Ode to a Type 3

Dear Ol’ Husband,

You know how it makes me feel all weird and itchy when people get overly affectionate in public forums. Those elaborate declarations of love and devotion and you’re-the-best-ness always seem tinged with notes of overcompensation. Or, you know, plain old cheese.

But my hand here is forced, husband! Today is not only the 40th anniversary of your arrival on this earth — it is also the eight anniversary of the evening we first met. Therefore, I have no choice but to tell you how wonderful you are, and to do it the only forum I’ve got: this blog.

When I handed you my phone number wrapped around a piece of watermelon gum eight years ago, I had no idea how much I’d get in return. I was barely ready to answer the phone when you called, but if I had known then what I know now, I probably would have answered with a terrifying level of enthusiasm.

You’ve given me a new appreciation for things big and small: birds, road trips, pork tenderloin, life in general, early mornings, concerts, bicycle rides, gin, family, well-constructed flip-flops, my health, our health, liquid fabric softener, good landscaping, porch swings, foreign movies, blueberry pancakes and red velvet cupcakes, weekends with friends — and more.

You’ve joyfully dragged me around the country and across the sea — to the top of the Sagrada Familia, where you called out, “Come back in from the balcony! It’s too high! You’re freaking me out!”, to the craft breweries of Vermont and Colorado, to the seal-dotted beaches of La Jolla, to the cold, wet post-Christmas landscape of Buffalo. You’ve shown me that it’s possible to have fun anywhere — as long as there’s a cold beer and some delicious cheese to be had.

You’ve helped me carry what seems like a thousand burdens, including such debilitating tasks as keeping my car clean and figuring out our income taxes. Short of taking it on yourself, you’ve done everything humanly possible to help me care of the ‘betes: picking up prescriptions, waking me up to check my blood sugar in the middle of the night, rolling out of bed to get me a bowl of cereal or a granola bar or a juice box at 3:00 in the morning, delicately asking if I’ve “remembered to insulize” for whatever delicious snack I’m in the process of mowing down. You’ve always encouraged me to take the best care of myself that I can — no matter what it takes. You are, indeed, the shit.

You do so much for so many people, and it makes me proud to be your wife.

I wish I had something truly mind-blowing to give you for your 40th. A private dinner hosted by Anthony Bourdain, a jug of 150-year-old whiskey, a trip to some crazy geological site or a HGTV backyard makeover.

Instead, I’ll offer up the whole rest of my life, plus dinner tonight and a Hendricks martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives. Oh, and this baby of yours I’ve been carrying around town.

Cheers, husband, and happy 40th Birthday. I love you a bunch.