Monday, December 10, 2007

Fifteen Years

I’ve never dated anyone for that long before.

Somewhere out there, a very small collection of women are wondering why they just gave reflexive sighs of relief. (To be honest, though, I just gave a ginormous sigh of relief… especially in the case of the first and the last exes.)

Sometimes I wonder about my luck. How did I manage to marry up? At the Anti-Strib Christmas party a number of us joked at how we all married up. I met Brent’s wife… a lovely woman. Last year I met Jim’s wife… a real woman in the Maureen O’Hara tradition. Tracy’s wife is universally praised as a gracious host and a great gal. To say that we all married up makes our wives sound like idiots and like women willing to settle for something less than their worth.

I’m not going to speak for the guys, but I’m sure they would agree in their cases… we may have married up, but we've closed the distance in terms of how we value and treat our wives.

Women, specifically wives, make us better men. We give them the treatment and appreciation they are due. They don’t merely take simple scraps of affection we dogs lay at their feet. They civilize us. They make us want to be better men… and we become better men.

I know some women wish to mold their men. They see their boyfriends or fiancés as great raw materials in which they may sculpt the perfect husband. Not me, baby. My wife knows she’s not the one that does the heavy lifting in terms of civilizing me. That’s my job. I’m the one who must aspire to greater things… and then carry it out.

In any case, fifteen years ago my wife and I went out on our first date. Dinner at Brit’s Pub. We unexpectedly met some friends of mine and ended up playing darts… they cheated at my wife’s request. I also walked her downstairs to show her (surprise!) the mistletoe. Our first kiss.

We’ve been laughing ever since.


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