(Ed. note: You all have the hots for my wife. That's fine, and honestly I can't blame you: she's at once infinitely hotter and immeasurably cooler than I'll ever be, and the fact that she's deigned to spend this much time with me is a profound and inexplicable mystery on a par with "Is there a bigfoot?" and "Who let the dogs out?"
So: I had a birthday the other week, and she chose to mark the occasion by writing something for this dusty little corner of the internet. She shared with me; I share with you; and thus, the circle of life is complete. The following words - except as noted - are 100% hers.)
On your 40th birthday, I reflect on back on the fact that I’ve spent close to 20 of those years with you. You’re an amazing husband, friend, Dad and more. From spending half of our lives together (and because 40 would take too long), here are just 20 of the reasons I love you…
1. You make me laugh every day. An off-beat comment, email, facial expression… you get me every time.
2. You are the best writer I know. Hands down. Your TwoBusy voice is funny, sarcastic, ironic, poignant, breathtaking, beautiful and brave (and all that usually in one single post). And your amazing talents as a professional writer are strategic and creative, yet seem effortless (making me incredibly envious).
3. You have awesome hair. Still black (or really dirty blonde) with no hint of graying. Thick and slightly wavy. You’ve dodged baldness despite overwhelmingly bad hair heredity. Why such nice hair is wasted on a guy, we’ll never know, but the legend of your hair awesomeness is true. (Ed. note: You all thought I was lying, didn't you? Faithless SOBs.)
4. You are cute. You hate when I say cute, as if I mean like a stuffed animal or small pet. You’re a combination of (Ed. note: a universally beloved and deeply handsome actor to whom I bear absolutely no resemblance) and (Ed. note: another popular and ruggedly handsome actor who looks as much like me as, say, your typical blue lobster). How can that be a bad thing? Most people don't get compared to successful, appealing movie stars every day. Suck it up. You’re cute. So there. (Ed. note: I should point out that my wife has the worst eyesight of anyone you know, and subsequently your skepticism on this observation is well-founded.)
5. You know stuff. You’re an information sponge. You’re everyone’s obvious #1 draft pick for any Trivial Pursuit team. I dread getting a Sports or Entertainment question. (Who could possibly know this stuff? Turns out you do, and you thrive on it). I consider you my personal IMDB and Google all in one. And because you know so much stuff… people ask you the most random things fully expecting you’ll have the answer. Remember my dad pointing to houses for sale in the neighborhood and demanding, “How much is that one?” or at Kings Canyon National Park pointing to the giant redwood trees and asking, "How old is that one?" Even if you don’t know, you could make up a reply and everyone would have 100% confidence in your answer. (Ed. note: translation = you're skilled at BS.)
6. You know what music and books I'll like even before I know I want them. You’ve introduced me to some of my favorite authors (Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Janet Evanovitch, Kate Atkinson) and music (the relentlessly poppy styles of Motion City Soundtrack, Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World, which grate on your nerves but you feed my habit nevertheless).
7. You are a vomit magnet. Your track record for getting hurled on by our sick kids is both uncanny and tremendously endearing. Somehow Mommy’s role ends up being to cuddle with the kids post-vomit and you are left having to start laundry, scrub the floors and take a shower at 2AM. Works for me, thank you.
8. You have a great voice. It was one of the things I liked best about you when we first met and still is.
9. You indulge my love of action movies. Predator, James Bond, Steven Seagal (in memorable films that allow you to say things like Steven Seagal “IS Out for Justice”, “IS Incredibly Overweight," "IS an In-Action Hero,” etc.). Remember the old tagline of TBS action movies? “For Guys who Like Movies?” I'm not a guy, but I'm their target audience. (Ed. note: How many of you are married to a woman who hums the theme to Predator? I'm a lucky man.)
