Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On The Wife

I have a vibrant, busy and loving household in which to live my life, and I owe all of that to The Wife. It occurred to me that I should give a little of the history there...she's as big a part of all this as I am, and probably bigger.

We met in the spring of '87. I remember it like it was last year...I was hanging out in the hall of my dorm at what was then Moorhead State University and has now changed names a couple of times to the point I don't bother keeping track anymore. A friend of mine who lived a few doors down came down the hall with a beautiful blonde in tow.

This was a bit of a surprise to all of us, because, well, let's face it, this friend of mine was a psycho. He had his moments, but he had no business having a girl like this with him...but there it was.

I was available, but she wasn't. Sigh.

Over that summer, I found a girl and fell madly in love. When school started the next fall, she and I weren't yet a steady item, but neither was I truly "available", though The Wife was, I think. In fact, it was primarily due to The Wife that the girl got nervous I was getting away and really sunk her hooks in.

The Wife was available, but now I wasn't. Sigh.

I went out with that girl for most of the next year and a half, and spent a year or two after that getting over her. During that time, a bunch of us at school, including both The Wife and I, grew into a fairly tight-knit group of friends. We partied together, studied together, and shared our boredom, joys, sorrows and even apartments with each other. Some of us still see each other regularly to this day. During that time, I had a girlfriend or two, and The Wife had her relationships. Neither of us seemed able to find what we needed, and so it went.

I was sometimes available, and The Wife was sometimes available, but we were both stupid. Sigh.

Then school ended, she started her career in social work in town, I moved to Minneapolis and started my career, and in the early 90s I got married to another woman. The Wife came to visit a couple of times. There must have been an electricity between us that we didn't see, because once during a visit from her and another couple of my friends, I got a sunburn and The Wife put some lotion on it for me, and my then-wife got VERY VERY ANGRY about it. It truly was innocent...but she must have seen something she didn't like.

Fast forward through 10 years of a painfully difficult marriage and a difficult but surprisingly amicable divorce, during which I needed a friend to lean on. There was The Wife. She was a friend and confidant, but as our friendship renewed itself while my marriage was ending, I didn't look further than that. In fact, The Wife had a friend that I was very interested in. I found out later that The Wife had already been a little interested in me at that point, and didn't care for my interest in her friend at all. But I didn't realize that at the time, and I was simply trying to figure out where to go with my life from there. And then Mom made a comment that changed my life.

She mentioned to me that my aunt, who is a great and wonderful lady and whose judgement is not something to take lightly on those rare occasions she offers it, had seen me, The Wife and her friend together. She observed that I was interested in The Wife's friend, and that while the friend was okay, The Wife was a truly fine lady. She told my mom I was after the wrong one.

When I thought about it, I had to admit that my aunt was right.

I was free. The Wife was free. Neither of us was being stupid this time. Hmmmm.

Shortly after my first wife moved out and the paperwork was sent in, The Wife and I started to rapidly drift toward our current life together. We were married the next spring back in our old stomping grounds. I rented a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through town after a fairly small ceremony. It was without exception the best day of my life so far. We spent a grand evening with a bunch of our family and friends. We stayed at the finest hotel in Fargo, ND our wedding night, and a week together at the lake cabin afterward. It was a fairy tale come true.

And every day since that one has been a day well worth living. I have no doubts about The Wife's love, and she need have no doubts about mine. We have a trust in each other that could only be borne of a long friendship and deep, slow-grown love. We were a little unorthodox about how we got there, but if you read this blog at all you'll realize that we don't always really care that much about how things are usually done.

Babe, you are my life. You're my last and best love, and when death parts us, know that I have loved my life with you. It's been a better ride than I could have imagined; a much better life than I deserve. I'm humbled to call myself your husband and utterly charmed and delighted to call you my wife.

I love you, lady. I always will.

UPDATE: The Wife wishes to correct me in that she remembers the lotion incident somewhat differently than I do. I remember her putting some on my shoulders. She remembers just solicitously showing concern about my sunburn, and fears I have put her in a bad light. She's wrong, of course, but I do try to present both sides of the story when possible.



At 5:39 AM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

Well..I have to add just a tiny bit of perspective if you don't mind me sticking my nose in..I had a friend who actually thought my sister and dan were dating..thats how cute they were on that July day.
But i have to say it almost didn't happen due to the fact that Mr Dan had come over and was looking at singels hookup sights...He didn't know my sister was even iterested but he made the coment that he didn't care much about his next girl as long as she something or other..My brain is shot..anyway...My sister was put off...i wanted to smack him and used the next day when dan came to give me a ride home to tell him that...if he was interested in my sister he wouldn't be talking about finding another woman..Im not sure he understoond but something went right and here we are now...


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