I’m a listener and a thinker, not a sharer. It’s a shame I don’t share more because I often think about how lucky I am to have Karen as my wife, how much I love her, how much she makes me laugh and how beautiful she is. These are things I should be verbalizing as much as possible but the thoughts rarely leave my head. I could come up with the next great "That's what she said" style iconic one-liner and Mike & Meredith would still not let me live down telling Karen "I told you you were pretty last month." I was totally joking when I said it but sadly it's not that far from the truth. Sharing my feelings is normally a drain on my life force (much less on a blog), I find other people’s lives and thoughts much more interesting than my own. But 7 years of marriage calls for a little sharing. I apologize in advance for the scatter-brained layout of it all, I have a lot I could cover after 7 years but in an effort to keep this to a reasonable length I'll have to skip around.
At the time, March 2004 was the most life altering month in my 22 years of existence (more on this later). I started my first real job, moved into a new apartment (out of my parents’ house) and got married, in that order. Even though we were happy in our marriage and 100% confident we were doing the right thing, these were trying times. Why, you ask? We both hated our jobs with a passion. It’s funny how 9 hours of misery each day can ruin the joy you would normally find in other activities. There was only about a 24 hour period between Friday after work and Saturday evening where we could enjoy our free time on the weekend. By late Saturday evening we were already dreading the fact that we were on the eve of our last day of freedom. As each minute on Sunday ticked by we faced increasing anxiety over returning to what must be hell on earth the next day. We made it through the first year or 2 of marriage on love alone. Thankfully we both eventually got new jobs that we enjoyed to a certain extent; it was still work after all.
Our life together at this point was fairly normal. We were financially secure, had a house, took some nice vacations and had a great time together. Karen has been my best friend since around 9th grade. We have been hanging out constantly since then. So to say we know each other well and are happy just being by ourselves is a huge understatement. She is the funniest person I know, I just try to keep up and carry my weight to keep her entertained. Have you ever wondered what a reality show inside your house would be like? And would people watch? I have and I think people would watch our show. Not because of me but because of Karen. She can make any activity entertaining … cooking dinner comes to mind. She has a goofy song and dance for everything. Just ridiculous lyrics about whatever she’s doing at the time that always seem to end up with a catchy melody stuck in my head. She is a very prolific song-writer, her songs just happen to be about how much she loves spaghetti, or about cranberry juice, TV shows, chewing food or whatever else is going on. I think she has made me laugh out loud nearly every one of our 2,555+ days of marriage. She is not afraid of using the same jokes over and over until they stop making me laugh. After 6 years of dating and 7 years of marriage she has plenty of material to fall back on.
Karen is also very supportive and caring and I know she would go to the ends of the earth for me if I needed her to. My dad died in May of 2009, it was easily the worst day, week and month of my life. Growing up, he was my Superman who could do no wrong. He did a pretty amazing job of living up to those expectations even as I grew older. Losing him caused pain and sadness that has to be experienced to be understood, words can’t really do it. Unfortunately, every one of us has experienced or will experience this sadness. Karen was the perfect friend, supporter and confidant that I needed and still need today for any number of reasons.
A little earlier, I mentioned March 2004 as the most life-altering month for me; well that was definitely replaced by a single moment in December 2009 with the birth of Owen. He has changed my perspective on everything. I think it’s safe to say nothing has made us happier than he has. He definitely runs our lives without even knowing it. Bill Simmons is a comedy/sports writer for ESPN.com, he refers to his young daughter as “the CEO” and I think this is the perfect description. Everything we do has to fit into Owen’s schedule. The funny thing is we don’t even care; we’d rather do anything for him before we do anything for ourselves or anyone else. I think my family is perfect. Karen is doing an amazing job with Owen; she is a natural with him and shows patience and understanding that is beyond me. All I know is I can’t wait to get home every day to be with them. Seeing them interact, laugh and learn together is better than seeing any number of my other favorite things (i.e. a great soccer game, Cowboys football, The Office, 30 Rock, any # of other TV shows). Hearing her sing “Go To Sleep Little Baby” to Owen when he won’t go to sleep is the sweetest sound on God’s green earth.
In closing, I resolve to do a better job of getting words from my brain to my mouth because the people I love deserve to know how happy I am to have them in my life. And I look forward to making Owen think I’m Superman for as long as possible. Karen knows I’m not and loves me all the same.
My mom has the unbiased opinion that I was the cutest baby ever. I’m a middle child so regrettably there is no photographic evidence but not even I could have been this cute: