Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating the B.H.E.

*Caution: Major gagworthy, nonmedical mushiness ahead. 
Proceed at your own risk. Or have a barf bag handy.

"I don’t think we ask for much 
more than we deserve
for more than we’re worth
People say we’re out of touch 
and that dreamers will always 
crash back to earth
but you plus me
still we dream

Through valley deep and darkness wide 
I’m stronger with you here at my side.
Call us foolish
Call us young
but we’ve pledged our allegiance 
no matter what comes.
You plus me is everything

Yes I believe in love
Yes I believe in love
I looked for a reason 
and you are my reason
Because when I saw you I saw the light 
I’ve been waiting for all my life
Yes I believe in us tonight

I believe in what I feel inside
I believe in this love tonight 

Yes I believe in love
Yes I believe in love
I looked for a reason and I found a reason
Because when I saw you I saw the light 
I’ve been waiting for all my life
Yes I believe in us tonight."

~ David Ryan Harris 


Man, I just love my husband. How many times do you have to hear me say this? Even I don't know that answer. I do, however, give you full permission to roll your eyes and move on to another blog, if necessary. I won't be hurt in the least; mostly because the stars in my eyes and hearts swirling around my head make it hard to notice much else.


Today is December 20. My husband, Harry, was born this day and, as far as I'm concerned, it might as well be a national holiday where they close all the banks. No. He's not famous and he doesn't have a Nobel Prize. But if they had a way to make a man famous just for being a good dude and a fancy medal in Oslo for the man who makes his family feel special then Mr. Manning would damn sure be a front runner.


Okay. So here's the thing I always make sure to say out loud. Before I met Harry, I was not--I repeat--was NOT lucky in love. It was like I always had the wrong porridge. Too hot or too cold. Or mostly no porridge at all. The ones I liked didn't like me in the kind of way that I wanted them to. And the ones that liked me just didn't do anything for me. So mostly, I spent time as a single woman. And while I can't say that I was a miserably unattached person, I would be flat out lying if I said that I didn't spend a significant portion of time longing for someone like Harry and a life like the one we now share.

No. Not the shiny, twinkly parts. The ordinary boring-on-a-weeknight parts. That's what I wanted. I remember when I was a resident in Cleveland, Ohio and one of my best friends, Jada, was living in Columbus with her husband. I visited them often and they always made me feel at home when I was there. That meant card games and dozing off on the couch. It meant picking collard greens and cracking jokes over kitchen table dinners. And you know? It was wonderful that they made me feel so welcomed. But I remember that often I'd cry for the whole drive back. I'd cry because of the sweetness of their ordinary, the tenderness of their mundane. And, you know? The many weddings I attended back then were never what got to me. It was the "pick up some eggs on the way home" and the "thanks for grabbing the dry cleaning." It was always that.

I felt the same way when they had kids. Always happy for them and others at the baby showers and baby dedications. Yet admittedly a bit melancholy after witnessing simple things like bathtime and nursing. The ordinary stuff, you know?

I suppose that's why I was cut out for marriage. I say that because the meat and the potatoes of it doesn't involve people throwing confetti or dressing in black tie. It involves chatting with a mouthful of toothpaste only to find yourself disgusted because your husband has accidentally used your toothbrush. It's taking a deep breath and acting interested in Pawn Stars or Storage Wars. And listening while your wife reads an entire blogpost out loud to you and being sure to keep an engaged look on your face.

You know what else? It's realizing that in the middle of a sucky recession that losing a few points on your credit score or even something more extreme like losing your home is not more important than things like mental, physical and emotional health. And having a great spouse is -- I swear -- like having a built in very-best-friend who happens to be your lover and co-pilot living right in the same house. And like any good co-pilot, there are just days where one has to take over for the other. And that's just fine. That's what we do.

It is.

I will never, ever take that man for granted. Not a single second of a single day. I know what it felt like to long for him and I try my best to love him with the same zeal with which I fervently prayed that he'd enter my life. I look at him and touch his face with both hands. I put my cheek against his and laugh out loud with him as often as I can. And when we disagree? It's always clean. We say our pieces and then squash it. Five minutes later it's a request for me to see what the Swamper dudes are saying on A&E. Or the Oregon Gold Rush dudes. Hmm. Or Man vs Wild. 

As Ms. Moon would say: "Ah lah."

Ah lah. The sound of ordinary bliss and not sweating the small stuff. Ah lah. The sound I made this morning when I realized that the bottoms of the biscuits were overdone and that my Christmas cards still hadn't come from Shutterfly. Ah lah.

Today is December 20, 2013. And on this day more than ever, I believe in the us called Team Manning. I'm not afraid to say it. I don't fear that he will turn out to be a mere mortal, either. Because I already know that. And fortunately, he accepts the same about me. Which is really, really cool.

Yeah, it is.

