My husband doesn't care a lot about what others think of him. What I think, his children, and his family think; that is important to him. Really important. When it comes to others he's not intimately or daily connected to, he doesn't care much. That results in escapades like yesterday, when he went to Pizza Hut to get our dinner wearing cut off denim shorts, coloured work socks, and his running shoes. He also wears socks and sandals, which we tease him about. Seriously, though, what makes him do those things is part of the thing I appreciate most about him.
The praise of men is something he doesn't seek out. He isn't in the business of wanting to be loved by the masses. He isn't easily offended. This trait has an overflow, which goes beyond simply not looking to be the centre of attention. When our kids were younger, and doing those teenage things that drive parents crazy, he did not care what they thought of the punishment he handed out. I found it hard to know that my kids were angry with me, and sometimes, I just wasn't firm enough. He had no such attachment. Don't get me wrong, though; he is not a harsh man. In fact, he's quite merciful. I tend to be less merciful, which is kind of ironic because I'm also too sensitive. Go figure.
When he handed out a hard punishment, he bore no grudges. He did not act cool or detached from them, punishing them with his anger. He acted as if nothing had happened. Of course he knew the real situation, but he didn't stop loving them or being kind to them. He simply went on with things. He wasn't deterred by their stoic anger, but just kept on acting as if everything was okay. I had a hard time doing that. If I had been parenting alone and left to hand out the punishments, I think it would have been difficult in the end. Who knows if they would still be speaking to me.
Sometimes, my husband likes to wear Mr. Rogers type sweaters, sing Perry Como songs in the car while the kids' friends are riding with us, and wear socks and sandals in public. I'll take Perry Como and sandals over the alternative any day.