Today is my 13th wedding anniversary. I know this because the woman I married is very smart. She put our wedding date on the inside of my ring. We met the summer before we got married, so we’ve known each other just under 14 years. We found each other on a site called “matchmaker.com” which was a predecessor of dating sites like match.com. You would fill in a questionnaire including some multiple choice questions, and then do a lot of essay questions. I liked this site because of the essay questions. Writing is kind of my thing.
Once we found each other, the romance went quickly. We wrote back and forth, got all the “who am I” stuff out of the way, and I talked about where I was in life. A lot like the kind of writing I do here on the blog, actually. And she told me about herself, and we were clearly well suited for each other.
I am a digital pack-rat. I have every email I’ve sent or received since 1996. So it was relatively easy to refresh my memory of our online courting.
I wooed her. I wrote bad poetry. I told her about my little victories at work. I shared my faults and what I was doing to correct them, or live with them. I did everything I could to get her to fall in love with me. And I did a good job of that. By the time we actually physically met, we were already as good as married.
I’ve never had a physical “type.” Particularly after my first marriage was over, and I was meeting women online. I would make a connection at the cerebral level, free from the distractions of physical appearance. And once you love someone, you love them. So when people look at my wife, and see that she is just a staggering beauty, they probably think that’s why I fell for her. But it really isn’t. I had fallen for her long before I first saw her face. Or any of the rest of her wonderful parts.
I’ve loved 7 women deeply in my life. But I’ve never loved another woman the way I love my wife.
It’s a strange and amazing thing to have a love like this. I feel incomplete when she is not with me. That little poem ends with my reaction to her touch, and that is one of the things that is unique about my love of her. I have always been a cuddler. My poor mother had to tolerate “lap time” with me far longer than it was a reasonable request. But my reaction to her touch is more transcendent than a cuddle or a hug. I am instantly transported to a place of calm. Like meditation.
This has actually been a bit of a problem:
That little poem was written after a difficult discussion. I need her. Desperately. But like a star running from the paparazzi, too much adulation can be suffocating. I understand. I try to empathize. But really, I don’t want to change. I like being an incomplete puzzle. I like having that hole. In a strange way, it’s become part of my identity.
Most of my thoughts, outside of work or mundane tasks, revolve around her. What can I do to make her happy? What does she want? What does she need? How will she react if I write this? And if she is in the room, everything else stops.
I think the single word that she has said to me, more than any other word, is “What?” As in, “What are you looking at?” The poor thing, I stare at her incessantly. I drink her in. I watch her move and I see every little detail. And I love every little detail. I am incapable of rational thought when she stands in certain positions.
This past winter, we went to a work party. All the women were made up and dressed beautifully. And all of them were beautiful, as all women are prone to be. But she was different. To me, she was completely unique:
I cannot believe that she is mine. I know that I bring a lot to the table. But it doesn’t seem that I could ever bring enough to deserve her. I long for her attention. She is mine, but yet I want more of her. I have all of her, but I want more. It’s a conundrum.
But I try to find peace. One morning, she and the kids were at church, and I was home alone. And the refrigerator cycled off. And there was complete silence. And it was like music. And I realized that this contrast was similar to my love. I long for her. And my longing makes me contented.
There is just one problem. She hates it when I write about her. But I have no choice. I have to write about her. I have to write, and she’s all I think about, and so I have to write about her. I just hope she can forgive me.