My wife can be a very imposing figure sometimes. No-nonsense. All business. But not like the wives they portray on television. You know the routine: idiot fat guy marries smart, together, too-pretty-for-him woman. No wonder there aren't any good sitcoms out there anymore. No, she's cut more from the Darth Vader cloth. She has powers beyond belief.
Some of my friends and I actually used to have a running joke about her. Whenever we were partaking in drunken shenanigans, and she slowly and curiously entered the room, we would hum that foreboding theme from "Star Wars." The same one that played in any scene featuring Darth Vader: duhhh-duhhh-duhhh-duhduhduh-duhduhduh.
The serenading was usually to soften the blow of our doing something mischievous, like spiking the punch, or eating the popcorn garland directly off of the Christmas tree, or decorating the host's dog with tinsel. Coincidentally, those things all occurred at the same party. But instead of disapproving, she would normally join the fun.
But now, I have a real reason to be afraid of her. Not only did this woman push a child out of her body in two just contractions. Not only does she breast feed this baby like it's her job. Come to think of it, it is her job. And if she's not breastfeeding, she's hooked up to that machine that pumps the milk out (it can also serve as a cell phone battery charger). She also underwent a root canal in the middle of all of this, two weeks after giving birth, and didn't even flinch. The woman is unstoppable.
Love her. Respect her. Fear her.
She's had it worse than me from the start. Yet she takes her medicine with a smile. Except for that first trimester. There weren't many smiles during those three months. No, she was bitten by that ugly little bug called 'morning sickness.' Why do they call it morning sickness, when the woman doesn't feel well all day?
There was this one particular time that I still give my wife grief about, because that's just the kind of guy I am. She was thoughtful enough to plan a weekend to see the Yankees at Camden Yards in Baltimore for my birthday last August. But it is very difficult to be on a trip with someone who absolutely has to eat something every two hours. It was actually like being with Penelope, except for the diaper changes.
We had exited the stadium following a Yankees victory (yes, it wasn't too long ago that they actually used to win games), and she told me she felt hunger coming on. Now, mind you, there is food everywhere. We were, after all, at a baseball game. You know, "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks?" But those things "didn't sound good" to her. I heard that a lot those first three months. Nothing sounded good. Except for Raisin Nut Bran. Well, I wasn't equipped to pour her a bowl of cereal in the middle of the Inner Harbor.
So we walked back to the area where there are a bunch of shops and restaurants. Sitting down for a meal wasn't an option. She was hungry NOW, and ordering would take too long. So we went into this little mall, which had a food court. A food court, I'll have you know, that featured every cuisine from around the world and under the sun. Chinese. Italian. Mexican. Indian. Ethiopian. Latin. Sanskrit. Ice cream. Cookies. Candies. Cakes. You name it, they offered it, but none of it "sounded good."
Being that we were in Baltimore, there was even a crab claw stand. That is what she wanted. Unfortunately, so did everyone else visiting that day. The line resembled the wait for bread in the former Soviet Union. So I nixed that option.
I, by nature, am not a patient man. I admit this, I work on it. I think I have made significant progress in recent years, but there is still room for improvement. The first trimester was the ultimate test of my patience. And during this little episode, it ran out.
The only remaining option was a pretzel at that place Aunt Annie's. "I don't want a pretzel ." I looked at her with the disdain and loathing a child might give a serving of broccoli. "There's nothing else. You're having a pretzel." But she was relentless. "It doesn't sound good to me." There she goes again. "What else do you want me to do? Just have the freaking (edited for language) pretzel!" And without hesitation, and with all seriousness, she fired back, "Fine, I'll shove it down my throat!" I would have gladly helped her.
Don't get me wrong, when I'm not fantasizing about choking my wife with a cinnamon pretzel, I feel nothing but the utmost respect and infatuation for her.
Today she turns 30, and I want to say that what I remember of my life before her wasn't nearly as fun, and I had a lot of fun. It wasn't nearly as meaningful, and I used to take myself very seriously. And it wasn't nearly as joyful, and I had a lot of things to be happy about.
She is the love of my life, and the woman of my dreams. She indulges me, takes care of me, understands me, and loves me anyway. I look forward to sharing the next 30 years with her, then another 30 after that. Happy Birthday to my awesome wife, the most powerful woman I know.