So: What do Valentine’s Day and gratitude have in common, you may ask? In my case, quite a lot actually. This is my third (count ’em folks, that’s three!) marriage. You know what they say: “Practice makes perfect!” Well … I’m not sure about the perfect part, but on the whole, it is pretty damn good.
Consider that my wife could’ve had anyone she wanted. No, seriously. She was hotter than hot (as in “Finer than frog hair”). She had a great job, her own house, a killer vintage hot rod, and a good head on her shoulders. It’s not like she needed a man, or a husband. I, on the other hand, was a train wreck! There were a number of issues I was procrastinating in dealing with because I did not want to admit defeat and failure. I was an amusement, something different. I was cocky, ballsy, and wicked funny. I also kept my word, as things turned out. I had a sense of honor.
As things progressed, I keep chasing her and chasing her. One day her best friend sat me down and basically said that I had quite the set of balls to be expecting anything in the way of a permanent relationship until I took care of the issues I was procrastinating on finishing up. Me being me, I made a list as this person sat there reading me the riot act, saying that without these things being dealt with, there wouldn’t be a permanent relationship. Now, my wife and her friend didn’t believe that I would take care of all these difficulties at all, much less do it in a relatively short amount of time. But I did. I said I would, and they had laughed; but I did it.
So, after chasing and chasing, she finally let me “catch” her. Interesting. Anyway … so here we are, many years later, and still married! Amazing. We live in our dream home, with beautiful, peaceful gardens, and inspiring artwork. We share the mornings (when the sun fills the house with light) over a cup of my hand-blended Happy Budah coffee. She handles the linear logic, and I handle abstract logic. We discuss politics, art, history, travel, and laugh at The Big Bang Theory. We discuss finances together (whereas before, I was lost in this area). She has been kind enough and smart enough to allow me to pursue my dreams (writing and artwork). She has also been patient with my acquisition of guitars and amps, which we both hope I’ll be able to play fairly well someday. (I’m working on it!) While I am still not allowed to use power tools, I have been known to change out faucets and repair toilets. We are both at a point where it is OK to have some alone time without feeling jilted and neglected.
So, everything is honkey-dory, right? Silly people! This is a marriage, not a fairy tale. There are things that she will never understand. She knows my recovery is important to me, but to her, it shouldn’t be a difficulty to stay clean and sober. She is proud of me for doing it, but does not see where the difficulty is in doing so. For those of you who are with someone who is right about things 99% of the time, you know how frustrating that can be. For my part, she will never cease to be frustrated by me getting lost in a paper bag, or trying to visualize how to put something together. In fairness though, she has become somewhat more patient over the years. Are there days that we wake up and say “What was I thinking?” Sure – you bet. But she has been the best friend I have ever had. She always has my back. When life and the universe kick me in the nuts, and I dust myself off and get up, she is there to give me a hand. As much as I drive her crazy sometimes, she respects me because I have always kept my word whenever I have given it. I don’t quit. And she loves me because I still make her laugh and smile. I am very grateful to have her in my life. Best thing to happen for me so far.
To Teresa I say, thanks for letting me “catch” you. Thanks for being in my life. Thanks for sharing the day-to-day with me. Loves you mucho!
Happy Valentine’s Day!