Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Valentine's Day

Sometimes I feel guilty mentioning The Wife in my blog. (Her pseudonym reflects what my grandfather used to call my grandmother, to the amusement of both. It also fits nicely with “The Boy” and “The Girl.”) I worry that she comes off in my writing as little more than a foil. She's much more than that. It's hard to do her justice in prose.

There's a Liz Phair lyric that comes close: “cool, tall, vulnerable, and luscious.” She's complicated: a girly girl who isn't above South Park, an MBA who chose to stay home with the kids once she could, a good apolitical Irish Catholic girl with a spotless condo who married a skeptical lefty Unitarian Scandinavian slob living in a grad student ghetto. She went to a college where the two official religions were Catholicism and basketball – not necessarily in that order – and she married me, who is completely hopeless at both.

She puts up with a lot. Her memory for names, birthdays, gifts, clothes, dates, pictures, and the details of social life is astonishing. Mine is, um, well, I mean well. She simply doesn't age, which I find both inexplicable (two kids!) and kind of cool. She tolerates my perverse pleasure in making The Boy laugh so hard at dinner that he spits food. (The same holds true when he's swishing water after brushing his teeth.) She tolerates my bizarre tastes – I think she'll get time off purgatory for every weird-ass jazz concert I've dragged her to – and should win some sort of 'good sport' award for enduring the geek/twin-language conversations my brother and I have.

She's a great Mom. After a few days at home, I have to either get out or commit mass murder. She's been there for several years now, and the kids are great. That ain't easy.

She's also smokin' hot. Nothing wrong with that, I say. Nothing at all.

Happy Valentine's, honey.

Congratulations on making a wise choice. Sounds like you "married up!" ;-) Finding a great spouse/partner will make or break everything else in life, so encourage your children to make that decision with as much thought and prayer as possible.
Sounds like you both got quite lucky and chose well!
Not to rain on your V-day, but I've always wondered if she really chose it, or if it was one of those "choices" one makes when married to a man who insists on keeping his career full-time.
Well, that's uncharitable. Unless Dead Dad is the unquestioned master of his household, who TW, TB and TG tremble to obey, I'd be more inclined to think that whatever arrangement they made was the compromise they thought best.

(Mind you, my husband and I are spending Valentine's Day evening doing some emergency babysitting for our nephew. And we're both the "homicidal when cooped up with small children" type. If I was religious, I'd ask people to pray for us.)
Well, in a sense we agree-- I would say if the option of a stay-home dad wasn't on the table, was it a real choice? Or was it a choice bounded by the choices of others, which would make it more of a compromise than a choice. I don't mean to get into a whole thing about this, especially on Feb.14, but I've always been curious. DD seems like a gender-conscious guy, and I wonder how he ended up with such a traditional arrangement.
That put a tear in my eye. Very sweet tribute to wife.

To the other anonymouses--marrying a man who insists on keeping his career part-time has different trade-offs. ;)

Can a woman make a choice anymore without it becoming some freaking social statement? Of course EVERYTHING is a compromise and a choice simultaneously. I'm sure ten years ago DD didn't imagine himself career-wise as a dean either. Maybe it's a dream job, maybe it metamorphosed into that.
um... "Dead" Dad?

Nice tribute- I like when different (diverse) people complement (and compliment) each other.
All I can say is "Awwwwww" That is so sweet.
Okay, let me set the record straight here. I, The Wife, using my own free will chose to switch careers and become a stay-at-home mom. It was (and is) the best choice for me and my family and I am very happy with it. Now stop making everything into a "freaking social statement" (love that!) and enjoy your Valentine's Day!
Gawd, the culture wars get tiresome.

If you want to trace the thought processes and circumstances that led to where we are now, go back to the archives and see the very first entry I ever did on this blog. (It's titled "In the beginning.") That piece is about the twisty path by which a gender-conscious guy become a primary breadwinner. Approve or don't; we made the call that works for us, and that's it.
I've read that before, thanks, and it left me curious about why having DD stay home wasn't listed as an option. Not that you have to answer these questions at all, I'm just curious. It seems a rather glaring omission.
I've got a buddy who is a stay-at-home-dad. BA in Psych from University of (state name), but for him and his wife, they chose what was best for them. What difference does it make to anyone what two people decide to do with their lives?! We seem to live in the "United States of the Offended" and as a nation really need to gain a sense of humor.
I'm not offended, I'm just curious. It matters because in the aggregate, individual choices help determine social norms.
What a beautiful tribute to your wife! I hope you do something wonderful to celebrate your love for each other!
Awwwwww. SOMEONE's getting lucky tonight! *hehehehehehe*

BTW, didn't know the Brother of Dean Dad and Dean Dad are twins. So there's TWO of you running around!
Best to The Wife. I hope to meet her someday. I am so glad you found each other.

And my gf is quite clear that if I become a College President, she is STAYING HOME!
You know what? I so wish you guys all lived a lot closer to us, cuz I have this feeling that you and the Wife and me and Beloved would sit around, drinking on the back deck or playing cards in the kitchen, and really be great friends. And FWIW, I've never seen your wife as a foil, and have always loved the way you talk about her. Lucky girl, she is, and it's nice to see you know how lucky you are, too. < /affectionate ramble>
And P.S. I'm getting really tired of anonymous commenters. If you don't have the courage to at least attempt a pseudonym, why bother commenting?
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