Saturday, June 23, 2012

300 Days - Eve of Fifty: Words from the Man Who Married the Man-Eater

Hello EoF followers, and surprise, surprise. I’ve locked your normal blogger in the bathroom and stolen the keyboard to introduce myself. It’s Mr. Eve of Forty, aka Eve of Fifty. What I lack in creativity I make up for with outright plagiarism, see? And, to be completely honest, I am not truly on the cusp of half-centurydom. I’m far enough away, even, that it’s still possible for me to deny that I ever will really get that old. I mean, who gets that old? My mother has, and my father did. As I remember, just about every teacher I had from first grade through about sixth seemed close to one hundred, which is certainly past fifty. A multiple even! No, I am maybe more on the early horizon of fifty, but On the Early Horizon of Fifty makes for a fairly unmanageable blog post title. I digress. And it won’t be the last time, by a long shot. Those who know me, nod approvingly. Those who don’t, I’m sorry right off the bat.

You’ve had several months now to get to know Barbara, and some of her most wonderful stories have captured your attention and possibly even titillated your every sense. The one about Wow’ing your lover was exciting for me to read. And heck, I lived it! And the question in another post of what you’d do with a second life is a big reason I am writing this post. Excellent stuff, all of it. There’s something about seeing the words on the computer screen that gives them weight, or validity even. It hasn’t really happened if it’s not been posted to Facebook, or so I read somewhere long ago. This blog isn’t Facebook, of course, but it’s also not a private journal sitting on someone’s bedside waiting for pen to hit the page, quite probably never be read by anyone but the author, at least until their kids find it decades after the author’s death, accompanied by exclamations such as, “Jesus, mom was quite certifiably nuts!” and, “How in the world did our wonderfully sane father ever find the strength to put up with her?” I know, a bit self-serving, that comment. But it’s “my” blog and you don’t know the password, so it stays.

Photo Credit: Billboard Magazine
But that’s a pretty good question, isn’t it? Barbara is no crazier than the rest of us, but she is driven by passions that many don’t ever find, know they have, seek out, or experiment with once discovered. Is that why someone would marry The Man-Eater?

Hey, speaking of what it’s like to be married to Barbara (the ostensible reason for my writing; please note Digression 1, thank you), let me start by saying it’s not for the faint of heart. That’s not a bad thing, unless you are faint of heart, of course, but I am not, so it isn’t. What it is, however, is ever-changing and dynamic. It’s much like if you left work on a fine and normal Wednesday afternoon to go home to your family, and on Thursday morning you got to the office and your boss was standing in the doorway waiting for you. Except he’s not wearing the khaki slacks and polo that he had on the day before. He’s got on chartreuse Bermuda shorts and a white tank-top. Your desk is gone and has been replaced by a sheet of plywood and two sawhorses. You learn that instead of real estate deals your new focus is on building the better tiny umbrella for those drinks they served in the movie “Cocktail” and that your long-time personal assistant has been replaced by an intern from Serbia whose first stated goal after hearing she had gotten the job was to learn English.

Which is to say that it is exciting.

When I was growing up and becoming the fine young man I never became, I had a best friend. Most of us do. And we knew lots of other folks—groups of two, normally—who were best friends. I had a BFF. He ultimately became my BFUWGOAHDCTMPATHSADOMYFATWLT. What that stands for isn’t important other than to say relationships change. But did you ever notice that when observing two best friends, one was always a little better looking? And maybe one had just a little more money; enough to give added benefit to the poorer of the two? Or maybe, once you spent time talking to each of them you realized that one of them was observably smarter than the other? And that usually one used their creativity in ways that the other never considered? What is it that draws us to others who possess things we don’t, while allowing us to forgive our own shortcomings and insecurities while in their presence? And even become Best Friends with them? How do we digest the fact that we are not the best at everything we do? And how do we reconcile our uncertainties within the context of a marriage?

And what does the previous paragraph have to do with this blog post? Well, if you caught my earlier rambling on B’s Facebook page I did a hard-hitting exposé in the form of a love letter to her, laying out all the reasons I loved her. I called her smart, funny, beautiful, hot, and a host of other wonderful things (remember the hardworking sports fan who could cook and throw a mean party? Don’t forget those either). But in none of those words did I remember to give her credit for how well she does any of the things she does compared to what I could pull off. Or with any of the ways she shows me her love. So the point, Dear Reader, is that she is better than I am not only at most of those things on that list, but also better at being alive. At keeping me up when I would prefer to sink low. At making certain that each of our days is slightly different than the last. At remembering that it’s not just about the next 299 (or whatever number) days, but about the probable next 15,000.

Living with The Man-Eater is an exercise in readiness; kind of like being a fireman, who must be ready to slide down his pole (and that is definitely what she said) at the sound of the bell, and change course on a moment’s notice. But in the end, or at least up to this point, I’ve discovered that I wouldn’t want to live any other way. I’m not willing to settle for the mediocre. So the Man-Eater is my smarter, better looking, and more creative Best Friend. And I’ll gladly accept and enjoy that knowledge any day of the week, for all those 15,000 days to come.

Lastly, thank you for letting me hijack your weekly read with this EoF(ifty) interruption. And thank you to the special someone who most recently took the effort to remind me of just how important my wife is to me, and whose kind words and efforts encouraged me to not ever give up; to fight for what I wanted until I won. And boy did I win. Take care, Dear Readers. I now return you to your regularly scheduled and much more hilarious program.

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