The other day there was a great article written in the NY Times, American-born wives married to U.S. deported or banned spouses band together via online networks . The article was about women I have met online through a support group for women and men in the same situation and one working for Immigration Reform. I loved the article because it told real stories of real people whose families are being torn apart by US Immigration Policy. I admire these women because they are not willing to be complacent and just give up. They are fighting for their families, their spouses and providing support to others in the same situation. As is true in any forum, you have the "trolls". These are the people who, protected by hiding behind their computers, can spout all the hate and racism they want, not caring who they hurt. One of the worst trolls posted the following...."Women love to date losers, can I ask you women the size of your husbands bank accounts? Could it be 4 figures at best, or perhaps zero! It's not so much that these men have immigration problems that disturb me. It's the whole package, I'm sure they have zero bank accounts, zero job opportunity, and wives and children in their home countries. A woman will fall in love with a ham sandwich.". I mean seriously, does this guy really think he could say that to any woman's face and not get slapped?
Because this man thinks a woman would fall in love with "a ham sandwich" I have decided to follow the woman I admire above (who have already made their lists) and tell you 25 reasons why I love my Bocadillo de jamón (Ham Sandwich)
1. I do not know how many times I had heard from men before "what do you want, a mind reader?" Well he is a mind reader, so to speak. Even when I think I am doing a good job of hiding my feelings, he always can tell when I am sad, hurt, stressed, tired or fighting a migraine. It is amazing how empathic he is.
2. Because we were not married, we did not live together, but anytime he came over he would help clean, take out the trash, insist I call him when home from the grocery store to bring in groceries (significant because I live in a 3rd floor apartment), clean up dishes, and always asked what else he could help with. All of this was done without me ever having to ask. He just saw what needed to be done and did it.
3. He is incredibly intelligent. When he was 7, he knew he wanted to come here, so he got an English Bible and Spanish Bible and studied them 2-3 hours a day to learn English. Also, though he left school when he was 12 to work, he is a voracious reader, loves watching the History and Discovery Channels, and generally keeps up with current events globally better than I do.
4. When we are together or even talking on the phone, he is completely engaged. He actually listen to me and cares about what I think. We can talk for hours and he never seems distracted, or like he does not want to talk. If it is important to me, it is important to him. (the reverse is also true)
5. Trust is huge. He trusts me completely and has never given me reason not to trust him. He is honest and straightforward. He has also trusted me enough to open up and tell me things about his hopes and dreams from childhood as well as thoughts and feelings about other things, which he has told me he has never told anyone else.
6. He is so appreciative of everything. Even the most mundane things I do, he says thank you, or how much he appreciates. It is amazing how wonderful it feels to be appreciated.
7. He is incredibly humble. He can not seem to understand what I see in him or that he is incredibly attractive to me. When I tell him things, he acts like "well that is just how is supposed to be" not like he is anything special.
8. He is so sensitive to my needs. There have been times he needed to go somewhere, and I fell asleep on him watching TV or something, and he always waited until I would wake up on my own. When I felt bad for making him late he would just say, "You needed your sleep, I knew you were tired."
9. He is incredibly playful. He loves to tease me. One of the things we love to do is watch 12 Corazones together (a Spanish Dating show for those of you that have never seen.) For anyone that has seen, at one point I had told him I thought Edward O (one of the shows hosts) was cute. After then anytime Edward O came on, he would threaten to turn the channel or act like a hurt puppy that I was going to leave him for Edward O. I would just bust out laughing. We would also wrestle over the remote control on numerous occasions, lol)
10. He loves my cooking. Even boring old meatloaf. He would compliment everything I gave him, eat every bit, and thank me. I love to cook so having someone that loves my cooking means a lot to me.
11. For any of you that have read the book The Five Love Languages (if you have not read I highly recommend), we speak the same love language. Acts of Service. Neither of us are good with the flowery words and I am not a woman who cares about getting candy or flowers. We both show love by doing things (like the aforementioned taking out the trash (down 3 flights of stairs) or bringing up groceries (up 3 flights of stairs) without ever having to be asked. For me being an independent, do it myself kind of woman, this was hard in the beginning. Whenever I asked my ex to do anything, he would act like I was selfish. Letting someone else do something for me without feeling guilty was hard.
