It isn't easy loving Wrecked-Um…
“I love you like a fat kid love cake…
You are my best friend. The 10 years we spent as friends gives us an insight, some may say a “fair warning”, into each other that other couples spent decades trying to find. You knew what you were getting yourself into, and stuck it through nonetheless. There aren’t words for my appreciation or devotion, and today, I give myself to you completely. I promise to give you all that I can provide, to inspire and encourage you, to comfort and support you during the tough times, and to jam a saliva covered finger in your belly-button whenever you seem like you need it. I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh, I’ll love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it is difficult, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and always hold you in the highest regard. I give all these things to you today, and every day, for the rest of our lives.”
Those were the vows I spoke to my wife on our Wedding Day, February 16, 2008, just 2 days shy of 2 years ago today. She wanted to get married on Valentine’s Day, not out of any specific romanticism, but because she thought it would be easier for me to remember the day. While it was a great idea, circumstances dictated the wedding be 2 days later, but I still haven’t forgotten it. Not yet, anyway.
That is just how well my wife knows me, though. We first met when I was 16 and she was 15, through a group of mutual suburban hoodlum friends. She was quirky and fun, and smoking hot as hell. Every guy in our little circle wanted her, but none got her, because she didn’t even date for several years after that. She was untouchable, but plenty tried. I was a chubby, long haired Comics nerd at the time, and had no place even being around someone so attractive (dictated by the laws of teenage angst), though she never made me, or anyone else, feel that way. She was kind, outgoing, and funny, with an appreciation for geek culture and punk music, and never pushed anyone away. She was perfect, plain and simple, as crushable as any cheerleader, prom queen, or party girl. And don’t get me started on that ass. I even took her to a High School function, as friends, my Junior year Homecoming, 1993. Sure, it almost went down in flames, but we have a viable “first date” story we can share at parties.
After a few years, she went to college and I entered the job market, first at retail, then a well known area convenience store chain, then at a newspaper print shop. We both kept in touch, albeit peripherally at times, with the same group of suburban hoodlums, though most of them had done some growing up of their own at that point. It wasn’t until 2003 or so that we caught up again and started hanging out more regularly. She had landed her dream job, as a rock climbing and dance instructor at the high school she graduated from, and had a great apartment with a deck. I was languishing on unemployment, trying to get a fledgling small business off the ground, and still living with my mother. And a lot of toys. Yup, I was that guy. I had gone through a couple bad breakups, and started drowning my sorrows in alcohol, so a cool place to hang out and party with an old friend was exactly what I needed. We slowly hung out more and more, until a New Year’s Eve party where I got so drunk that I ended up rolling around on the floor with my underwear around my neck. There are pics of this. She made her move, I followed, and we’ve been together ever since. We bought a house in 2005, got married in 2008, and this year we’re expecting our first child, Fiona Skystriker Megatron Hiss Tank Scarlet Elizabeth. Or Fiona Erin, I’m not sure which we’ve agreed on this week.
My wife is a wonderful, caring, and above all, PATIENT (I’ll be saying that a lot) woman. I know that life with me can be difficult. I am sure this will be hard for anyone to believe, but I can be an obnoxious, opinionated, overbearing, smug prick some times. I know, it sounds crazy, but it is true. I tend to say things that maybe I shouldn’t, and the things I should say kind of get lost in the shuffle. Or, they come out badly. Regardless, I am taking this opportunity, today, Valentine’s Day, to say all the things that I should have, could have, or would have said, if I was a smarter, more romantic person. You can all leave at this point, because the rest of this is really aimed at her alone. Shoo, be gone.
Sweetheart, I love you. I want you to know that. Things have been…complicated…Lately, for us. The last few years have brought a lot of life’s little difficulties our way. Neither of us is happy with our respective employment situations, money is tight and getting tighter, and the stress has pushed us both to the breaking point. We’ve been through a lot together, and we’ve always survived, together. Nothing has killed us yet, neither literally, or figuratively.
I am sorry for the times where my stress has gotten the better of me, and I have taken it out on you. I am sorry for the days I come home from work depressed or angry, and dump it all on you. I know you don’t mind hearing about it, and you always have a shoulder for me to whine on, and I appreciate that. I don’t say that enough, and I am sorry.
