Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine

I'm bound to think there's a heavenly "skip the lines" pass for individuals like Mother Teresa, the Pope, and my husband.  Each and every moment that I see him endure my OCD right along with me, I can't help but think he should be eternally rewarded one day.  The man has seen me through it all, and nothing proves to be too shocking or exhausting for him.  He held my hand as I cried in fear my tight jeans would cause a miscarriage (turns out this fear was unfounded), he paid hundreds of dollars for an unnecessary skin cancer screening so I could get a few extra hours of sleep at night, and he allows me to buy only pre-cooked chicken because he knows the very thought of raw poultry is enough to make me bathe in hand sanitizer.

In all honesty, Valentine's Day usually makes me a little nauseated (I always figured it was the overdone romance, but perhaps it was the chocolate).  I've never been a fan of sentiment, but on days like today I can't help but find joy in all that has been given to me. I once again returned to my story vault and dug out this old piece I wrote after meeting Matt four years ago.  So much has changed since I typed out these words (one of them happens to be pooping in the corner as I blog this)but we still remain an unbeaten team.  To my champion of a husband: thank you for rescuing me from myself (and the psych ward) each and every day. 


A thrift store wedding dress gave me a gruesome rash in our third grade theatre production. Once, right before reading a poem at my good friend’s wedding, I face-planted on stage in front of a crowd of 300 guests. In college, I discovered that talking with one’s hands while considerably intoxicated is also an effortless way to add a touch of unwanted red wine to the bride’s Vera Wang dress. Not my fault the floozy wore white…

I’ve gone into anaphylactic shock at a wedding reception, dropped my bridesmaid's sash into an unflushed public toilet , and once, during one of my finest nuptial moments, I plowed down the flower girl while attempting to master the “percolator” during a dance-off. I’ve decided to take the initiative, fore go medical bills, and self-diagnosis: I am, without a doubt, allergic to marriage.

I think in the back of my mind I’ve known this all along. While my friends cry and convulse through the wedding vows and pathetically elbow their way into the bouquet-toss gaggle, I sit back in horror and watch as the nightmare unfolds. “The happiest day of her life,” they all cluck and coo. Mine was turning 21.

I don’t do romance. I hate flowers, I loathe candlelight (fire hazard), and I utterly despise the idea of whispering sweet nothings into a dirty, unkempt ear. Relationships are stuffy and airless---a suffocating, selfless existence where identities and social lives are de-prioritized and abandoned. They’ve always been a source of oppression in my life; a modern form of captivity and bondage.

I painted a picture in my mind of a girl in designer boots and a cashmere scarf promenading her way down the streets of Manhattan---no one on her arm but Marc Jacobs. She would press the elevator button with her gloved hand and stroll confidently into her corner office, pausing to take in the view. There was no “he” in this painting, no man to interfere with his endless demands and overbearing wants and needs. I tucked men away into an “Only Good for Buying Drinks” file and called it a day.

Then in he walked…or stumbled for that matter. With a sideways smirk and the worst of intentions, there he was---my male counterpart; my saving grace.

There is nothing glamorous about him. He isn’t flashy or romantic; his idea of a perfect date is a case of beer and a handful of cheap feels. He never holds open the door, and he thinks kissing is a lame 8th grade invention.

He doesn’t ask questions; he demands almost nothing and needs only what I can give. He forgets to call back, prefers limited touching, has absolutely no filter on the words exiting his mouth, and sometimes, when all the world is perfectly aligned, he just so happens to take the breath from me.

He doesn’t care that wedding dresses and save-the-date magnets and bouquets of coordinating flowers terrify me---we share a common allergy. He prefers wrestling to cuddling, television to listening, and the majority of the time, he wishes I came without sound.

He is messy. He seldom says the "right" thing, and he always leaves up the toilet seat despite my constant reminders. He lacks sensitivity and is absent of affection, yet he emblazons my life and makes beautiful the wreckage. He is disastrous and impeccably flawed; but somehow in his arms I am put back together. He is a certainty, a crooked kind of wonderful, and so very, very necessary.

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