Friday, August 11, 2023

I'm a fool, but she loves me anyway

It's a very rare 19-year-old who understands what adult life is really like, particularly when it comes to long-term relationships.

So you can forgive my wife if, when I gave her an engagement ring on Christmas Eve 1988, she shrugged and said, "Eh, why not? What could go wrong?"

As it turns out, plenty.

I told her, for instance, that I wasn't especially mechanical, and that we would have to rely on her dad and a succession of maintenance professionals to keep our house and everything in it in some sort of working order. She said she was OK with it, but I'm not sure she really grasped the reality of having a husband who constantly has to whisper to himself "OK, righty tighty, lefty loosey" when wielding a screwdriver.

She not only adapted to it all, she learned to fix a whole bunch of stuff herself.

She also waited patiently for several years before I was able to earn enough money for her to leave the workforce and stay home to raise our brood of children. We had some lean years in the 90s, including a few in which we humbly benefitted from the Women, Infants & Children program.

But we got through it.

I also give her much credit for enduring Noo-Noo Mode, which is when I "helpfully" clean up (and sometimes throw away) items she has intentionally left out and plans to come back and use later. "Noo-Noo" is a reference to the Teletubbies' living vacuum cleaner that instantly swoops in and tidies up messes the moment they're made.

(Actually, my kids – and sometimes their visiting friends  have also been victims of Noo-Noo Mode, so kudos to them for keeping their annoyance to a relative minimum.)

My sense of direction is also lacking, which can be an issue when I'm the one driving. And while I think I've mellowed over the last few years, I also don't like losing very much.

That's not to mention the fact that I tend to be a regimented, highly organized planner, meaning I don't always take readily to spontaneous trips and spur-of-the-moment fun. I do fall in line pretty quickly, but the challenge is getting me to put down the checklist and roll with whatever is happening in the first place.

I could go on, but the point is that everyone should find themselves a Terry. Someone who accepts you for who (and what) you are, even if the price to be paid is decades of eyerolls and a series of patient sighs honed with great practice.

I am blessed to have her in my life and love her more than words can adequately express. So I promise to do everything I can not to wash the cutting board that she will simply pull out of the cupboard again in two hours so she can chop veggies for dinner.

1 comment:

  1. I have loved watching you and your wonderful, loving family grow up!