Tag Archives: wife

Of Anniversaries and Birthdays and Mid-Life Crises

Today my wife and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Kim and I met at Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1986. We got married in North Reading, Massachusetts, her home town in 1992. Our reception was at the Hawthorne Hotel in Historic Salem, Massachusetts. We moved to Michigan in July of 1993 and bought the home that is the theme of this blog in December of 1995. Two children, several jobs and lots of pets later, here we are celebrating 20 years as husband and wife.

Ours is not a perfect marriage, none are. But it’s pretty close. We’re very similar people and we like each other. Yes, I specifically used that word… “like”. We like each other, we’re friends, we get along, we know when it’s okay to talk to each other and we know when it’s best to leave the other to themselves. That old adage that opposites attract should be thrown out the window. Opposites don’t attract… well, perhaps they attract, but do they last?  People that are the same, that have the same interests and personality traits have relationships that last. Sure, we are in love too. But “love” is one of those vague words that has so many levels of meaning. It’s a word for young people testing the waters of newly discovered relationships. It’s a word for romantic’s spending a week in Paris or watching a sunrise on the beach or picking daisy’s in a field. It’s a word that’s important in our lives, but when it comes to a successful marriage words like friendship, commitment and loyalty should trump the word love any day. When you’re raising kids and trying to pay a mortgage and thinking about college years… you better be friends… you better be committed and loyal… and you DAMN WELL better LIKE each other!  So, to my wife, if you are reading this… I may love you… but I really LIKE you. Thanks for being my best friend.

Today is also my oldest brother’s 50th birthday!  This is quite the milestone day! I have two older brothers, both of whom I look up to tremendously and who have been friends and mentors to me. Unfortunately they both live far away and I don’t get to see them that often. But they are important in my life and I wish the oldest the happiest of 50th birthdays today.

I have to admit, as I sit here and type this morning, all these large numbers, 50’s and 20’s make me feel old and throw me deeper into my so-called mid-life crisis, which I have written about periodically and that I suspect I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Mine is not the traditional mid-life crisis of fast sports cars and yachts and trips to the Caribbean. It’s more of a “can I check the fuck out and become a quirky, long-bearded homesteader who raises bees and writes poetry and doesn’t have to deal with the daily shit storm of life?” But that’s not very responsible and fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) I am a mostly responsible guy and understand that’s not a suitable option at this stage of my life.

Plus, I’m not sure my wife would “like” me anymore!

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Gee, your hair looks terrific!

My wife got her hair cut a couple of weeks ago…

When I saw her that evening, I told her that I loved her more than life itself and even though she had just gotten one of the most incredible haircuts in the history of haircuts and she looked more beautiful than Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, that I didn’t marry her for her hair and that she was beautiful no matter what her hair looked like…

Alright, I admit it… I didn’t really say that… but I did tell her two days later, when I finally noticed her haircut, that even though I hadn’t noticed right away that she looked stunning and more incredible than the day we met and that I appreciated her spending the time to look beautiful for me, but it didn’t really matter what her hair looked like because I loved her no matter what…

Okay… damn… alright, I didn’t say anything like that, but when I did notice like a week later, I said that she looked great but she looked a little different and asked her if she had done anything with her hair, even though it wasn’t really important because she was so beautiful and it didn’t really matter what her hairstyle looked like…

Alright… shit… you got me… I didn’t say any of that stuff, but when I got my own hair cut like a week and ½ later and my daughter noticed my hair and with my wife in the room, she asked me what I thought of Mom’s haircut, I told her that I thought it looked awesome, but I’d been very busy and just hadn’t had the opportunity to compliment her…

Alright… fuck… I admit it… I totally fucked it up again and I didn’t notice she got her haircut.  I don’t think I’ve ever noticed when she’s gotten her haircut and I figure since we met in 1986 I’ve easily had over 100 opportunities. I guess I’m just not that great at stuff like that. She didn’t bitch me out or anything… she is used to me being kind of a doofus when it comes to throwing out compliments for haircuts or new clothes or whatever else comes our way.

I’m glad she has accepted me for who I am. I am by no means perfect in some arenas, but I think I’ve got a lot to offer in others. She’s the same way and we compliment each other and that’s what makes our relationship so great. We rarely fight or have disputes, but we know and understand that marriage is hard, especially when children are involved. Somehow we make it work and we are able to keep some semblance of sanity in our lives. Is it perfect? No, but perfect isn’t really something that any of us can achieve. It is however ours, and that’s all that is necessary to make it right, regardless of haircuts and new shoes and clothes and cars and everything else…

… and for that I consider myself one lucky guy!

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This Song’s For You

 I want to write a song.  I have wanted to write a song for years.  I tried writing a song about my Mom when she passed away 8 years ago but I couldn’t find the words.  I want to write a love song for my wife, a song that we can sing together and share for the rest of our lives.  I’d like to write a song about my son, about what a great kid he is and how we are best friends even before being father and son.  Or better yet, I want to write a song for my daughter, a Daddy’s girl song.  I want her to finish growing up and have her own song, written only about her, that she can tell her friends her Dad used to sing to her, that she can sing to herself when she is feeling down, that I can sing to her at her wedding.  She is 13 now and I am running out of time.

I don’t know why songwriting is so difficult.  I can sit here at my keyboard and knock out blog post after blog post about things happening in my life, about humor, about emotions, about happiness and sadness.  I can write about these important people in my life, word after word, line after line, paragraph after paragraph.  I can write about work and play and life and death.  The words emerge easily once I start tapping the keyboard.  Driving home from work a blog post idea will pop into my head and I’ll have it “written” before I even park and get out of the car.  It seems to come naturally and each day I strive to find something interesting to write about, a post better than the day before, a topic that is meaningful to my readers and to my family and especially to myself.

But I haven’t been able to write a song.  I’ve tried… I’ve sat with my guitar and struggled to come up with some basic chord progression and a melody that has some appeal.  I’ve tried to get the lyrics to flow through my head, just like the blog posts do now.  So far it hasn’t clicked.  The inspiration is there but the ability to put it “down on paper” continually eludes me.  Maybe it’s because song lyrics tend to have to be rhythmic and mysterious and vague.  Maybe it’s because I am trying to write the lyrics and the melody at the same time.  Maybe I’m just trying too hard to write that perfect song, to not fail… because the stakes are so high.  It’s like, this is my only shot, this is the song that my daughter will take with her into adulthood, or this is the song that my wife and I will sing to each other as we sit in rocking chairs with gray hair and wrinkled skin and reading glasses perched on our noses.  Damn, that is a lot of pressure!  It has to be right, it’s has to be special, it has to be flawless.

I found this quote from Jackson Browne, my absolute, super-fragilistic, all-time, favorite, hero musician and singer-songwriter.

“Self-discovery in songwriting, bringing something forth that’s instructive to yourself – some of the best songs that you will ever write are the ones where you didn’t have to think about any of that stuff, but nonetheless that’s what’s happening in the song.”

I think what I hear him saying is… don’t try too hard, don’t think too hard about what you are writing, just let the words develop into something magical.  Find the inspiration from the events in your life, the relationships, the experiences, both good and bad, then set them aside and let the lyrics appear on the page.  Maybe it becomes easier with each song that one writes, just as these blog posts have seemingly become easier to write with each passing day.   Maybe I just need to set aside some time, be alone, and try to make it happen. 

You know I’m not one for New Years Resolutions.  Perhaps finally writing a song should be my New Years resolution for 2011.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be from the heart.

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