Something I've been meaning to comment on for the last week: when I was driving home from Illinois on February 14th, there was a wonderful Valentines Day-themed commentary on NPR's All Things Considered by a woman named Pat Dunnigan. Her (hilarious) argument is that suburban dads are actually the world's greatest lovers, because of the various situations in which they must overcome all odds in order to have time alone with their wives:
You think it's hard to get the attention of a woman in a bar? Puh-leeze. These guys have to convince a woman who has fallen asleep in her clothes reading Thomas the Tank Engine stories that what she really wants right now is some midnight romance under the giant pile of laundry covering the master bed.
You can follow that link to read or listen to the whole thing; it's quite funny, and filled with examples that a lot of us have probably experienced.
But as the hundreds of miles continued to roll past, on my drive back to Michigan, I couldn't help thinking about who might qualify as the real "greatest lovers:" moms and dads who must use Natural Family Planning. How about this for a situation that many of us have likely found ourselves in:
You've been charting and waiting patiently for three weeks, and you're at last in the final countdown to the end of fertility for this cycle. Day 21 arrives, and despite your best efforts to run the kids' wheels off...the youngest insists that "I'm not tie-ohd!" Dad makes sure the older ones fall asleep, while Mom works on reading Thomas the Tank Engine to the youngest. Dad checks back in a bit; It's 10pm and Mom is getting bleary-eyed, but the five year old is excited and wanting to play. Mom keeps reading, and Dad goes downstairs and loads the dishwasher. Dad then very quietly makes his way up the stairs at 10:30, but the five year old is still going strong. Mom is barely hanging on. Dad, looking for something to keep him busy, folds that mountain of laundry on the master bed.
Finally, at 11:30, Dad finds the five year old asleep --- but, yes, Mom is also asleep (and fully clothed). Mom's eyes flutter open as Dad enters the kid's room, and she mutters something about how hard she tried to outlast the five year old, and how bone-tired exhausted she is, and that she knows how much Dad has been anticipating this long-awaited day.
Dad can now do one of two things: (1) Try to convince Mom that what she really wants, right now, is some midnight romance with him back in the master bedroom...which will get Mom wide awake and guarantee she's not going back to sleep until 3am; OR (2) force a smile, give Mom a kiss, and tell her she should get some rest.
I don't need to tell you which option the "greatest lover" will choose. Or, after he chooses it, how much better a frame of mind, or how much more crazily in love Mom will be with him, on Day 22.