars when he’s not working long hours as an electrical engineer. I’ve never seen a math problem he couldn’t solve, a machine he couldn’t fix, or a project he couldn’t figure out.

While I understand that all people are individuals, with particular stengths, weaknesses, and quirks, I’d like to suggest to younger women out there that if you find a man with traditional masculine qualities, don’t try to make him anything else. It’s frustrating to see men pressured into “metro-sexual” pursuits like make-up, designer clothes, or waxing off any of their God-given hair. The only thing a man ever needs to wax is his truck.

Speaking of which, I’ve learned over the years not to be threatened by the time my husband spends on his vehicles, though I know he probably loved his 1986 Camaro almost as much as he loves me. But if I have to stop suddenly in traffic, I take great comfort in knowing HE did the last brake job on the car I’m driving.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for those of us with good men around to thank them for all that they do. They give us a sense of security at 3 a.m. when there is a strange noise in the house; they know where the fuses are for everything and where to buy new ones when they fail; they reach things on the highest shelves; they can lift almost anything; some can even sing harmony in a deep baritone or bass voice.

Their physical strength can be attractive, yet frightening. One of the most important parts of being a man is controlling your own aggression and teaching your sons how to channel all that testosterone. There is nothing so attractive as a man who possesses the strength to wield an ax to chop wood or a shovel to move a ton of snow, and he uses that strength to always make those around him feel safe and protected, never bullied or threatened. A good man can diffuse a touchy situation rather than accelerating it and he brings a confident peace with his presence.

In a relationship, men can provide a different perspective that helps us see a situation more clearly. As my friend Annie Craig said, “Sometimes when I cannot see the forest because of the trees, Frank will move the forest.”

When I asked friends what they appreciate about their men, some noted their husband’s caring and patience, his intelligence and clear-headed thinking, or his big enveloping hugs. Mary Patterson affirmed the strength it takes for men to share pain and sorrow with their partners when she said: “He can cry with me and be my rock.”

It’s not just the big things, but the little ones as well. Florence Funkhouser said of her husband: “He has a wonderful sense of humor. I can tell when he’s teasing me because his eyes twinkle.”

State Rep. Kay Hatcher added, “He instinctively knows which way is true north.”

So plan something special for your guy next Thursday. Prepare him those disgusting foods he likes (I still don’t know how anyone can enjoy smelt). Give him time to pursue his favorite hobby. Remind him how much you love his particular talents, appreciate all his hard work, and are glad he is a part of your life.

Now if I can just get that song from Disney’s “Mulan” out of my head.

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