“It’s 12 years, actually,” Joe said after I excitedly grabbed his hand and said, “Our 11 year Anniversary is coming up! I can’t believe it.” But no offense was taken and no embarrassing feelings were had because after 14 years together and 12 years of marriage we have survived off zero subterfuge or pretense.
For 12 years Joe’s been a victim of my nonsense. I’m so glad I’m his first wife because if he had once been married to someone remotely normal, I’d be screwed. I hastily put things away in the fridge and then they fly out and break when Joe opens it, I start 10 projects at once and then complain about the mess, I don’t watch the show he writes for, I wake him up in the middle of the night to say things like, “Did you close our door or did it close on its own?” or “I’ve been up for hours. You asleep?” Last night, I woke him up laughing to tell him that I just texted my 71 yr old Mom in Italian because she called me from Italy and didn’t say anything… I became convinced she had lost her phone and I was trying to communicate with a foreign thief. I typed, “Ciao, Amico” and sat there with my laptop open to English to Italian translation. Mom finally called back at 2am… She had butt dialed during a private art tour…
Joe just keeps moving through all of the awful stuff I do like he’s walking through the grocery store while repeatedly getting shot by poisonous darts. Stick to the list. Get to checkout. This isn’t happening.
A few days ago, I went to see a Spiritual Medium for the first time (ZIP IT YOU KNOW YOU’VE WONDERED). A lot of my friends had been to see her (validation) and I was torn on a career decision… but mainly I wanted to talk to my dead dog and grandma. Anyway (seriously, ANYWAY), she told me I was an empath and a healer. Which means I feel people’s feelings and want to fix them. Upon Googling, the empath thing is fairly accurate except for the extreme stuff that just makes me sound like an overly sensitive boob.
She knew I gardened, made oils, and baked to send people healing energy. She talked to my grandmother and told me where to find her necklace (it was there when I got home). Joe’s grandmother, Norma, then interrupted to say she was sorry for dying and that she loved the food at the funeral and to thank everyone who helped. Actually, Norma had a lot to say about the funeral and I wasn’t there so I fact-checked with Joe and damn if it all wasn’t spot on. See? Legit.
Joe listened to my story. He listens to all my stories (pretends to), which works most of the time. I listen to him too. I’m kidding, he never talks. But if he did, I would be there with way too much advice. I just tell him his feelings and he agrees that those are his feelings. The medium also told me I should communicate with plants and I was like, “I already do! I hug my peach tree!” Hi. Oh my gosh, hi.
The medium said that Joe “loves and supports you and feels a strong need to protect you.” To which I said, “I feel like if we were being threatened…I would be the one to attack first?”
Twelve years of marriage and he’s never once called me out for being a babbling temperamental recluse who gooses him while he picks up dog poop. Twelve years of marriage and he’s supporting me while I go back to school and has never mentioned that it might be stressful for him too. Twelve years of marriage and he still looks at me like I’m the greatest thing he’s ever seen. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Maybe that’s the secret to it all. Maybe that’s what keeps our marriage strong. I truly think that one day he’s gonna figure it all out and say, “See ya, Mumblefits.”
Until then, I’m going to try and be better about not talking to plants in public, not berating neighbors, not encouraging our children to be clowns, not leaving all the cabinets open so he hits his head on them, not leaving the hose on so it floods the backyard, and not pointing out when he has put on a few pounds when we are on a romantic vacation. I’m going to tell him more often that he is the love of my life and that everything he does makes me love him more except when he burns the dinner I painstakingly pre-made. He is the greatest thing I have ever seen, so when I look at him like that, I mean it for 12 times 1000 years. He’s my best friend and though I may forget the names of all of his coworkers, I’ll never forget to water him when his leaves are dry.
Oh I love this one! As always, your writing spans a range of emotions and hits the nail on the head.
Hope you’re well cousin. Love you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Love you too, Hillary!