Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Than Toast

Picture it, the summer of 1995 in the shittiest student-housing shithole of all of Brighton. Ah, the haus of many subletters, two of whom being your heroine (moi) and her yet-unmasked hero (Mike). My friend K and I wanted to spend the summer in the city so we found this deal wherein we would share a bedroom for wicked cheap and not have to go home to the sticks in between college semesters. There's another leg to this story wherein the summer went off the rails, friendship-wise, but it's too sad to recount, and yet another about how we found out about the sublet, but that part will give you Type 2 diabetes to read it so I'll leave it out for now. The point is, K and I moved in, and I promptly abandoned her to go home for a week to have my wisdom teeth removed. I called her post-surgery to get the feel of the house (there were 10 of us at any given time, and besides us everyone was of the dude persuasion).

"This one guy, Mike," she said. "You're gonna love him. You're gonna marry him."

So I did. I mean, I'm not that suggestible. It's just that she was right, we ended up being perfect for each other. And without further ado, 12 reasons to celebrate my husband, one for each year of our union.

-He is patient and level-headed and approaches issues from a calm, logical place. His has talked me down from many an emotional tizzy.

-He loves his family, but loves mine just as much.

-He makes me laugh, daily if not hourly.

-He is kind and generous, almost to a fault. Sometimes I think his overwhelming sense of compassion is going to be the end of him.

-He is an amazing cook and quite the little housekeeper.

-He's the king of unsolicited compliments, and never stops telling me that I'm beautiful and sexy, even when I'm not feeling it.

-He is a lifetime Red Sox fan. Let the importance of this never be underestimated.

-He has good (read: similar to my) taste in music, movies and TV shows. Part of K's theory that Mike and I should be playing house forever was based on his interest in the artifacts installed in my side of the room such as a Beastie Boys poster and a VHS copy of Dazed and Confused. They say opposites attract, but that Paula Abdul is a drug addict who has been known to hallucinate dancing cats, so who are you going to believe? There's no need to be twinsies in every aspect, but it just makes sense that good partnerships are rooted in having things that you share and enjoy together. Like beer and nachos (which are the official food of this marriage) and the ability to have  conversations composed exclusively of Family Guy quotations. So Mike will never not be disgusted with my love of So You Think You Can Dance or penchant for singing Wu Tang Clan to the baby. I will never get on board with Air Supply as a *thing* or share his excitement for JFK conspiracy theories. A little conflict is necessary to keep things from getting boring. But we're friends as well as partners. We enjoy each other's company. And for the most part this simpatico existence keeps it fun.

-We are politically like-minded. And he might not come out and say he's a feminist, but it's all in his actions.

-Despite his better judgment/social conscience/extreme neurosis, he acquiesced and entered the adventure of parenthood with me. I suspected that he would be a stellar parent, and my premonition is proving to be true. You know that whole privilege paradigm dealie that can be applied to whoever is the minority in any situation? I'm thinking in this instance about the man/woman power dynamic and the notion that women are expected to be perfect mothers while men get extra credit for marginal competence? Well that's a moot point in our home. Mike's not just an involved and engaged dad, but a really good parent by any standards. HR is the center of his universe.

-He's super, super smart. He doesn't just possess the kind of broad intelligence that, say, wins Jeopardy twice, but he's also grounded in the real world with a double dose of common sense.

-He's a workhorse who does what he needs to do for our family and never complains.

As I wrap this up I realize I could never do this man justice with only twelve examples. Which, I guess, is a good reason to keep him.

Happy Belated Anniversary, Mikey. I love you and the life we've built together. I'm sorry if I ever take you for granted, but please know I'm aware that I hit the jackpot when you came into my life.


  1. Mike,

    Though our physical time together be very brief, please understand that I'd adore you for no other reason than you charmed and partnered with one of the women I hold in total awe. But there's more. You're absolutely physically gorgeous. Because of love and faith you stepped over the cliff's edge to become a dad even when you were running backward from it as hard as you thought necessary to preserve yourself and the VERY good life you had already. Because you made me laugh at a time when laughing was so hard and you saw my words and self as worthy, fun and important when I saw none of that myself.

    Thanks. Happy Anniversary. ~LA the Fan

  2. Hey! I would have said the exact same things...although it has been a while since I have been told I was beautiful and sexy.

    Happy 12. Glad to have been around for the whole saga to date.