Happy birthday, Baby: A celebration of a deeply flawed marriage (and I love you so!)

photo7“When are you going to

Write a blog post

About me?”

You asked me a few weeks ago.

“All about you?”

I asked.

“Not just where you’re mentioned?”

“All about me,” you said.

Well, it’s your birthday,

And since I never know what to

Get you unless you

Tell me specifically,

This must be what you want.

I was looking at my

Wedding ring the other day

And admiring how



It is.

Remember when we were shopping

For the diamond

And the salesman kept reminding us of its


“Full disclosure,” he kept saying,

Making us look in his monocle

To try to see the

Cloud of inclusions he then

Mapped out on a piece of paper in

Little red dots.

And you and I laughed about it

On the drive home,

First because,


We couldn’t see the

Inclusions, and second because

Why would we want a

Perfect diamond?

That’s just a metaphorical disaster

Waiting to happen.

Even the setting didn’t turn out

Exactly how I’d envisioned it.

I’d picked a design off the store’s website

They didn’t even know they had,

One they were going to


Because of its lack of stability.

They had to solder it on one side

To make it strong enough

To let me walk out of the store with it.

The diamond,

A squarish “pillow” cut,

Is also a little crooked

When the ring is flush to the

Bottom of my finger.

It’s a deeply flawed wedding ring

And I love it.

I remember once my friend

Got a tattoo of her

Husband’s name

On her sacrum as a surprise,

And it didn’t turn out

Quite right.

It slanted down slightly,

And one of the letters of his name

Looked like another letter

So unless you knew what you were looking at,

It didn’t really make sense as a word.

She shrugged it off.

“I’m not perfect

So why should the tattoo be?”

I’ve always tried to

Love you like that:

Imperfectly but with the

Dogged ferocity and permanence of a

Tattoo needle.

(And now for your

Real birthday present:

Your name in the

Crease of my butt cheek!

Just kidding.)


We’re two

Deeply flawed,

Even somewhat sick


Grappling toward each other

As best we can

And I’d have it no other way.

There’s this essay a guy wrote

That’s a viral sensation right now

About how he


After being married for 18 months,

That “marriage

Wasn’t for him.”

(Wait for it.)

It’s for the other person.

A clever little

Twist on an

Idiomatic saying.

I wish I could

Twist an idiom for you,


And have it go

Viral with our wedding picture

For all the world to see how much you

And the state of being married

Has taught me about

Being a better person.

Because it has,

And you have.

I can be hard,

And you force me to be soft

Because with your


(“God, you’re over-sensitive!” I’ve been

Known to accuse.)

It wouldn’t work otherwise.

And that’s an example of

How our flaws


Can actually be our

Greatest strengths


Like two chipped and cleaved

Halves of a busted open


That fit nearly perfectly together.

It’s a beautiful thing

And you’re a beautiful thing,

And I want the whole world to know

How grateful I am

That you were born on Nov. 13, 1977

(Yep, I’m a cougar: two years and change

Older than you).

In your baby picture

You look like a little

Brown-eyed bird,

Stunned and blinking,

Surviving from one

Miraculous day to the next

As babies do.

I should be giving you a gift on your birthday,

But really,


You are a gift to me.