SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
This week – being Valentine’s Week – I must pay tribute to those who’ve fallen in love with questionable taste: people who choose to be with the crazed, the obsessive, the workaholic, and the occasionally moronic.
In other words, I’d like to pay tribute to my fiancée.
We met on a writer’s website, one of those places where geeks and nerds escape jocks, haters, yuppies, and the establishment, otherwise known as real life. You couldn’t see who you were messaging (which may explain why she fell for me), and based on my writing style she originally thought I was female. I choose to take that as a compliment.
If anyone there made a pass, it would be with such sexy lines as, “So … what are you typing with?”
“Oooooohhhh…. Talk Apple to me.”
You’ve heard of the May-December romance? Ours is an April-December romance. (March is illegal.) I no longer bother correcting salespeople who call her my daughter, although I haven’t yet given in to the urge to let them believe that for awhile, then start making out with her. These are the things humor writers think are funny.
Because of our age difference I’m very close to being on the same emotional level as she is, although she has me beat on both overall maturity and intelligence. You might think she’s part of my midlife crisis, but I’ve yet to buy a sports car or get hair plugs; and she’s clearly not gold-digging, as my entire fortune consists of a collection of wheat-head pennies and a Johnny West action figure (both in fair to poor condition).
So it must be love. And in honor of Valentine’s Day, that tribute to pink and chocolate, I’d like to tell everyone just what I love about my Emily:
I love the fact that she doesn’t always have to get girly: She can be up and ready to head out the door in twenty minutes, no need for a bucket of makeup or a shelf full of powered devices that look like they belong in a torture chamber.
I love the way she slaps me oh-so gently on the back of the head whenever my verbal stream of consciousness gets out of control.
I love the fact that she loves knowledge, and that we can sit together and watch a PBS documentary without either of us saying, “Huh? I don’t get it.”
I love the way she doesn’t seem to mind when I break into song (at least, not when I do it in private); she just smiles and turns up the stereo volume on her noise-cancelling headphones.
I love how all the sports channels on TV could have gone off the air two years ago, and no one in the house would notice.
I love how we can be walking on a trail in the park one moment, and the next moment be climbing a brush-covered hill that no one’s stepped foot in for decades, just to see what’s on the other side.
I love how she tries to keep me healthy just for my sake, but doesn’t stay mad for long when she catches me cheating with a Snicker’s bar or Moose Tracks ice cream. When she asks for ice cream herself, I know it’s time to tread carefully, because she’s having a bad day.
I love how she encourages my writing by throwing small household items at me until I sit down at the keyboard. Although, really, I think she enjoys the throwing a bit too much.
I love how she taught me snakes have personalities. Her snake is both cowardly and curious, and doesn’t like wearing Santa hats.
I love how concerned she gets whenever she hears a loud falling noise in the house and isn’t certain where I am, and I love how good she is with first aid. On a related note, I love the concerned look she gets whenever I open the tool box.
I love how she didn’t protest when I headed to the roof to demolish my chimney, even after I accidentally smashed the ladder. She knows I have my stubborn moments. Did I mention she’s good with first aid?
I love how we both like the same TV shows, and how we sit down together to devour our limited diet of science fiction, fantasy, and silly sitcoms.
I love how she makes me put money in the pun jar all the time, but doesn’t actually try to make me stop punning. We should have vacation money saved up in no time.
I love how books are just as important to her as they are to me – and how they’re usually the same books.
I love how she’s interested in everything (except sports and politics).
I love how she calls me “Mustache”. As nicknames go, it beats “Hey Stupid”.
If none of that is seems too terribly romantic, well … what it is, is love. Romance is a great thing, but it’s not sustainable; you can’t be romantic all the time. True love? That’s the everyday items, the little things – the stuff they don’t write songs about.
And since I have her – I have it.