Will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?
So I bit that bullet and I took that vow
And everything is different now
Everything Is Different Now – Don Henley
Forty-seven years ago, my wife, who is twenty-nine-year-old today, was born. And yes, I wrote a blog about her last year, when she was just twenty-nine, but now that she’s turning twenty-nine again, I thought I should at least acknowledge it. After all, it’s not everyday you turn twenty-nine.
Seriously, though, if anyone should be recognized for who she is and all she does, it’s my wife.She can be the most difficult, challenging person to deal with at times. I mean, God help you if you’re the poor call centre representative and she’s had to call in a bunch of times to get something fixed. She’s not the type to yell and swear. Nope, she’ll grind you down with logic and unrelenting perseverance.
She’s the one that, when we get out of the car to head into a store, will say, even though I’ve made the car honk two or three times, “Did you lock it?” I’ll tell her I did, and she’ll say, “I didn’t hear it.” Then she’ll look at me. Obviously I have to hit the remote one more time, just to prove it.
She’s the one that will buy something. A new top, a new chair, a new car, and she’ll say, “Do you like it?” When we respond that, yes, we do like it, she’ll counter with, “Are you sure?” We’ll assure her. An hour later, she’ll say, “I don’t know, I really think it’s great. Do you like it?” Yes, we answer, yes, we do. The next day, she’ll look at it and say, “I like it, but I’m not sure you do.” Gah!
Like the most fascinating characters, she’s a study of opposites. Highly competent, always excelling at virtually anything she tries, but never thinking she does anything well enough. She’s a perfectionist, but only when it comes to herself, so there’s time when she’s far too hard on herself, never doing enough to meet her own exacting standards.
She can also be off-putting to some people. She’s shy, which is so often mistaken for aloofness. She is, however, loyal to a fault once she’s accepted you and learned to trust you.
She’s wise. I’ve learned, over the years, that I’m not as smart as her. She’s made many decisions that I can remember thinking at the time, no, no, that’s exactly the wrong thing to do, or even, what the hell is she thinking? Yet, in each case, her decision has always been proven to be the exact right one. So, I’ve also learned, over the years, to stand back and let her take the lead. I know when I do, I’m in good hands.
She’s the organizer of the family and I see my daughter getting that same trait. Karen can organize and plan things, from a quick day trip to a week at Disney World to a Mediterranean cruise, without breaking a sweat. If it wasn’t for her, we’d likely never go anywhere interesting or see anything cool. She’s the one that gets us up and keeps us moving.
She’s also the master of Freejobbing. Freejobbing is the term we use when Karen busts out a word or term or phrase that just makes no sense whatsoever. I think the most recent example of this was the other night when she told me that the forecast for the weekend was calling for wet rain. Of course, I asked her if there was any other kind of rain, and she then tried to cover her freejob by telling me the raindrops would be much larger, thereby making them much wetter, hence, wet rain. “True story!” she finished.
In so many ways, Karen and I are opposites. She reads True Crime, loves Twilight and Maeve Binchy. I’m into horror, thrillers and the latest scientific developments. She listens to Glee, the Carpenters, and soft rock from the 70s and 80s. I’ll listen to damn near anything other than those. Okay, well, those and rap and country. She’s a night person, I’m a morning person. She loves to shop. I hate shopping. And yet, there’s so much that we do share, so many areas of our life that are completely entwined.
I’ve been with Karen now for half my life. I’ve lived with her longer than I’ve lived with anyone else in my life. She frustrates me, she infuriates me, but she can also make me laugh, make me cry, make me smile…she can challenge me to be a better person more than anyone else I’ve ever known. With logic and perseverance, with persistence, with her own high standards, with her loyalty and trust, with her wise and knowing instincts, with her organization, with her absolute butchering of the English language and with her ability to laugh, and to make me laugh and with finally, with her opposite viewpoint, she is the perfect partner, and she is the heart and soul of this family of mine.
Happy birthday, babe. I love you.