i’ll tell you why i have it good.
i have it good (now) because of so many things, but mostly i have it good because my husband really fucking loves me.
he doesn’t bear down on me, or try to change me, and he never says you’re not allowed. we have rules for the kids, for the dogs, for the way the laundry gets done (sort of) but not for one another.
sometimes i hear my girlfriends say he told me i can’t, and they say it with a sigh or a giggle or a frown, but they say it often enough and i raise my eyebrows and nod but i just don’t understand.
my husband tells me i can. he doesn’t even have to tell me. i just do. i just am.
this, more than anything is the bone God threw me, my saving grace, the reason i am here, and that reason is him and that brilliant, easy, faithful love. it’s who he is - steadfast, loyal - and when he picked me and i picked him, the deal was done, the rest of you may go home now.
he lets me do anything that makes me happy, even when he can’t see why.
he lets me sleep in, stay up, he lets me go out, sit at home, write, curse, smoke, gain weight, clutter drawers, buy shit, cry. things maybe he shouldn’t let me, he does - like when i turn on him, clench my jaw, yell, slam the door. i am not easy. it is a complicated thing to love me. he voices his concern, he makes it clear when he’s at his wits end, he tell me what he prefers, how he’d go about it, and trust me, he’s no doormat. but i am his wife to love, not his wife to own. and that difference is the key.
however, when i started this blog he did say this -
please, do not write about us.
keep our love private, is what he meant. his eyes were focused, intent. he was serious and sincere. i obliged, because this is a man who asks for very little, so when he does you kinda pay attention, unless it’s about picking up the dry cleaning. but this was different. this was important to him.
so i obliged, but then things wound themselves into my writing anyway, wriggled their way in. i write around it but it - him and us and our love - is there. in the ways i describe him as a father, actor, family man. in a little sentence here and there, because i can’t help it. his love is a part of who i am now, it is burrowed deep, and i can’t extricate myself from it, not as a mother, a woman, a writer. I am forever alluding to him and the life we’ve made, the life he’s given me. this life is recompense for so many shitty, shitty things, and it started on March 10, 2004, when I walked through the door of Vintage Bar and made a beeline for Patrick Wilson.
i found an old poem today, written when we started dating, titled ode to you who lifted me. so that title is enough. i won’t go into what he saved me from, but save me he did. we don’t need those knights in shining armor, but when they happen to come along and when they offer you something as grand and small and fragile and beautiful as unconditional love, who the fuck are we to say no. at least i didn’t no. i said yes, please, more, now.
and today, ten years after i walked down a chapel aisle, smiling my truest smile, walking eagerly toward him, but taking my time, as if I were walking in a dream, how can i not write about us.
how can i not write about his goodness, and how his mouth is the best thing in the world, about how he turns me on, and how we fight, about how there are days we are bored, tired, irritated, and days when all it takes is one touch and there we are scrambling up the stairs, hoping the dogs don’t follow. (oh i can feel him blush now, i can feel his squinty eyes on me, too much, dag, too much.)
we found each other after we had loved and lost, loved and scorned, when we were good and ready for a lasting kind of love. we found each other at a bar in midtown, on a Wednesday night, I think. i was wearing a weird silk shirt and brown pants and when i tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around, the world stopped moving, i swear to god just like in the movies.
ten years later, and we have two kids, two dogs, one house, one pool, a thousand little memories, some sad, some hurtful, some we can’t take back, some we never want to forget. our marriage is such hard fucking work and it is also easy peasy lemon squeezy.
and he can still take my breath away.
i am a strange person. i have my faults, my battles, and baggage. i am angry, morbid, abrupt, passionate, conflicted, loving, brazen, broken, bold, and a bit of a chickenshit.
but from the moment we fell in love until this very moment, he’s always just let me be. so this is my ode, to the one who lifted me, and put me down gently, so i could stand on my own two feet,
right next to him.
ten years ago tonight, i was in a room in an inn on the Hudson, laughing and trying to get a good night’s sleep. my hands were probably shaking, i was alive with anticipation. i was waiting for the sun, for the next day to arrive so i could put on my white dress and go see about a boy. a boy who would become my husband, my husband, who would become the best thing about me.