I met him on a Monday, and my heart stood still…. and so the song goes (for those of you who are purists… the song is actually “I met him on a Sunday” by the Shirelles). We had our first cup of coffee and then he asked if he could take me to dinner. I told him that I had to walk the dog. He asked if he could meet the dog. I acquiesed, because Charley, who was my roommate at that time and my beloved border collie mix pooch, was a very good judge of character. And so it began…we went to dinner and I found out that he was not a fan of Frank Sinatra, he wore very nice clothing and he was very creative and had a lot to say and I was in the mood to listen to every word. He also took his mother out which I thought was a nice trait, especially when he would bring her back. Thoughtful, I thought. We spoke every day back then even though he said he was not a phone person. We progressed to spending time together every day which turned into weeks and months and marriage and life. And there we were and here we are.
Sharing a home is often an experiment in compromise, collaboration and sorting out the conflict. It is also a marriage of creativity, a cultural exchange and contentment. A home is more than a space but is a metaphor for feeling safe when the world is fraught with inexplicable and insurmountable madness. We found each other, my FHB and me, later in life. There didn’t need to be a lot of time to figure out that we were walking in the same direction, didn’t want drama, and wanted harmony. We started out as adults and then began to remember what it was to like someone and then know that it was bigger and deeper and very personal. Having been alone for a while without a partner re-established my understanding of my own strengths, subborn determination to do it on my own and to know that I was capable and smart. It took a while to allow myself to lean on and into someone who was gentle and generous and very helpful. I don’t ask for help…that’s the stubborn. I’m working on it.
We do projects…my Lucy moments to his Ricky minutes. I can feel the eyes roll even if I am not in the same room. He is metered in his thinking and creating. I am impulsive and pushy to get things done. We’re not getting any younger so let’s take only a minute not an hour and let’s do it! It’s not easy, for either of us. We are in the coordinating doctor’s appointment years and the “Talk louder” moments. But we still inately can read each other’s minds at times which saves a lot of wear and tear and brings a lot of laughter and smiles. My FHB has made our space our home, not only in the furniture and design elements he has created, but every time he walks in the door, I feel the “homing signal”.
Happy Anniversary, my FHB….thanks for all the days ahead of us and for all the ones we filled already.
Profundity. Patient. Insightful. Quiet. Observant. Traits of a man who fishes and rarely catches a fish and yet tries again in the face of failure. Perseverance. Someone who wants to catch a Christmas fish on Christmas Day during a light snow. No fish, but hot chocolate waiting for when the fish don’t show up. Someone who says, after listening to Buzz Aldrin as the keynote speaker, who arrived late to one of our childrens’ college graduation, because he said he lost his way and you can’t make this stuff up, “I would rather hear a common man who spoke extraordinarily, rather than an extraordinary man who sucks!”. This man who upon seeing a classic stone wall while meandering on a drive through a rural area says ” stone walls are the jewelry that decorate a house”. They are the words that I write down to remember, because they are the words of someone who sees things truly as they are. These are the words that blow me away and captured my heart when I wasn’t planning to find someone to do any more than have a cup of coffee with. I often say to him, “I wasn’t planning on you and yet here we are”.
My FHB and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary next week. Sometimes I forget the years because it all seems so seamless. I didn’t plan to find such a good friend over that first cup of coffee. After coffee, he suggested dinner, and subsequently I countered with telling him that I had a dog who was waiting for me to walk him. He asked if he could meet my dog. I acquiesced because my dog was a very good judge of character and I thought if he could pass the “Charley” test, he might be someone to have dinner with. He passed the test. Charley even allowed him to hold his leash and soon Charley allowed himself to love my FHB and it was mutual. There is something to be said for “love me, love my dog” and for someone who didn’t know dogs, I knew that was big and that it was going to get bigger.
We are not alike although we share a common world view on most issues. His words are metered while mine are endless at times. I know I am often the “Lucy” to his “Ricky”, and, sometimes I am the “Lucy” to his “Charlie Brown”. I can snipe and show my ire and lash in the way that Scorpios can do. He will take the high road and that is often enough for me to know I crossed a line. We are adults. I acknowledge my bad behavior and we go on. No grudges but kindness. At fifty and fifty four, respectively, we were pretty set, each in our own way. We didn’t need to get married. We had enough offspring between us to keep us on our toes and of course we had Charley. We laugh a lot. To make him smile and smirk is a daily goal. The eye rolls are his way of tempering my nuttiness. We live a fairly simple life that include family and friends, and quiet moments taken to just pay attention and hold on to one another. We know that time is too precious to get caught in the maelstrom of being right, when all we want is peace and contentment. It is to know that in the dark moments and in the light ones, we have someone to navigate with. We take turns holding the map. It works. I am very lucky.