You and I celebrated two years of married life this week. I know you know this, but I have to say it like you don’t for everyone else.
I was just going to say, There’s no one I’d rather teeter on the edge of poverty with than you, honey, and leave it at that. But I think I owe you more thanks than that. It has been a monster rollercoaster of an adventure, and you have been a trooper.
Thanks, first of all, for working like a crazy person to get us through. For doing lots of noble things that nobody in the world saw except for me.
Thanks for being a good dog dad. And for not having a panic attack when I introduce conversations like If we ever parent human children . . .
Thanks for never making me feel stupid, for perpetually validating my ideas, for never once – in five years of togetherness – raising your voice at me.
For taking me disc golfing even though I’m terrible.
For hearing me out on orphan care, muscle groups, humane societies, Christian feminist theory, suburban farming, and the de-industrialization of music. For reading all the articles I fire in your direction.
For complimenting me on the gifts that you imagine I have (and the ones I know I have but don’t believe are important). For timing me while I speed-read a greeting card just to prove that I’m good at something.
For oozing helpfulness. For disqualifying me from conversations in which women gather around and complain about how their partners do no housework. You make that pretty awkward for me.
For showing young people what diligence, creativity, and passion look like in your current career as teacher and coach. I’m not sure how you simultaneously get to be the cool teacher and still make students listen to you.
For holding yourself to strict standards and showing impossible grace to your neighbor.
For your unabashed obsession with thunderstorms, waterfalls, Southern culture, and Mexican Coca Cola. For sharing my obsession with hiking trails, old homes, and good coffee.
For your childlike enthusiasm over a good story. For loving each bizarre, unplanned step of our own. For reminding me that we’re part of a bigger story.
For being exactly the kind of assertive person who’s always attracted to me because they detect that they can get what they want out of me, and then squash me like a gullible depressed little bug, but every. single. day. facing my delicate and impossibly sensitive soul, sheltering me and building me up, and telling me, You can push back.
You stand guard over me and still encourage me to stand up for myself. You faced the opportunity to be patriarch of all patriarchs and you missed your chance on purpose.
Thanks for working so hard to make our adventure together so darn fun.
I’m looking forward to the next chapter: the one where we have a home, the one where you go back to school, the one where we plan to army crawl our way out of poverty while karma’s not looking (I am, of course, referring to my suburban farming strategy).
But, no matter which side of the poverty fence we’re on, all I want for our anniversary (and Christmas. gosh, I love Christmas) is you. And chocolate.