Thursday, February 16, 2006

Belated Sappage

I do things late, if at all. Whenever we’re home and we go to my parents’ church as a family, my sister likes to point out that we actually sing three hymns during the Sunday service, since I have yet to make it in time for the first one. That’s just how I roll. I’ve tried to change it, and I was doing well until I had a baby, which, coincidentally, also doubles as a perfect reason to be late to ANYTHING. Poor D-lovely has become an excuse for every delay: “Sorry, we had to have a snack/diaper change/bottle/car seat adjustment/pacifier recovery, but we’ll be there in 5 minutes.”

However, being punctuality-challenged does not excuse me for not posting a sappy love declaration for Daddymatic on That Hallmark Holiday Which We Spent Cleaning Out Kitchen Cupboards* So here it is.

Daddymatic, I have known you for almost 13 years, and this summer will make a full decade that you have been on the business end of my slightly neurotic but vast and devoted love. You were a great friend to me first: you made me laugh for hours on end during the magic month we spent as classmates at Oxford. One story I’ll never forge: our friend Candy lit a cigarette and offered you one, and you declined. She jokingly said, “You don’t smoke? What do you do after sex?” and you mildly replied, “Oh. I just do it again,” I knew at that point that underneath your fine-upstanding-Methodist Young Republican** exterior was a boy whose funny needed to run free. I never thought I’d be the one who was lucky enough to watch it grow and sharpen over these last dozen-plus years, but I’m so glad I got to be.

You have also shown me such piercing sweetness that it takes my breath away. Kindness permeates what you do: you make sure I sleep. You make sure I eat. You understand why I have to spend so much money on haircuts you can’t always tell I’ve had, you know why a dirty sink bugs me and you know when to step in nicely and gently ask (over my swearing) if I need help with a misbehaving computer.

You’ve never lost your sense of adventure, either. Going to Poland to teach English and living with a host family who could only be called słabo, braving the wilds of corporate banking culture, moving to Pennsyltuckey, slogging through windstorms in a tiny tent on the prairie with a pregnant wife, and then helping hatch and nurture a baby boy: you have been so brave and so dedicated and so. much. fun.

What you did last week kind of sums up our relationship for me: you wrote an email from school asking me a mundane question and I, being in a funk, replied somewhat despondently. I didn’t get a reply, so I figured you’d gone back to your project or were just leaving me alone to work out my blues. You could have knocked me over with a feather when you appeared 20 minutes later with flowers, candy, a funny cardand open arms.

But that’s what happens with us: just when I feel so alone, like I’ve alienated everybody with my gritchy temperment and bad moodiness, you appear. No matter what’s up with me—whether I’m being a jerk, being depressed, doing my best “come hither, big Daddy,” you show up. You’re there, no matter what. I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I hope you keep renewing that contract of ours. I love you.

Here we are as young'uns, back in 2002, in front of the Getty in LA.

*In my defense, we were afraid we were getting another infestation of Indian meal moths which, as you can see from this post, is pretty much unbearable and deserved attention STAT.

** Interestingly, you are no longer either a Methodist nor a Republican anymore. But you are still Young, and Fetching and Fine.