Thursday, February 09, 2006

Love, Actually

I just read a post by friend Bridget on love and marriage and was going to write this as a comment on it, but it is too much and deserves its own space. I am reading The Mermaid's Tale by Sue Monk Kidd right now and am just sick to death of it. But I can't stop reading a book because I despise the characters--the writing has to be bad and hers isn't. So I will slog through and hope the wife redeems herself. (Sorry Mary K).

This morning Dave informed me that on February 22 we will have known each other for 4000 days. I don't know what prompted him to think of this--other than that he is a mathematician at heart--but my first thought was that it is four times longer than Anne Boleyn was together with Henry VIII. Mad, passionate, impetuous affairs do not seem to last (beware, Tom and Katie).

But once in awhile two people get lucky and meld. I find myself becoming stiff and taciturn as I write this, which is not my style at all. Am I uncomfortable saying that I have a perfect love because I am embarrassed at being thought to brag? Or am I superstitiously afraid that I am tempting the gods and they will take it away? Whatever it is, I am not going to be able to be write how I feel about Dave and our life together with any kind of fluidity, articulateness or eloquence. All I can say is I love him with all my heart. After 10 years of marriage I can't wait for the next 10 and the next and the next and the next. Every day brings something I can't wait to share with him when he gets home. I wake up at night and am flooded with happiness just listening to him breathe as he sleeps next to me (that's before the anxiety attack takes me). We go out to dinner and talk over candlelight just like we did when we met--the same thrusts of witty repartee and quirky banter, the same spontaneous I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that laughter.

Every now and then I go back and read the email he wrote to me when we were first together. The one below will always be my favorite (and I hope he doesn't mind that I share it):

Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 12:08:13 -0700
From: Dave Griffith
To: tunnock@nwu.edu
Subject: Adventure

Tomorrow, I go to sign a lease on a delightful but practical three bedroom apartment. It's urban, but in a neighborhood without a noticeable oversupply of coffeehouses, sex shops, bars, or transvestites. Three bedrooms are necessary, doncha know, because two people need space to live comfortably and cope with the inevitable increase in stuff that they require. It's called "settling down", and means that you have to give up bachelor ways. On my desk, as tangible evidence of all of this, are two pictures of the love of my life, just like all the old marrieds have. I've been with her more or less constantly for the last month, and neither of us seem to tire of it.

By rights, I should be scared witless of all of this, should be fleeing back into my silent life of bookstores and solitary travel and movies and sarcasm and traders and falling asleep reading the Economist. Yet my heart soars every time I look across the strewn stacks of papers, books, and CDs and see a woman in a hammock, wrapped in a blue scarf and with a hibiscus behind her ear. I see her smile, and I am ready to spend my life with her.

Will you be as attracted to Dave the Adult as you were to Dave the Mad Rogue? I pray so. I don't doubt I'll still be strange and a bit wild. You're not going to see me driving a mini-van or watching Monday Night Football anytime soon. But will I be a bit less willing to take risks at work, knowing that it matters to someone other than me whether I have a job the next day? Will I be a bit shyer about walking the bad streets? Will I be a bit more cautious about sloughing bureaucratic responsibilities that I know I can fast-talk my way out of? Perhaps.

And then I look across the desk, and know that I'm not giving up an adventurous lifestyle. I see the smile and the hibiscus, and know that my greatest adventure is just beginning.

--Dave

1 comment:

Bill Paley said...

That Dave. Always was a charmer and good with the language.

I'm smiling for you both.