Tag Archives: love

I Got Married for the Sick Days

My husband is home sick. He’s gloriously pathetic: a cold-turned-bronchitis walloped him at midday yesterday, leaving him with a hacking cough and bleary eyes. The medicine the doc-in-the-box prescribed has knocked him back on his bum, and a good thing, too, because it is letting him sleep despite the cough (not so me, however, who woke up multiple times to the dry agonizing cough of the sleeping lump next to me.)

I feel so badly for him, and a bit guilty for his illness. Perhaps his cold wouldn’t have worsened had I not dragged him all over the country to see my family for Thanksgiving?

All I want to do is stay home, making chicken soup from scratch and reminding him to take his medicine.

I am no Florence Nightingale; I find his hacking cough monstrously icky and don’t want to snuggle with his germy face. But still I find myself fretting over him, wondering if I put enough honey in his hot water, if he needs another pillow, if I got him sick.

I realized, this morning, that this is one of the reasons you get married. Or at least one of the reasons I got married. The good times are, of course, good. They keep things exciting and moving forward and laughing. But the good times also serve as a reminder, during the bad times, of why you’re so danged committed, of why you promised to be with this person forever in the first place (it’s an absurd promise, if you think about it).

But when we’re sick, it is a tremendous relief to let someone else worry about the essential day-to-day stuff when you’re dealing with something sucky, from bronchitis or a bad day at work or the death of a loved one.

I owe my husband lots of chicken noodle soup and orange juice because my grandfather died suddenly last month. He’s been keeping me going as we took the 8-hour drive up for the memorial service and then back one weekend, and again as we repeated the trip for Thanksgiving so Grandma wouldn’t be alone. He’s kept me fed, dressed, and showered, and even got me to giggle a little, on the days when I want to do nothing but crumple to the floor and cry (there have been many of those days). He was there for the days–and probably more to come–when I was soul-sick; I’ll be there for him for the days that he’s just regular-sick. Not only is it part of the promise I made in front of 150 people, it’s the reason I made that promise. Because I got married for the sick days just as much as the whole ones.

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Spooky Romance


Kids, this is what folks mean when they say to find someone who will love you for who you are.

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October 9, 2013 · 9:05 am

Love like Palmer/Gaiman

I had this whole other thing I was going to write about, and then Amanda Palmer happened.

Well, to be more accurate, Amanda Palmer has been happenin’ for quite awhile now, but what happened was I read her book/marriage review of her husband’s impending book: Neil Gaimain’s “The Ocean At the End of the Lane.”

It’s a beautiful, heart-rending piece, and despite her claiming she’s not much of a writer, she is so visceral and emotive that I can’t help but admire her. She’s like a rock star e.e. cummings.

I mean, just look at this:

and for a second i felt what it must feel like to wait in a line for five hours and have him sign a book that changed your life.
to stand not in admiration of the husband writer, the writer who wants his tea but not with the milk hot because then it’s just wrong, the writer who won’t remember what time he said he’d meet you, the writer who has to sign 12,000 copies of his new book that’s a bestseller before it hits the shelves and actually that’s really annoying because i’m slightly jealous of his instant success no matter what he does, the writer who gets irritated when i leave too many clothes on the floor and he can’t get to the bathroom, the writer who is awkward and has a hard time in party situations when he feels he doesn’t understand the social hierarchy, the writer who is not really a writer are you kidding me he’s just some snoring heap of flesh beside me, sweating and breathing and grinding his teeth and probably dreaming the kinds of dreams that neil gaimans dream, full of dreams and wishes and magic and wonder and all the shit that can drive me crazy if i’m not in the right mood for it….no…the WRITER. the man who actually takes a pen to a paper and writes things and creates a believable world that sucks you in and spits you out, its logic embedded in your mind forevermore. that. i saw THAT. and i love THAT so much, the fact that he can DO that…and i don’t get to see that most of the time. i’m too busy looking at the man. as it should be, i think.

Now I probably should just leave it at that because he’s one of my all-time favorite authors and I have the absolute privilege of being one of those people who gets to stand in line for 5 hours so he can sign my book next week when he comes to town to talk about his book on his last-ever book tour, and if I keep writing there’s a slim slim slim chance he might actually read what I say and then I’ll be embarrassed later.

But I’ve thought this awhile so I’m going to just go ahead and say it: I am in awe of that pair.

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. How can you not love them?

I’m pretty much in awe of them separately, of course.

I mean, Neil Gaiman, master of  your dreams and nightmares. He taps into literary visions you only wish you could grasp. He’s got an impossible mop of hair, a sonorous voice I wish I could bottle because I’d listen to it every night, a consistently black wardrobe, and a charming dry wit. He’s just precious, and yet also scary, like a beautiful snake that you think won’t bite you but seems like maybe it’s poisonous; at least, it’s been somewhere you’re afraid to go.

And then there’s Amanda Palmer. Frankly, she scares the pants off me. She’s so unafraid, unflinching in front of a crowd or a feeling. (Go watch her TED talk if you’re not sure about that). She does this beautiful zany thing with her eyebrows, and her music is so daring and interesting (ok, I admit that I don’t always get it. But I do always feel it). I’m terrified of her, but I also wish I could be like her, so avant-guard and free and magical.

And then they had to go and get together. And now they provide a whole ‘nother kind of inspiration.

Now, I’m not a big fan on spying on celebrity’s lives: I figure they probably deserve their peace just as much as any of us, thankyoukindly, and sometimes more. But I admit an intense fascination with these two. I don’t go seeking information on their relationship, but I’m always quietly thrilled when one of them writes something about the other, or someone posts a hypnotic picture of the pair, because I try to imagine what being in that relationship is like.

Like a pairing of two titans, I think. Electric.

Though Palmer talks about them having “rough” times, the part of their relationship I (and the rest of the internet, presumably) see is so effusive it’s grandiose. I want to be like that. I love my fiance dearly, and I wonder, if all our secret private talks were open to the world (and if someone cared to read them) would I sound as loving and intense as they do? Or is their affection for each other something special, out of reach for the rest of us?

If, by some slim chance, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer/Gaiman read this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the courage to love with vivacity, with abandon, with depth, with honesty.

And thank you for giving us glimpses of that love. May the world be blessed with more like it.


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