Oh. And before I forget: This song. This perfect, beautiful song that I've been obsessed with for weeks. Yes, it was shared with me by a fellow Grady doctor-friend named Francois R. The artist, David Ryan Harris, is his good friend and a pretty damn awesome singer-songwriter. Admittedly, I'd never even heard of this song or of Harris in my life. But after a simple text message sent on an ordinary weekday I became an immediate fan. I've downloaded several of David Ryan Harris' songs and haven't found one that didn't move me in my soul somehow.


So. Since I can't get this song off of my mental iPod or the B.H.E. off of my mind, I pulled together some glimpses of our ordinary yet groovy kind of love. . . .and let this treasure of a love song serve as the soundtrack.

Oh yeah. One more thing. 33. That's how old I was when we married. But now that I know what I know, I would have rather waited for him specifically than get the chance to wear a frilly dress and twirl around a fancy ballroom with the wrong person sooner. Meaning, yes. If I had to wait five more years for him versus some other dude who didn't treat me as kindly, I say give me the five years. And the ones want some parts but not the full package including my ordinary? I now know that it's better to tell them to kick rocks as SOON as POSSIBLE. So what if you have crows' feet when that special one comes along. The better to SEE you with, my dear. Hell, that's what I say about it.

Mmm hmmm.

I keep saying one more thing but having one more thing. Ah lah. Look. There's definitely not any real secret to any of it except, I think, one. Keep the slate clean. Don't allow your heart to be confused and cluttered by . . . well. . .porridge that is clearly cold. Or that is overly hot. Or better yet--let me be even more concrete about this: Don't let anyone come tipping in and out of your intimate life just because you're bored. Because that's just enough to create a blind spot that causes you to miss your BHE or BWE or BPE when they come along.

Oh, and this. Harry told a friend who was trying to figure out a relationship these wise words:

"Look, bruh. When you wake up in the morning, you pull back the curtains and you know? It's either sunshine or it's not. Then you step out on the porch and it's either warm or it's cold. It doesn't take long to figure it out. And the minute you figure it out, stop standing there waiting for it to be what it's not."

Say word.  The man doesn't say a lot. But what he says? I'm saying. It's worth listening to, for reals. Mmm hmmm.

I have rambled for the seven trillionth time about the BHE. I know, I know. But it's meant to be more than just indulgent and giddy. It's meant to be hopeful for someone who is confused by the hand they've been dealt. And a real true testimony for somebody to read that if it happened to me--the one who was always the third place setting--it can damn sure happen to anybody.

And. If you DO have someone special? Don't take that for granted. Even if you aren't a Bible reader or follower of Christian faith or any other for that matter, consider this Psalm:

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

~ Psalm 90:12

In other words, live and love like you mean it. With intention. Savor the days and people before you. Elevate them and fall asleep each night knowing that they know for certain where they stand in your heart.

And no, it doesn't have to be a full on blog post or some expensive gift or any such thing. Sometimes it's as simple as sitting quietly next to him on the sofa and smiling while he rewinds American Pickers or Diners, Dives and Drive-ins for the seven trillionth time.

Ah lah.


Happy Friday, y'all. May it be ordinary and full of the things that amalgamate to create a true happiness that you never take for granted.

Now playing . . . .this one's for you, Mr. Manning. Oh, and shout out to the production team: The Brothers Manning, Inc. They're a full service team -- complete with calypso singing and impersonations, too. Oh YEAH!

Happy Birthday 2013 from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

And for those who are new and/or who have nothing better to do but read random things, peep this oldie but goodie post about When Harry Met Kimberly. One of my favorites to reread--the story of the night we met. Yes, people. He had me at "Ohio." 

And one more thing. . .ha ha ha ha. .  . seriously--this clip of David Ryan Harris playing live and singing a song he wrote about the bond between a mother and her son.  *sniffle* Feeling. This. Song.


  1. I'm so thankful for posts like this to remind me it's worth the wait. Thank you. And I'm so very happy you have it.

  2. That birthday video just rocks so hard! Such a heartwarming post. Wish that BHE a Happy Birthday and great year from me. x0 N2

  3. Happy birthday to your BHE! And you know what else? He's hot! Beautiful post.

  4. Kinda makes you want to sing like Eddie Murphy's character in "Coming to America".... He's walking down the street singing at the top of his lungs: TO BE LOVED, TO BE LOVED, OH WHAT A FEELING TO BE LOVED!

    I seriously love that scene... and I especially love feeling that way. You always said not to give up hope. You were right :-)


  5. Ha JoLai! Exactly!

    After a stupid argument with my BHE that was surely to ruin Christmas, this post was right on time.

    Happy Birthday Mr. Manning. You two, please continue to minister by example.

    p.s. He really wears a hat in the swimming pool? LOL


  6. AND, he smells like soap! I'm waiting on my BHE and I will wait five years if I have to. (First husband and I used to hang out with DRH and his first wife way back in the 90s, life was fun and care-free back in the day).

  7. Happy Birthday to your hubby. You guys are a great team & I wish you continued happiness. I am a newlywed & am so grateful for all that I learned while I was waiting for my husband to find me. God's grace is amazing.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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