"Don't you go and blog about this!"
I hear that pretty often. You see, my husband doesn't want to be the source of amusement for my several fans. So the time he discovered for the very first time that piece of tissue that attaches his upper lip to his head and thought something was periodontally amiss with his gums, and the time he cut himself and convinced me on the phone that his finger was dangling off BY A SINEW so I had knots in my stomach all the way home from work only to find a 1 cm laceration that needed a bandaid, I was told. "Don't you go and blog about this!" He is a wealth of delicious stories and private amusements that will never make this electronic page. But on this, his 39th birthday, I have decided to write in praise of my wonderful husband.
We met in college, so at this writing we've known each other close to twenty years, and we've been married for 11 1/2 of those years. He was the student editor of the Minnemingo Review, a literary journal published by our alma mater, Messiah College. I was a lowly editorial assistant whose charge it was to go to the library and slog through the pile of submissions to find the printable among them. Bryan had Final Approval of all we deemed acceptable. We had mutual friends, but I assumed he was too cool, to remote to be interested in the likes of lil ol' me. When a friend casually mentioned that he would probably appreciate some correspondence after graduation, I obliged. Our epistolary relationship slowly turned into a visiting one, then ever so imperceptably, a dating one, and a few years later we were getting married. We lived five hours apart until our wedding day.
Our first apartment was ridiculously small, and we lived there a year and a half, after which we moved across the hall to an only slightly less ridiculously small place and stayed for eight YEARS. For the first ten years of our marriage we had neither a separate kitchen from the living room nor a door on the bedroom. We were paying off numerous school debts and whatnot and we were stupid broke. But we never wanted for friends or fellowship; his nature made making connections in our little apartment building easy.
I mention all that because I think about the fact that no matter our situation, we were happy. We enjoy each other's company a great deal. I never cared that we were in two rooms. I never got tired of him. When a job change necessitated his moving ahead of me and our maintaining two seperate households for four months, I was deeply miserable. (Read the posts from the summer of 2005 if you care to....most of the misery is catalogued for your convenience.) While some of my best girlfriends have drifted to opposite poles and their own lives, he is a best friend I can always count on, one who will empty a mousetrap, cut the grass, and assist in the washing of the dishes, even if he does exasperate me a little by handing back items that aren't up to snuff. One who will visit the elderly parents of a former downstate co-worker that he wasn't even that close to simply because they live nearby. One who will tolerate my midnight dashes to the station to tend to a stranger's crisis without (much) complaint.
And one who decided yesterday that he wanted his birthday cards diverted to me because I spent my birthday money on gas and groceries. Because he's like that. There's much more to admire; like the fact that he runs up and down mountains for fun. Or his writing, or his reading, his spiritual pursuits, or his fine mind in general. But my lunch hour is almost over.
Happy Birthday, baby. I love you.
(And see? I didn't tell about the fire department coming for the stove fire. Or the sparkly towel/Communion incident. )