Today is my husband’s birthday, and as usual, figuring out what to get him is a nightmare. The man is hard to buy for. Everything he wants is astronomically expensive or something I don’t understand. Until an asteroid takes out the grid, my skills are useless to him. So here it is — a blog about Phil, for Phil.
As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with a broken toe, and as you can imagine, I’ve been a delight. I’m the kind of person who only accepts or asks for help if I absolutely have to, so allowing my husband to take over chores and groceries and things like that has been…challenging. Thank you Phil, for doing your best.
When I met Phil, I was penniless. I was a college student, working twelve hour shifts at a gas station to pay the bills, BARELY eating, always one disaster away from homelessness. It was a miserable existence. Worse, I was angry. I was angry all the time, at all the middle class, basic bitches who surrounded me at college, with their allowances and unpaid internships and spring break trips and obnoxious study abroad stories. “Americans are so stupid. You know, in France…”
But when I met Phil, I wasn’t so miserable anymore. He was a sunny, positive presence in my life, and for the first time ever, I was able to imagine a future that wasn’t full of struggle and panic. I knew that together, we could make a good life for ourselves. He taught me to let go of my rage and my self-righteous hatred of middle-class kids, and that sometimes it’s ok to let yourself turn your brain off and giggle. Thank you Phil, for bringing me out of that darkness and dissolving my anger.
In the years we’ve been together, my health has been…unpredictable. Between my lupus, my stomach issues, and the assortment of random autoimmune problems my body manufactures for me, I feel very, very bad for Phil. He got a defective wife. I was once a young, healthy girl, fresh-faced and tough and hearty. Now I’m…less those things. If I was a car, he could totally sue the manufacturer.
But I have to say, when it comes to my medical drama, there is no possible better husband than Phil. He never, ever makes me feel bad about my problems, even when they inconvenience him. He simply does what needs to be done, and lets me heal and rest. He makes fun of me when I need it, and he holds me when I need that, too. Thank you Phil, for taking care of my body and my spirit.
We are not a classically romantic couple. We don’t do flowers and gifts and cards. In fact, we both hate cards with their corny, trite inscriptions and their inflated prices. But those things are the trappings of love, not the substance of it. The substance is our committment to each other, and the steady reliability of our relationship. While others fight and fume and break apart, we stay together — steady, rock solid, and drama free. In that respect, we are probably the most romantic couple I know.
Thank you Phil, for being you, and for loving me in a way that matters. Happy birthday. I love you.
Now pick up your fucking socks.