Question: what do Tom Brady, Seal, David Bowie and this blogger have in common?
Answer: we all sleep with supermodels.
My wife, who I call the Supermodel (because she looks like one — and if you don’t believe it, just ask me!) turned 38 today. We have known each other for 10-1/2 years, and will be celebrating our 10th anniversary later this month, one more opportunity for me to recite the Lou Gehrig “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech. But I have to say this: I do not consider her to be just as wonderful as she was on the day we met.
She’s even better.
Seriously. As great as she was back on that evening in June 1998 when we ran into each other at a “progressive” dinner hosted by a church young-adults ministry, she’s taken that and built on it. She’s grown in wisdom, in knowledge, in boldness and in industriousness. She’s more self-confident now, less likely to give up on things that go sour, more thankful when things go well. She’s even gotten better looking, which isn’t supposed to happen when you’re going from 27 to 38. I mean, heck, even Angelina Jolie is starting to show some serious mileage. Meanwhile, my wife gets asked by 11th-graders at the school where she works if she’s in one of their classes. They just assume the gray hairs are blond, I suppose. It’s eerie. It’s a good thing she doesn’t drink, because a lot of bartenders would just assume she was using a fake ID and throw her out.
It’s a funny thing, but when people hear that we’re coming up on the 10-year mark, they go out of their way to congratulate us, with this tone of awe in their voice. Like it’s somehow a miraculous thing that a couple stays together? The Supermodel’s parents have been married 41 years, and that’s not even the record in our social circle — we know one couple that this year will hit #57. Heck, my parents stayed together for over 13 years even though my dad was an abusive alcoholic and they didn’t even like each other!
Have we gone through some tough stuff? Boy howdy — stuff bad enough that I won’t even relate it here. (Probably ever.) But we figured it was our job to work it out, that we’d said ” ’til death us do part” and we were obliged to keep our word. And we came out the other side, glad we had. We’ve got two great kids that, God willing, are never going to have to shuttle between parents (like I did), who are never going to have to worry about what to call the step-parent, who are going to have at least one example of what a lifetime commitment looks like, and who will know how it feels to see two people who — no matter how much they may fuss at each other — always hug and kiss afterward.
Okay, sometimes a week afterward. But it always happens. And the #1 reason it happens is because of a woman who is so far out of my league that she might even be a higher species. Happy Birthday, hon, and I can’t wait to see what the next 38 years bring.