Not all men can be Shakespeare, and it’s probably best that most don’t try to be.
One of Mike’s most fantastic qualities is that he is utterly accepting of this fact. Case in point: he once promised me that he would never attempt to write me a poem; he thinks they are ridiculous, especially when written by the average adult male.
Since I am a woman who loves to write (though not poems), I don’t need my spouse to try to please me through my own medium — I’m happy to accept affection in other forms (unexpected gifts and vacations, natch).
Given all of this, one can imagine my shock last week when we got together with our friends Stephen and Jessica, and they said they had found a poem by Mike in their storage of high school mementos.
Yes, a poem. Mike’s face turned pink as soon as they mentioned it. Then he burst out laughing.
“It’s horrible!” he said between laughs. “It’s so bad you won’t even believe it was published.”
He clarified quickly. “We had an assignment to write a love poem, so of course I thought it was the stupidest assignment and I decided to be so over-the-top that they wouldn’t publish mine in the class book. But they did anyway, and so it reads like I’m being completely serious.”
I considered for a moment whether he was just saying that to cover up whatever horrors lie in those stanzas. The next day they emailed it to us, and I didn’t have to wonder — he was most definitely being ridiculous for the asinine assignment.
But judge for yourself. And ladies, try not to swoon; this guy’s already taken:
How do you describe it?
Does it make you overjoyed?
Can you feel your heartbeat?
Does it make you do crazy things?
How do you describe it?
How do you describe love?
I think it’s a completely selfless expression
To put another first in everything.
It’s finding someone tastier than Red Vines.
And Hot Tamales.
Someone better than Apple Jacks.
Or peanut butter M&M’s.
It’s finding someone worth spending even just a
moment with, yet after you’ve searched
a lifetime to find.
Someone who when you look into their eyes
You find yourself closest to heaven.
Someone who if they died,
You would continue to love until the rest of YOUR life.
That is true love.
– Michael Reph
Believe me, there was some serious negotiating before I was allowed to share this with anyone outside of our home. But I pointed out that I have shared my own humiliating moments (here, here and here) so what’s a poem between friends?
What’s funniest about this isn’t that he’s joking, or that it’s cheesy, or that it uses such silly references to candy. What’s funniest is that it inspired the use of humor in his vows to me. A sample:
“If there were no more chips and salsa or Mirror Pond in the world, I’d still be happy if I was with you.”
People laughed out loud at our wedding when he read that to me. It was a total departure from what was otherwise a very serious vow statement. Little did people know it was Michael Reph quoting Michael Reph. He really should give himself more credit.
So honey, since Sunday is the two year anniversary of you saying those vows, I can say without a doubt that the poem you wrote at 16 turned out to be spot on. You have proven to be tastier than Hot Tamales and you’ve made me feel my heartbeat. You’ve shown me love as a completely selfless expression, and you’ve put me first in so many things. Fortunately for me, you didn’t take a lifetime to find.
I know that I’ve made you do crazy things, but I hope, for your sake, that I turned out to be better than Apple Jacks.