Fact: I dread getting old. My husband, on the other hand, is thrilled beyond belief to be ancient and unable to control his bowels. He waxes on and on about the possibility that science will reveal a way for him to live well past the century mark. In my mind, that sounds worse than being dipped in hot lava while Celine Dion wails in the background. This difference in opinion exemplifies our marriage and why we have made it work for so long. He seems to have been born with what you would call ‘a zest for life’. I was born wondering why the hell this life thing was so difficult and painfully long. He sees the best in every person he meets, even when they have been complete dicks to him. I hate everyone. He looks at a challenge as something to tackle with passion and a giant grin on his face. I just stay inside and hope no one calls my phone or knocks on the door. We are opposites in so many ways and on the brink of my husband’s 40th birthday, I offer a list of reasons he amazes and perplexes me on a daily basis. An ode to the man who somehow still believes he hit the jackpot when he married me.
You are a lucky bastard and you know it.
My husband wins random shit all the time. The surprising thing to me is that he actually believes he can win. I don’t have that problem. Our first date was to a concert that he had won tickets to the week before. He told me “I folded my ticket in a special way so that it would feel different when they went to pull the paper out.” That shit actually worked. He wins raffles, drawings, and even Keno. We have a photo of his 1,500 dollar keno win on a one dollar bet. Who does that? My husband…that’s who. I’m over here angrily forcing nickles into a slot machine with the knowledge that I will mortgage my house and sell my children before I ever win a jackpot.
You believe that people are good and will argue that point ad nauseam.
My husband has been screwed over in business upside down and sideways more times than I can count. At one point he was working for a company that straight up lied to his face about the fact that they were selling out and wouldn’t keep his position. Yet, he still showed up and worked his ass off up until the moment they said “We want you to take a commission only position or take a severance.” I wanted to burn that fucking building to ground and drown the owners in green jello, yet he came home and said “It’s no big deal. I’ll find something.” And he did. But not before I raged for hours about how they had screwed him. It’s a trait I admire so much, the ability to not want to kill everyone. He can take a piece of poop and shine it up to the point where everyone thinks it’s just a gorgeous piece of art. I just think it’s a piece of shit.
You are a spunky morning person. WITHOUT COFFEE.
I know. I read that sentence and I’m like “Fuck that noise. No one is happy in the morning, especially without coffee.” But it’s true. My husband will roll over to face me in the morning and use his pointer finger to lightly touch my nose and say “Boop. Good morning.” And he does it in a really sing-songy voice that makes me understand why some people keep a large Rubbermaid container and vats of acid in their basement. When I groan and elbow him in the chest his response is “You just need your coffee, princess.” I celebrate your spunk in the morning, dear. Just know that I will never, ever, times a million coffee beans be that person. Even after three cups of coffee.
You believe in me. I still don’t know why.
Living with another person is awful, especially if you live with me. I get angsty when my husband leaves twelve cups and three stinky bowls in his office or when he spends an entire Saturday decorating the inside of our garden shed with Christmas lights. But when all is said and done, that guy is a cheerleader like no other. I’ve tried my hand at everything from a kid’s arts and crafts business (fail) to going to college with two young kids at home (fail) to proclaiming myself a writer who would eventually publish a book and put us on easy street (fail-a-roony). Yet when I come up with another hair brained idea he is the first person to stand in my corner and scream “You can do this!” I’ve never had someone in my life who is more excited or invested in my shenanigans. I’ll take the dirty dishes any day to have that guy in my corner of the ring.
You are a good person. The kind everyone strives to be.
The term ‘good person’ means different things to different people, but I know my husband is a good person because I’ve met my fair share of not good persons. (9 out of 10 people I meet on a daily basis are people I don’t trust or like on any level) He cuddled our babies as newborns and held me tight while I cried about being a huge heifer with leaky boobs. He donates his time and money to people constantly without needing validation. He says please and thank you and then rips a giant, guacamole fart at the dinner table. Which I can look past because he always compliments my cooking. I’m convinced his heart is the size of a Hummer, but I can’t confirm nor deny this as I can’t see through his skin.
Happy Birthday, Mr. 40! I hope you live to be 150 if that’s what you want. But I will warn you that I won’t make it past 80’ish. I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding another sassy lady to annoy in the morning or fart with at the dinner table while you enjoy your rest home.