My wife

My wife, Tiffany, is having a birthday today. It’s been a hell of a year, for a lot of reasons, mostly good, but you know how reasons are, lots of gray in with the black and white. So on the occasion of her birthday, I wanted to remind her that I love her.

She is my best friend, the one I tell all the secrets to. We share the looks that mean this, the tilt of the head that means that, the ancient jokes, the lifetime friends, the history, the tears, the uncontrollable giggling, the cold nights, the despair, and the heights of joy. We have the first house we owned together. We have the first dog we loved together. We have reams of old emails, and years of old texts. We have the books we love together, and too many seasons of guilty pleasure TV. We have those things that we have knit together into our life, together. She is my lover. I know her, until I find new depths to wonder at, new resolve to envy, new whimsy to dance with, and then I want to get to know her all over again. I am amazed by her, her strength even when she doubts, her love even when she hurts, her compassion even when she is tired. There is nothing I desire that she does not embody. There is no other dance partner I fit. I am drawn to her, as to nothing else.

She is my partner. When I flounder, she is there for me, sometimes with a tender gesture, sometimes with a kick in the ass. When there’s blood, she handles it. When something smells bad, I return the favor. When I need to work, she shoulders the load. When she has one of those days, I want nothing more than to take it from her, that she can just enjoy what she loves. I would not have lived this life as well without her. I would not be who I am were she not here. I am in her debt, for all that she has made me.

She is the mother of my children. There is nothing more frightening than plucking your heart out and watching it walk around, play soccer, surf the internet, make friends, laugh, and cry. She is there for them, she is their friend, their partner, their love, their guide, their teacher. They would have half a life, if she were not there for them. I am a better father for her being their mother.

She is herself. Incredibly strong, but not without doubts. Confidently competent, but not without mistakes. Compassionately loving, but not without needs. Curious, but steadfast. Complex, but forthright. Beautiful, but intricate. Funny, but sensitive. Crass, but gentle. She is herself, and nothing else.

She makes me cry when I think about her too much, because she is my everything.

Sweetie, I love you.

If I knew then what I know now…

From the “too perfect to be real” profiles at the back of Real Simple comes this open ended question: If I knew then what I know now…

Here’s my answer.

If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have been so worried about meeting the perfect girl. I know, kinda cliche. But when I look back on my life, some of the regret, most of the angst, and all of the crying revolves around women not loving me. I had a wonderful relationship with a girl in college (Hi, Helen!) but when we went our separate ways, it was over love. I was stupid then (not that I’m not now), I was a mess in high school, I fumbled a couple of relationships after college, you should read my diary from then (check that, you shouldn’t) and then, out of the blue, there she was. My lover, my wife, my partner, the mother of my children. The perfect girl. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s not perfect, but I’ll always tell you that she’s perfect for me.

If you knew then what you know now…

I Love You, Sweetie

Last week, somebody found this site by searching for Tiffany Novo. Sure, it’s beautiful, engaging, smart, and pretty much priceless, but it can’t hold a candle to the real thing ((My wife, Tiffany, whose last name isn’t actually Novo)).

I’m the luckiest man I know, and I’d like to wish the love of my life a happy Valentine’s Day.