10. You are handy with a snowblower. Turns out this skill comes in handy in the Boston suburbs (especially this winter). You may feel like Sisyphus constantly digging our out driveway only to have to repeat it a few days later… but I love that you take care of us. Not that you don’t complain about it, because you do. But it’s your perogative as MAN and HUSBAND and DAD and BOSTONIAN all wrapped into one and you accept it… and fire up the snowblower with each winter storm while the kids and I stay cozy in the house.
11. You hate to dance. I do too. Enough said.
12. You have an ability to spring out of bed from a deep sleep at the smallest cry from one of our kids. This came in handy pretty much every night for a hazy 4-year period where you’d spring to life and rush in to respond to the slightest cry or stirring from any of our 3 kids. My approach at 2am was to hope the child would fall back to sleep… or hope you’d deal with it. Which you did, every time.
13. You have great taste. Despite your daily uniform of jeans, sneakers, and sweatshirts over a beer T-shirt, I trust your opinion. When I ask, does this look okay? Or, should I get these pants? Or, what color should we paint the living room? Your opinion is gold to me.
14. You are the spirit of Christmas. Christmas stresses me out. I have been known on occasion to get annoyed by the excesses of the season. Without fail you start your shopping in October, and by the day after Thanksgiving are already plotting your arrangement of holiday lights and reindeer display for the front yard. You’ve turned Christmas lists into a serious computerized process, helping each child build über hyperlinked documentation of their toy desires. You buy bags of toys and stuffed animals for the kids (and I groan and say they don’t need all that!), and always manage to delight. You’re overly generous and are the very spirit of Christmas… and I love that about you.
15. You can survive on 3 hours of sleep for months at a time. This was tested after the birth of our twins, when you worked full time then came home and did full-night shifts with our twins. The agreement was that you’d let me sleep from 9pm to 2am, then wake me for my shift. That never happened. You knew I was wobbling on the brink of insanity and fatigue after full days with the screaming babies, and you let me sleep extra each night. Bless you.
16. You are the (self-proclaimed) CEO of Thanksgiving. Starting in October you start prepping. Buying supplies, researching recipes, stockpiling bottles of Madiera and Willams-Sonoma gravy goo. You plan and delegate the side dishes (never the important stuff – the core essence of Thanksgiving – the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and gravy are never outsourced). You always name your bird (Birdzilla, Albaturkey… too many to remember) You baste lovingly and roast to glorious perfection. You chat occasionally with the guests… but the turkey and tasks keep you in the kitchen. It’s always been about creating the perfect feast. And when it’s over the clean up begins in a frenzy of hand washing wine glasses and dishwasher stuffing. Then we send everyone home and collapse, and start thinking about next year’s feast.
17. You research everything. This may be a large part of how you know stuff (#5). The mere prospect of a big purchase (cameras, TV, cars we’ll never afford), a vacation, a night out (which restaurant to pick), a new job for me, and more will cause you to launch a full-scale Internet search. Within hours you’ll have mastered the pros and cons, the costs, the technologies, the menus, the maps….which you’ll share with zeal to help us to make the best decision.
18. You pack stuff. You have an uncanny ability to look at roomful of suitcases and know exactly how you’ll wedge everything into our trunk for vacation. It’s a skill that translates to knowing if a couch or bookcase in a store will or won’t fit.
19. You are supportive and loyal. Through stressful jobs, hard pregnancies, the arrival of twins, a diagnosis of Autism and more — you’ve been a rock at my side. You pump me up when I’m down; you help me see the forest for the trees. You are the best husband and partner I could ask for. (Ed. note: this is true. I'm completely awesome.)
20. You seem to like me. That is a wondrous feeling that gives me confidence, happiness and joy.
• • •
(Ed. note: for the record, I feel kind of ridiculous about posting something that's basically a list of reasons why I'm wonderful. But I was really... well, you can imagine how I felt when I read this, and since my wife wrote it as a post there's no possible way I can justify not pushing it live. Anyhow: please feel free to leave a comment detailing how much more you love her than me and why she should just kill me and take over this site. I guarantee you: she'll read every word.)