My post is dedicated, this week, to my best friend. Our 21 year partnership is the best thing in my life and the thing that holds it all together on the darkest of days. It’s difficult to think about celebrations when so much of our city is suffering. But to quote one of Ed’s favorite movies, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Enjoy!
1. He plays in a rough sandbox – We don’t run no namby pamby life. If you fall, you pick yourself up and wipe yourself off. Ed fosters independence and resiliency in all of us. Don’t expect him to sugarcoat it, he won’t. And our boys (and myself) are better for it. We buck up and we fight tough.
2. He loves a good home improvement pun – With a DIY lifestyle, this city boy has taught himself how to fix just about anything on his own. We’re an awesome team that has fixed our 120 year old house from the inside out. And we’ve laughed most of the way. Jokes about Ed’s caulk will never get old. We can spend hours of uncomfortable plumbing discussing tight fitting pipes, good drills, and and his expert ability at hammering joints. Rarely has he gotten discouraged. Because, at the end of the day, there’s nothing that a little caulk can’t fix.
3. He is so good looking – When someone sees a picture of my husband, their first response is, (said with awe) “He’s so good looking!!” Yeah, I know, the man is handsome. Why is this such a surprise? Am I such an ugly duck, that it’s shocking that I caught such a swan? I know that’s not true, and yet it never ceases to amaze me how weird people are when they first meet Ed. I’ve seen perfectly capable people go all tongue tied and red when he walks in the room. My job… To make sure he knows he’s not all that (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it)
4. He roles with the punches – Truly. He’s mostly unflappable. Things are thrown his way and he faces them head on, no fear. As a dramatic teenager, I’ve learned more from Ed on this subject than any other. There’s no space for drama for Ed. You take what’s given you and you work with it. When he was diagnosed with cancer at 35. He took it. When he lost a foot of his colon. He took it. When this effected his entire lifestyle. He took it. And, he can joke about it. He has more bowel jokes than you can imagine.
So, when our lives changed again this year, he never got crazy. Never lost his temper. Never stressed about what we were going to do. He just knew that if we stuck together we would be okay. And, we are. We might even be better than we were before.
5. The man can pick a shoe – The first time I saw Ed, we were in the line at the Clark University bookstore. He was standing in front of us, a group of freshman girls trying their damnedest to be cool. And there was Ed, in his Girbauds and the hottest pair of multi-colored shoes I ever saw. He exuded confidence and self-assurance and I was lost from the moment I saw him.
6. Nothing’s funnier than a football in the groin – There’s nothing this “cool guy” loves more than a good home video show. The dumber the better. Tell him that he can spend an hour watching people fall, he’s there!! It seems so elementary, but to watch Ed and our boys laugh so hard that tears run down their faces is one of the biggest joys in my life. (but, don’t tell them… I’m sticking with my assertion that they’re all idiots)
7. He’s so sensitive – Shhhhh, don’t tell him, but you know it’s true. He puts a good face on, but we all know he takes things to heart, has a tremendous soft spot, and has feelings that are easily hurt. But, he thinks you don’t know it…. So don’t let him in our little secret.
8. He thinks I should do 40 reasons – “Come on Car, you know you should do 40.” Just enough is never enough for him. He’s a perfectionist who expects everyone to put in 110%. This holds true for fitness, nutrition, sports, cleanliness… everything. Why do something half- assed when you have the capability of doing it the whole way.
9. He’s the DJ – So the shoes hooked me, but the music reeled me in. From the moment I met him he had a perfect ear for music and an exhaustive collection of wax. We’ve spent hours listening to music whether it be from turntables in our dorm rooms to our ipods. When I was in London for a semester he lovingly made me mix tapes right down to the perfect liner notes.
10. My kitchen is spotless – Every Sunday morning, when I’m at work, Ed scrubs the kitchen from top to bottom. Cabinets, stove top, even the toaster oven. He’s not like other guys who expect cleanliness but want others to do it. He digs right on in and takes responsibility for the things that are important to him.
11. Loyalty – I’ve never met a more loyal friend than my husband. If he likes you, he’s yours for life and he will make sure that you stay with him. He always got your back, always takes your side, and is always there for you when needed.
12. He’s a City Mouse – Ed bleeds Blue. Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks. He’s a New Yorker through and through, and will never give up his first home (even though he’s been in Boston longer). Boston is his adopted home and he loves it, and will never move outside of the T line. We take full advantage of the city and appreciate all the wonderful opportunities that it holds for us. We work in the city, play in the city, eat in the city, live in the city. There’s no reason to ever leave, and he’ll be the first one to sit you down and tell you why you should never leave either.
13. He loves Michigan almost as much as I do – If it wasn’t for Ed, I wouldn’t have Michigan. And Michigan is part of my soul. I ache to go back there every year, and I feel its pull every day of the year. It’s the land and the lake, but it’s also; fishing and driving down the rivers, and grilling, and playing ball in the field. We are our best Up North and we are fostering that love in our children.
14. He humors me – Given the option, Ed would sit on the couch and watch sports all day every day in the comfort of his own home. But, he knows I can’t stay still. So we go to the zoo, we go mountain biking, we go to the park, we go camping. I know he’d rather sit still, but he moves for me and I appreciate it.
15. Predator, The Mummy, and Gremlins – Ed has a horrible taste in movies. But, he’s committed to them. I think he believes that he is single-handedly keeping TBS in business, because he’ll be damned if Aliens is on and he’s not watching it… again. And each time he watches these movies, it’s like the first time. He sits on the edge of his seat and waits for Jesse Ventura to say, “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
16. Table manners – He says the Shellys eat like animals. I suspect he’s probably right about that. We might not have put our napkins on our laps, but we ate together every night. Now that we have our own family, we sit at a set table every night. Dinner is served and we eat like civilized folk. And we don’t burp, and we don’t fart, and we try to chew with our mouths closed. Thank god I have him, someone has to break the cycle of bad manners.
17. He’s not the same I guy I fell in love with – We’ve grown so much over the last 20 years. I’m calmer, less hot tempered, more reasonable. Ed’s more open minded, more likely to try new things, more willing to have adventures. We compliment each other better now. We’re a better team.
18. He’s like a fortune cookie – You know that phrase that you put at the end of your fortune cookie to make your fortune so much more fun? That’s my husband, y’all!
19. He’s a great father – That’s easy to say, but Ed really thinks about it. He’s careful and deliberate and always tries to make the right decisions for the boys. He doesn’t just teach the boys how to throw a ball, but he teaches them how to be men. How to be responsible, and respectful, and committed to things that are important.
20. He loves me – He really, really loves me. And, never lets me doubt it.
PS. The bombing in Boston is the most horrible of things. Our eight year old played sports with the young Dorchester boy who died. Our community of Dorchester is hurting, and as we move into the spring, we will be constantly reminded of the Richards family and the tragedy they are dealing with everyday. I wrote about the bombings on Monday night, “Where were you when…” Please feel free to check out my archives.
I’ve never been prouder of my city and my people then I have been this week.
I love that dirty water. Boston your my home.