Helvetica Stone

artsy soul in a scientific world

Helvetica Stone

Helvetica Stone
Birthday
November 26
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Helvetica Stone wants art and science to hold hands and look up in wonder at the miracle of existence. See more on my website: http://www.helveticastone.com

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AUGUST 14, 2011 10:30AM

My Man, 20 Years Later

Rate: 15 Flag

When I first saw him, it was only in profile.  He was so engaged with his work, he didn’t even turn to see me for many weeks. I was 23 years old, which seems impossibly young now to be making such a large life decision.

He has a wonderful, classical look, a strong brow and straight fine nose.  He had jet black hair then, with mustache, and a beautiful, but rare, smile. (He has lovely silver hair now and a wise trimmed beard.)  I stole glances at him working across the room for a very long time before we spoke. 

On our first date we talked over a modest meal and cheap beer and hours passed in seconds.  I reached over touched his leg as he drove me home.  He is an excellent driver, I felt totally safe with him.  His thigh was all muscle.  He was so solid, so strong, such a man's man.  I knew from that moment it was serious.  I could completely trust him.  Which was strange, because he was already over 40 and had never been married and was completely broke with a somewhat strange and speckled history.  But somehow, none of that mattered.  It just seemed natural and right.

He was great at a party, and could talk to nearly anyone, famous or shy or bizarre.  He would let me be myself, a social butterfly around the room, but find me when the time was right, and gently take me home.  When we slept together, there was a neon blue energy that passed through both of us.  We both say we experienced it.  We like each other’s spit.

He asked me to marry him after 3 months.  I made him wait 15 more months and follow me to three different cities and until I said "I do."  He says I came over to his place one night and never left.  Which is also true.  I would have split, though, had he not moved along with me.  I am a restless soul.

His goals in life have been hard for me to understand:  they mostly involve comfort and beauty and order in his daily life:  but also the selective accumulation and loving care of fine things.  I have always chased long-term windmills—ambitious kites—which often turn into big fat wasteful red herrings.  I mean to do great things.  He is my safe haven to come home to.  I push him to try new things and take some risks.  We balance each other out.

He hates it when I’m disappointed or depressed, so I try not to let him see me cry, which I still do too often.  He doesn’t always understand that crying feels good and healing sometimes.  It’s not always a bad thing.  It can be a catharsis, not suffering.  When I’m truly suffering, he does reach out to comfort me, and paints the world in a new light that makes the pain somewhat easier to bear.  

I hate it when he rants and raves about the problems of the world, which he does in my opinion too frequently, and from too aloof and distant of a vantage point to really make a tangible difference. (Although I pity those who have to deal with him on the phone via customer service!)  He's exceedingly private and stubbornly independent.  He tries too hard to rationalize his own efforts to make the world behave the way he thinks it should.  He believes that if more people would listen to him, the world would be a better place.  For the most part, I’m afraid, he is almost always right.  But people aren't much for listening.  So, I’m the one that takes the lion's share of action in the world, often with his good council, for the whole of us.  He's the one who keeps us, and our home, together.

My love for him is not what I thought love was about when I was very young.  It’s not about being swept away by excitement or arousal.  It’s not about an obessive feeling of connection to each other.  It’s a conscious, in-the-moment, living journey, with peaks and valleys of positive and challenging experiences:  mostly unpredictable in their outcomes.  Like the child we never really believed would come, that has made his new role, to everyone’s delight, an amazing and excellent father.  Particularly his parents, who never seemed to appreciate his unique qualities like I do.  Unexpected, like the career I fell into that it not exactly what I wanted but affords us our basic needs, with a little extra, like travel to see family and good food and exercise and quality education.

Our marriage is about companionship and compassion.  It’s about forgiving and letting go.  Sometimes it involves compromise and even actual submission.  It often demands focus and responsibility.  In special times, it's about discovering new layers of wonder, surprise and joy among the old familiar capstones of comfort and compatibility.  

It’s about weathering the storms and knowing the sun will rise; smelling the salt air and hearing the sea birds sing at dawn.

My watchful, steady man takes me all through the night.

(On the occasion of our 20th Wedding Anniversary and convalidation of our marriage in the Catholic Church).

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Comments

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Let me be the first to congratulate you both and wish you many more years of happiness.
Let me be the first to congratulate you both and wish you many more years of happiness.
Let me be the first and second. Lol! Sorry, dear.
M: No worries! The more comments the better! ;-)

Also: I gotta give a shout out to Mimetalker for her wonderful anniversary post that nudged me to articulate my thoughts on the matter. Happy 35th to you and yours, dear mime!

http://open.salon.com/blog/mimetalker/2011/08/14/how_i_love_this_man
Thanks for the shout out. This is gorgeous writing. I love what you say here. Happy Anniversary to you too! And you share the same birthday with one of my most favorite people in the world...my son.
This was such a beautiful, beautiful post. Makes me believe in love. I also love that there's so much insight -you give us what feels like a very complete and complex portrait of your husband. Fascinating and brilliantly done. Congratulations, and may you have many more happy years together!
Oh Mimetalker! That is a funny connection, indeed!
Congrats on your anniversary! I ,too, feel fortunate to have the right mate. We just celebrated our 33rd anniversary.
Congratulations on your anniversary. I love your definition of "marriage" particularly in the last three paragraphs and agree that is what a good marriage is all about. Wish you many more happy years together.
♥R
Happy Anniversary. Your husband sounds like a fine man, you've done well by him with such wonderful writing.
Rated.
'they mostly involve comfort and beauty and order in his daily life: but also the selective accumulation and loving care of fine things. I have always chased long-term windmills—ambitious kites—which often turn into big fat wasteful red herrings.' That's a great description of two people. It will stay with me. Rated.
A vacation, without any set destination.
A party, where you have no idea who's coming.
A pot luck dinner... for two!

That's what getting married can seem like in retrospect.

Then again we all know it's not the destination, but the journey.
Surprise parties are always the best ones.
Dinners for two, are always more romantic than ball-room banquets.

Congratulation on reaching the important goals in your lives.
What a lovely tribute to your husband, Helvetica Stone! Congratulations on your 20th anniversary, & wishing you both all the best of health and happiness this year and for many, many more to come.
This is GORGEOUS!!! You really have learned how to appreciate your man, and it is apparent in your writing. I LOVE your description of long-term love: "It’s a conscious, in-the-moment, living journey, with peaks and valleys of positive and challenging experiences: mostly unpredictable in their outcomes." I get tears... Well done!! xoxoxo
Thank you all...as you know if you've been reading, my husband lost a great deal of his eyesight...I've been trying to read it to him, but we keep getting interrupted. Why does it seem to take longer to read things out loud than to write?
You mean to do great things...and you do them. This post has been one of them. Your clarity regarding your relationship to your man is also a great - and in my experience, rare - thing (I who've been married and divorced three times at last count and still believe with all my heart). You do great things - and good ones. Carry on. r
Thank you for sharing your wonderful words of commitment.