12. He loves my kids. All 6 of them. He has no kids of his own, but calls my kids mi hija and mi hijo. He plays with them (the younger ones), gives boy advice (to the older ones) and always backs me up with discipline (listen to your mom because she loves you and wants what's best for you.) I can tell you their own father never did that. Even my mom noticed when he was sitting on the floor with them at Thankgiving playing a board game with them that he had no idea how to play. She remarked (ex name) would have never done that.
13. He makes me feel precious to him. He is always telling me how intelligent I am, how good of a mom I am, and how beautiful my heart is. He says he has never met anyone, in all his travels etc, that is like me. He says I am amazing. And when he says it, I believe him. Even though I do not always feel like this, I never doubt that is how he sees me.
14. He loves to cuddle. He always has to have some part of him touching me when we are together. It is not a clingy, needy touch. We will watch TV on the couch and he will drape his leg over mine, or pull me against his chest, and we can sit their for hours watching a movie or talking and just being close.
15. He claims he does not know how to cook, but loves to be in the kitchen with me and will help cut vegis, meat, and offer suggestions of spices and combinations to try. And everything always turns out wonderful. I can make anything with a recipe, but am insecure about just "winging it" in the kitchen. He has helped me to be more open to just experimenting with spices and things to see what happens.
16. He is always extremely conscious of the fact I am a single mom with 6 kids. He never wants to make any additional work for me or inconvenience me. He acts like it is a huge deal for me to get a beer out of the fridge for him. I have to position it as, I am going to kitchen anyway, do you want something. Then he acts miffed if I only come back with something for him, lol.
17. He takes an honest interest in anything that is interesting to me. For those that know me, know I am a Farmville Addict. He does not even know how to do anything on computer other than google searches for news. If he is watching Spanish Language TV, I will get on laptop next to him and play on my farm. He has been known to pause the TV and ask what is new on my farm, and even offer suggestions of things I can do with it. And he actually seems interested even though he had no interest in getting a farmville account himself, lol. (yes I suggested it)
18. He is an incredible Artist. He has drawn me 3 beautiful pictures and even framed them before giving to me. They are from the heart, not pictures of things he has seen with his eyes. The are among my most prized possessions.
19. He has what I can only describe as a calming energy. If I am stressed or out of sorts, all he has to do is give me a hug or hold my hand and I can feel a sense of calm come over me. It is really hard to put into words, but it is an incredible feeling.
20. I get migraines. They can be debilitating. My ex would complain when I would get one like "oh geez, nothing is going to get done or I will have to do it myself." If I get one he will sit and hold me while I sleep or rub my head (which, maybe due to his energy, actually helps relieve the pain). He never complains or acts like he is put out because I am out of commission for a day (or 2 or 3).
21. He is the hardest worker I have ever seen. He puts 100% into everything he does and never complains. Even when he is sore or tired he is never grumpy or short with me.
22. We never argue. He is an excellent communicator. We can discuss anything and even if we have a difference of opinion, we can always come to an agreement. I do not think either of us has even been truly angry with the other one. It is funny when we are debating something and I present my case and if he decides is right, he will just say "Ok, you win", lol. I try and tell him it is not a competition and I want to hear his side to but he will just say I made a good argument for my case so he agrees with me, lol.
23. He is not into sports at all. He will watch soccer occasionally if Honduras is playing, like in the World Cup, but it is not an obsession like I have seen in his friends. He would much rather be watching old movies (Vicente Fernandez or Cantinflas). Aside from that he loves Discovery and History Channel.
24. One of the biggest compliments he ever gave me was that I was like his mom. I know how much he loves and respects his mom (he has told me all about her on numerous occasions) and to me that was the ultimate compliment, to be in the same context with her. I cannot wait to meet her.
25. I admire his loyalty. He would never turn down someone that needed help, even a stranger. He would never gossip, lie, or hurt someone intentionally. If someone tries to hurt him, he just brushes it off but if someone tries to hurt someone he cares about he becomes very protective. In his words, "I am a pit bull" when it comes to protecting someone he cares about.
Well I am sure I could come up with more, but I will stay at 25 for now. I am proud to love the man I do and if someone thinks of him as a ham sandwich, so be it. I wish everyone could find a ham sandwich that means as much to them as mine means to me. I never in a million years thought that I would find anyone that "fit" with me as perfectly as he does. He may not be perfect, but he is perfect for me. Te amo mi Bocadillo de jamón . (I love you my Ham Sandwich).