The following post was written and submitted by my uber-talented wife, Heather…
Nothing surprises me. It’s not because my husband is all that predictable. No, he’s acted on plenty of off the wall ideas during the tenure of our marriage. It’s just that I’ve come to expect literally anything from him. What will David do today? Will he buy a foosball table? Will he spray paint our patio furniture on our concrete driveway? Will he go to Scheel’s and to purchase NDSU jerseys for our daughters while I am in the hospital in labor with one of them? Will he snap his Achilles’ tendon when I’m 39 weeks pregnant? Will he claim that Trey’s interest in the game is what drives him to continue playing Pokémon Go? Will he join an adult soccer league in a fit of a midlife crisis? Will his plan of attack for any problem or situation be totally different than the one I would choose? The answer to all of these questions is: Yes. And I’m not surprised.
A few years ago, I told David I thought we should write each other a love poem for Valentine’s Day. We’re both English teachers; we can admire a beautiful piece of writing. Why shouldn’t we immortalize our love in verse? He said no; but I suspected he was secretly creating his masterpiece so I started work on my own. Valentine’s Day came and went and neither of us mentioned the poems. But I wasn’t surprised when I woke up on February 15th and saw that he had posted his free verse, narrative, comical, yet sincere litany of love 11:59pm the night before. This is my life with an extrovert; it’s what I’ve come to expect. That evening, in true introvert fashion, I presented him privately with a compact ten-line poem complete with couplets.
Fast forward to mid-November that year. A few days after giving birth to our fourth child, David went to Fargo to see a tattoo artist. He wanted to incorporate Reese’s name into an existing tattoo. I want to take a moment to describe the state I was in when he came home that evening. I was six days into recovery from my third C-section and my body was in shambles. I couldn’t yet tie my shoes and stairs hurt. Child number four hadn’t yet slept more than two hours in a row and I was nursing exclusively. November is a tough time to have a baby. The first three had summer birthdays; it’s easier to enter into new motherhood when daylight isn’t in short supply. Once the November sun goes down, a feeling of hopelessness set in and the nights were long. When David returned from his tattoo appointment late that afternoon, it was already dark. “I have a surprise for you!” he crooned, grinning. I asked the only question a woman in my state could: “What? Did you get me a burrito from Qdoba?” My recollection of the new few minutes plays back in slow motion. He peels back the plastic covering his arm to reveal a new tattoo. My poem is forever memorialized on my husband’s forearm. I was surprised, speechless and horrified.
In Susan Cain’s Ted Talk about introversion, she says that we all fall at different points along the introvert/extrovert spectrum and that no one is a pure introvert or a pure extrovert. This is true, but there’s a good amount of distance between David’s “dot” on that line and mine. It’s one of the things I love about him and it keeps marriage interesting. Just like that old Diamond Rio song and so many aspects of our union, “Meet in the Middle” and “that’s what love’s about.” Happy anniversary, honey.