Thank you for always being there for me when I need you. I know that I have been distant some days, as the shock of having made a little person that will be joining us soon has been slowly sinking in. I am really scared that I won’t be able to handle the changes that she will be bringing to our lives. I don’t know if I am a strong enough person to be a good father, because I never had one growing up. You’re always there to reassure me, tell me that you have faith in me, and that we’ll be OK. Even when the fears and insecurities come back as that day ticks closer, knowing you have faith in me calms me down. That, and seeing those little booties that you’ve been knitting. Tiny little booties, we made something that is going to fit in those tiny little booties. That is just fucking wild.
Thank you for all the things you’ve been doing around the house while you’ve been home. The dishes, the cooking, the shopping, walking the dog, feeding the cats, they all are appreciated.
Thank you for “getting” me. I watch cartoons all day long, and leave piles of toys around the house. You watch cartoons with me, and rarely complain (except when it is Sponge Bob, she HATES Sponge Bob. And FlapJack.). You never say a thing about my toys being all over unless you trip over one of them, which is totally cool. I can move them after you trip over them, no problem. You support my hobbies, and even tell your friends about some of the things in my collection that you like. That is so cool, and I love you for that.
Thank you for your endless patience. From when I lick my finger and stick it your navel, to when I write on you with that black marker while you’re sleeping, to the inane shit that comes out of my mouth on a daily basis, to my stupid little habits that I know drive you crazy, thank you for having the patience to still love me and not badger me to death like other women might.
Thank you for that look, that fantastic, fulfilling, exasperated, annoyed look you get whenever I do stick a wet finger in you navel, write on you with that black marker while you’re sleeping, or when I say something inane or ridiculous. That look is like girl scout cookies to me, I love every one I get. Some days, everything I do is for that look. Because I know that even if you seem annoyed as hell, you still love me under that look. But just so you know, I am probably going to start hiding the cap for the toothpaste. I love that you get so pissed off when I leave the cap off, I can’t imagine how pissed you’re gonna be when you can’t find it.
Thank you for challenging me. Even when I am fuming angry or frustrated because I don’t see something the way you do, and even when you’re right, and I don’t want to admit it, I can still look at you and say to myself, “Dammit, I love her”.
Even though I have been playing it off for over a year and a half, I really am sorry that I lost my wedding ring…Less than 4 months after our wedding. I really did think it would just turn up, that it was somewhere in the house, but after all this time and all the looking (I really did look for it all over the place), I think it really is gone. I am also sorry that I have been telling people, totally as a joke, that I left it in some stripper’s G-String in Dallas. You laughed nervously the first time I said it to our veterinarian, but it probably wasn’t appropriate, and I don’t want you to think I lost it just for the sake of a joke, or that I didn’t care about it. I did care, I do care, and I am truly sorry I misplaced it. And I didn’t leave it with any stripper in Dallas. I had lost it long before the Dallas trip.
Thank you for grounding me. When I am angry about something at work or someone I know has pissed me off, and all I want to do is go slash their tires, or take a baseball bat to their head, and you put your hand on my shoulder and say “Honey, you can’t do that, you’ll go to jail. And you can’t go to jail, because I need you, and you’re daughter will need you…” I need that so much more than I let on. I think that, without you, I would have been thrown in jail for some kind of assault or homicide a loooong time ago. Thank you for being the only conscience I have some days.
Thank you for being the caring, compassionate, empathetic person that you are. It takes a special individual to be a High School Teacher, and so help me god, I could never do it. I watch you, showing honest concern for one of your students, helping them through their own tough times, and I just can’t find that place in myself. I hope to some day learn from you, how to be a more compassionate and thoughtful person. Until then, I will probably want to run most high school kids over with a truck.
Thank you for the last 6 years together, our 2 years as man and wife, and thank you in advance for all the years to come. I love you more each day we’re together. Every time one of life’s little inconveniences drop kicks me in the groin, I count my blessings, and you’re at the top of the list. I can make it through anything, even this whole parenthood thing, so long as I have you. We have dealt with a lot, and together, we can handle anything. Nothing’s broken us yet, and nothing will. Thank you for everything, and especially for that sweet, sweet ass.
I love you, Em. Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Anniversary.
If anyone wants to go talking some shit on Wrecked-Umm being a softy, meet me outside, I got two fists with your fucking name on them.