Funny Valentine

man in an aspen grove smiling while holding his white husky
My husband and Rose

It was easy to fall for my husband. First off, he’s kind —a real eye smiler. He has a razor sharp wit. And his eyes are green. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  

Daniel and I met, ironically, on my least favorite “holiday” — Valentine’s Day — 23 years ago. I loathed Valentine’s Day even when I was in a relationship. The standard rituals seemed forced and geared to punish those who were not paired off. But back to Daniel. Both of us had just extricated ourselves from engagements and were still a little shell-shocked. And the dreaded Valentine’s Day was around the corner.

Fortunately, mutual friends hosted an annual Valentine’s party for those who were single or disenchanted or both. And there we were. Daniel was intriguing, but it took many months to get him to read my rather obvious smoke signals. He finally asked me out. First, he wanted to visit my studio. That was new. I had never (yet) been involved with a man who was genuinely interested in my profession. It sounds absurd, but it was easier to endure the lack of curiosity, the discomfort (“well, I don’t know what to say”) than to insist my partner feign interest.

Daniel came through the studio door and started asking thoughtful questions, looking closely at each painting with care. He didn’t rush, offer critiques, stand silently or awkwardly, or nervously talk about other artists. That was the moment I knew.

I married an exceptional man but did not realize the extent of his gifts when we made our pledge to each other. And because I love lists, here is a list about Daniel.

  • In this world of alpha males and alpha stances, his humility, kindness, and compassion are that much more precious.
  • He listens.
  • He tolerates my obsession with Masterpiece Theater.
  • He is a sports addict.
  • He is an excellent cook.
  • He still loves the Grateful Dead.
  • He plays a mean harp.
  • He started a new profession in his fifties and is now working on his first documentary on Billy Preston.
  • He fills out all family forms, manages endless portals and organizes all of our travel.
  • I rarely see him use his intellect for any other purpose than feeding his curiosity about the world, though he will challenge arrogance and entitlement.
  • He is wicked funny, stays clear of making assumptions, and is principled.
  • He has a penchant for bright floral shirts.
  • He doesn’t like sweets, cauliflower or white wine.
  • Our children are always his priority, including the dogs.
  • All of this loveliness spills over into the lives of his family, as a father, brother, husband, and son.
  • Another thing to know about Daniel — he always keeps his fly rod at the ready because you never know when you stumble onto that spectacular drift of water.

An old friend of mine was married to a famous writer who died relatively young. They led public lives, and I asked her what made their marriage work under the bright lights of his celebrity. Her response: “He comes down every day and says something to make me laugh my head off. So my day starts in laughter. Every day that moment belongs to us.”

So glad you are here love, so glad I get to laugh with you daily. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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