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Friday, February 14, 2003  

Be Mine. Mine, I Say!

So, here it is, Valentine’s Day, and I’m thinking about how happy I am that I married the person I did. Okay, to be honest, I think about that every day, but if every entry were about that then this blog would be even more boring.

Anyway, one of the reasons I’m glad I married her is her sense of humor. She’s very, very funny. And she thinks I’m funny. Except when I’m not. It’s surprising how important the second part is. Without that, the first part is kind of meaningless.

But even without the sense of humor, I’d be happy to have married her because of her ability to effortlessly charm the pants off everyone she meets. Some people have the gift of conversation. With Trash, it’s more like a super-power. And lest you think that she’s one of those people who’ll just exhaust you with a seamless monologue of chatter, that’s not what I’m talking about at all. Trash can draw you out, connect with you, make you feel like the most important person in the world, and leave you emitting a faint, lingering glow. And most of the time, she doesn’t know she’s doing it. I didn’t fully appreciate this quality of hers until I imagined what social engagements would be like if I were saddled with someone like…well, like me. Now I appreciate it.

But even if she couldn’t do that, I’d still be in good shape due to her mastery of the quotidian details of modern life. Every once in a while she’ll toss me some kind of minor task like researching the car insurance or calling to find out why this month’s water bill was seven hundred dollars or making dinner plans, and I realize, this stuff is hard, dude. And she does it all the time. It’s like I get to be an eccentric genius whose wife handles all the day-to-day management of the household because the genius is too flaky and irresponsible and consumed by his life’s work of building superintelligent lawn mowers or something. Except I don’t even have to be a genius! It rules!

Because there’s already a genius in the family. But we’re talking about the kind of intelligence that’s more concerned about what it doesn’t know than what it does. Trash demonstrates that someone who asks “why” is so much better to be around than a know-it-all. Her brains and her curiosity combine to make her an intellectually stimulating companion. Even when we’re just sitting on the couch and watching Are You Hot?

But if she were to undergo a lobotomy that rendered her a drooling revenant, it would still leave her kind heart and generous nature. This extends from anger on behalf of those who get screwed by the world to a chronic inability to walk past a Salvation Army bell-ringer without dropping a bill or two in the bucket. You know that line in As Good As It Gets where Jack Nicholson says, “you make me want to be a better man”? I won’t say that, not just because it’s played, but also because it doesn’t go far enough. I’m already a better man for having her in my life.

And yet, even a dull, humorless, useless, moronic, selfish Trash would be a bargain, because I’d get to look at her every day. Last month we were driving up Lamar Boulevard in Austin. A guy was wandering up and down the center median, trying to sell something to drivers stopped at the red light. I passed on his offer, but he got a glimpse at my passenger and said, “Hey, you’ve got an angel there.”

He didn’t know the half of it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Trash.

posted by M. Giant 1:37 PM 0 comments


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