The Man, the Myth, the Yooper (Stewart)

March, 2005: Mall Coffee Shop

Having just dyed my hair red, I stopped by the mall to show my friend Jess. She was working the opening shift at the coffee shop, so I sat on one of the two bar stools to show off my new mane while she whipped up lattes and handed out free senior coffees. We managed to carry on a conversation in between orders.

Then “he” showed up.

Worn and dirty work boots. Worn and dirty jeans. Worn and dirty vest. Long, curly hair. Full beard. Sky-blue eyes.

I’d heard about Matt from Jess, but I’d never met him. That day, however, he sat on the stool next to me moments before a mob swarmed the coffee shop. For half an hour Jess took care of customers while Matt and I kept each other company. The more we talked, the more obvious it became: Matt was weird. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something different about this man.

That hesitation didn’t stop me from responding to the email he sent me or answering the phone when he called. I went out with him (more than once). Three months later he proposed. Five months after that we got married. Still, it took several years before I fully understood the contradiction that is my husband.

You see, for all of his worn and dirty clothes, despite the fact that he prefers pickup trucks to cars and tents to hotel rooms, there’s another side to my husband. The side that likes pumpkin spice everything and seasonal hand towels. The side that desperately tries to match his clothing (even though he thinks multiple plaid patterns match because they’re both plaid). Even though my husband looks like a mountain man (and sometimes practices personal hygiene like one), he’s also a bit of a softie.

It’s his Martha Stewart side.

He’s actually the one who coined the phrase Yooper Stewart, “Because I’m a little bit redneck, but I’m a little bit Martha Stewart.”

I knew I couldn’t keep that discovery a secret! And since I’m a writer with access to the internet, it only made sense that I’d give him his own website. And every year in November (the month of his birth and our anniversary), I honor him online with more stories and revelations from our marriage (you can read this year’s tribute here).

I figured this November would be a good time to introduce this audience to Yooper Stewart, because he’s my inspiration, my support, my encouragement, and the reason I open the car windows in the middle of winter.

Before I leave you with one final Yooper Stewart story, tell me:

What’s your favorite quirk about your spouse?
(If you’re not married, who’s your favorite fictional hero and what do you love about him?)

Yooper Stewart and the Hand Soap

Last night, after church, Matt and I went to Meijer. We walked past the clearance Halloween section. Matt saw the hand soap. Clearance hand soap. Clearance foaming hand soap. Clearance foaming PUMPKIN SPICE SCENTED hand soap.

Let’s just say there was a “disagreement.” There were some accusations. People around us were laughing. Matt yelled, “This is the Stewart side of Yooper Stewart! You have to feed the Stewart!”

Outcome: other shoppers were amused. Matt’s happy because he got clearance hand soap. I’m satisfied because I managed to talk him down to only seven bottles.

By |2018-11-11T23:26:30+00:00November 13th, 2018|Karin Beery|6 Comments

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6 Comments

  1. Austin Ryan November 16, 2018 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    This is the best! I really really love your Yooper Stewart stories! Having lived through some clashes between Martha Stewart families and redneck families I can really appreciate the angle 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I have way too many favorite fictional heroes to pick just one. Trent Carrington (from Sarah Monzon’s “Finders Keepers”) is basically the love of my life as far as fictional heroes go. Right now Barclay Pearce (from Roseanna White’s “An Hour Unspent”) is giving him a run for his money. Trent is a flirt and he’s funny, (I need more coffee, that is a horribly butchered representation of a great character), Barclay puts his family’s safety before his own and takes in orphans off the street (again, horrible representation of a great character), but I don’t know what more you’d want in a man <3

    • Karin Beery November 18, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      I’m not familiar with either of those heroes — I’ll have to read about them!

      I love sharing about the hubs, so I’m glad someone enjoys it 🙂

  2. Leslie November 18, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    This is great! I have a weird husband too! (Or maybe I am the weird one). We have a great love story. We have known each other since we were seven. He had severe ADD, I had severe speech impediments…. it was love at first sight. No one else wanted to be our friend, so we were each other’s best friend for two years until my mom sent me to another school. Eventually we ended up in the same middle and high schools, and we had crushes on each other but nothing happened until 22 years after graduation.

    Well I am a quirky artistic type, and he is a Marine Corps veteran. I have no idea how he puts up with my messes…. he alphabetizes his vitamins, and I am lucky to match my socks on any given day. But the man loves me. Thank god! When they say opposites attract, there is a picture of us as an example!

    • Karin Beery November 18, 2018 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      He alphabetizes his vitamins — I LOVE it!

  3. Jeanne Nooney November 19, 2018 at 7:29 am - Reply

    When I told John that Matt’s moniker for himself was, “Yooper Stewart”, he said, “That’s you and me: You’re Martha Stewart and I’m a redneck yooper.” He’s right.
    We’ve known each other since elementary school, when I noticed this boy who, when he got on the bus, looked like he’d rolled out of the sack, pulled on some clothes (or slept in them?) and got on the bus. I remember after observing this a few times, I elbowed my friend and said, “Watch this. I swear this kid rolls out of bed and goes to the bus stop. Hair sticking up and all.” I kid you not, to my shock a voice inside me said “Watch. You’ll end up marrying him.” Turns out, I did. Years later I told him this story and he said “I did.” “Did what?” “I did that. I could hear the bus coming on the next street and I had just enough time to walk out the door and get to the bus stop.”
    He is rustic picnics on the fly, I’m good China and silver. He’s gadgetry and electronics, I’m antiques and books. He’s Taco Bell and I’m The Patisserie. But we laugh pretty hard at each other’s jokes and I can’t imagine life without him. The differences create a lot of conflict, but even the arguments have become entertaining. (At least to us.) I guess we’ll just keep on suffering this way. Neither of us seems interested in going anywhere else. 😉

  4. Loraine Nunley November 20, 2018 at 2:46 am - Reply

    What sticks out to me is the deep love you have for your man, Karin. As romance writers, we are always dealing with the lighter side of romance, that first blush. While that is exciting, there is something even more enticing about the love that comes from the years of ‘normal’ living. My husband is a unique mixture of protective-military-veteran and sensitive-cries-over-the-national-anthem. I love the whole package. 🙂

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