by iampunha | 7/29/2008 08:00:00 AM
The dutiful historian will note that today is the nth anniversary of no notable events in any revolution known to anyone who would write something about it on Wikipedia. (Yes, I take names and dates from that site. I then verify them elsewhere.)

I wouldn't cover any such date today. Not unless it were part of something bigger.

Today is also the date of no significant event in the life of any Beatle, as far as I know.

That leaves but one option.

For the victims of Erich Priebke.

If you have read more than a few of my diaries, you have learned quite a bit about my family. (Since I use full names sparingly, I am not exactly worried about earning myself a stalker.)

If you have read enough of my diaries, you have been introduced rather hazily to a woman well familiar with my crying, my "Holy shit, did you know ... ?" and my fascination with all things trivial.

Most women would frankly not be able to handle me. As my mother said some years ago, "[My son], knowing you takes a lot of energy." She should know. She shipped me off to boarding school when I was 13 because my parents didn't have the energy to deal with me and their three other kids.

Knowing me still takes a lot of energy. It also requires breaking open the modern model of a man and replacing parts of it with very old things. Rather unusual things.

Some of you might think it unfair to spring this on her, to burden her with someone so unusual. To that, I say poppycock. (Well, OK, I type it, but just as emphatically!) She knew what she was getting into when she married me.

She knew I was a big crier. She knew that a week and a half into our relationship (really, on the fourth day we were together, but we'd been separated for a few days). We were lying in bed talking, and as I've done with everyone I think may end up playing a nontrivial role in my life, I was telling her about some relatives of mine she'll never meet. (You will be as introduced to them as you can stomach tomorrow.)

The subject I was discussing, child abuse, is one of more than a few that quickly make speaking rather difficult for me.

She reacted not with scorn or laughter but by holding me so tightly that my face got mashed into her shoulder, which suddenly became quite wet.

I didn't really need anything else to tell me I should keep my own hold on her pretty strong. And about a month and a half later, we were engaged. (And no, I'm never going to tell the story of our engagement in public.

I met my wife when I was coming off a brutal breakup, and one I will never be fully over. (I don't understand the worth of moving completely past a significant event.) My normally unstable self was made even more so by the fact that I was still living with a woman who'd decided to reduce her role in my life and mine in hers -- but who was still living with me. (Can't tell you how much fun that was. She moved out a few months later, ... ah, but that is a story for another day.)

I got to know my wife in our college newsroom. It was not love at first sight; it was us against the world, trying to save English from the fingers of those who thought "different than" is (and was) acceptable. There was never any thought of romance on my part largely because I was trying to rebuild myself from the last thoughts of romance.

And what thought of romance she had was tempered by bad relationships and piles of work. Indeed, the first sniff I got of any desire on her part to see me without red pen in hand was in the waning moments of her last week on campus. I'd been hired to replace her as copy desk chief of the newspaper; she'd resigned because she was graduating.

She IMed me one Monday night (around 1 a.m.) to find out which one of us would be running the copy desk for a special section of the newspaper. I easily had no idea; I didn't even know such a beast was in the works.

At some point in that conversation, talk switched to if I'd be interested in seeing her that night. This led to an amusing moment in which I wrote "No, no [misspelling of wife's name]s on the list of visitors tonight."

I got my first clue of her intentions when she corrected my misspelling and asked if *that* name was on my list.


See, you don't do that if you just want to come over to talk politics.

And two hours later, she didn't.

And two hours after that, when she left, we hadn't. But my massive cold (another reason I wasn't wild about her coming over; I didn't want to get her sick) had disappeared, if only for an hour.

Were I not so annoyingly persistent, that would have been the end of that story, and I would probably still be in college. (My success in college can be linked directly to having a reason to try. I was engaged when I got my AAS and married when I got my B.S. Just not to the same person.)

At the end of our Monday night visit, see, she said, "Thanks."

I was more'n a little puzzled. And I expressed as much.

"Just ... take it for what it is," she said, and let me inside a little so I could see that she wasn't used to people like me. (I maintain that this is still the case. But the world is not used to people like me.)

Twenty hours later, about 10 hours after I had surprised her at her other job and walked her back to wherever she was going (I don't remember where), I IMed her to see if we couldn't meet up again in a building that wasn't at that point closed (as her office buildings were).

Apparently she thought she'd made a mistake.

Not in picking me, mind. She had no problem with me. She just thought we'd gone too far. She thought I didn't respect her.

Now, to me, when you meet up with someone in a professional setting — with all of your clothes on, and on where they should be — this does not indicate a lack of respect. But again, I did not know much about her past (and I still don't know much about that area of her past).

So I figured I had to be as persistent that night as she'd been the previous one. And while I am totally not giving you even a brief synopsis of that conversation, we held subsequent talks and subsequent meetings.

A wonderful thing, subsequence. More people should do it.

And along the way, we picked a song at random. It was a Sunday afternoon, I think, and we decided we'd go with whatever song played next on the radio station she had on.

You can do a lot worse than The Beatles.

I am not going to detail here all the things that make me a beautiful and unique snowflake, but by Og I have crystal patterns my wife swears she didn't know were physically possible outside a lab setting. She knew what she was getting into with my inability to not cry, my unmanliness and my rather unorthodox mind — skewered for so many years that my wit is dryer than sand and she only knows I'm bullshitting her when she knows the truth. (I've largely stopped bullshitting her when she doesn't know the truth. Too easy otherwise.)

Yes, my wife is married to a man who lies as well as he teaches. And because she has not yet reduced me to a pile of so many pieces of myself, I can wish her a happy 23rd birthday here for all the world to see.

Now, to get her a present ...