Chris Was A Lady

I was thinking about Chris today and everyday for that matter. As you know, her 69th birthday is on Thursday June 6th.

There are so many things I truly admired about Chris as a person, my best friend, my wife, my partner and my lady. She was without a doubt the nicest person I’ve ever known. She truly cared about others and would take the time to help them through a difficult time with no questions asked. She genuinely cared about animals, both her own, especially Jessica, her cat and every other one on the planet. If I got into a conflict with her cat, I would lose every single time, so I learned to be cautious when dealing with her kitty to avoid the look. Chris handle situations with a touch of class. When conflict arose, she would give you a special look with multiple-choice solutions such as “engage your brain before you engage your mouth,” “You left your brain in the toilet” etc. She may make a suggestion, but she would not argue with you leaving you the opportunity to solve your problem gracefully. She had a calming way about her, and I loved her for that.

I remember her as a lady who exuded charm and grace in everything that she did. I watched other women admire her elegance and were inspired to be like her. She was indeed a real treasure in this world, and it was my good fortune to have known and live her with for the time we had together. She possessed an individual quality that is hard to match in my opinion, and one that cannot be replaced.

Chris was always on her best behavior at home, work and at play. She spoke like a lady, Walked like a lady, stood like a lady, and of course overall acted like a lady. I have seen her out of character once with my x sister-in-law (Faye) over a racial issue, and it was not pretty. Chris majored in English and knew how to use it effectively verbally dressing her down in just a few seconds. Faye nor I understood what happened right away but there was no doubt that Chris was upset with Faye’s ranting. Chris was not prejudice, and would not tolerate unfounded racial slurs or criticism of others. She had very little to do with my Sister-in-law following that situation even though we had dual weddings in Soda Springs Idaho. I think she instinctively knew that it was not enough to focus on one aspect of being a lady, because in real-life people would only remember your worst behavioral characteristic. With that exception in most cases, Chris always remained civil, no matter the provocation and is the only effective response to rude behavior.

I understand that the ultimate rule of etiquette is to make those people around you feel comfortable in your presence, then you will have gone a long way to behaving and being perceived as being more lady-like. Chris had that scenario down to a science utilizing the old Addage “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” When I was out of sorts, she would remind me of that rule and give me a look that made you feel like you left your brains in the toilet. Over the years, I have never met anyone who didn’t genuinely like her. Everyone who knew her just loved her and couldn’t understand why she was married to me, which was understandable because I was not a gentleman in a corresponding sense as Chris. I remember being at a luncheon with her previous employer, friends, staff and hearing them say that if a customer was upset with Chris, they instantly knew the problem was with the customer and not with Chris. That’s a nice place to be with your employer, friends and your co-workers.

That’s a status I could never attain probably due to my upbringing, and in my professional life where I was trained to be pushy to get the most production. Pushing employees to increase productivity left you open to criticism and in my business was considered to be an asset and part of the job. Over the years, I received plenty of it but the job was usually done on time which I guess counts for something. Chris was unquestionably trustworthy and was respected by me, her friends and peers. As I said before that’s a nice place to be and unattainable for most of us.

In that respect, there was a sharp contrast between the two of us, which may account for why we got along so well together.

I loved that lady, and I miss her very much.

Written By Jim 06/06/2013