Yesterday morning, my husband went out to walk the dog and when he came back and saw me in front of the computer, still in my robe at 10 am, he said, “You haven’t moved?”
“I was writing,” I said with vast dignity. “My blog post. I’m being productive.”
He came and read over my shoulder. “Nothing about me, I see.”
And I replied, “Oh….well…now, you’re doomed.”
So, let me tell you about my husband, Matt. We met when I was eighteen and he was twenty and we were both students at Oakland Community College in Farmington, Michigan. I worked in the bookstore. Of course.
He flirted with me a few times, and then asked me for a date right in front of a big crowd of students lined up to buy books on the first day of classes. We’ve been together ever since.
Matt has always been supportive of me throughout our relationship. Let me name the ways:
1. He continued to date me even after meeting my family.
2. He married me even though his mother would have preferred a nice Italian girl.
3. When my family moved to North Carolina and I was devastated by their absence, he agreed to move down South too, and work for my father.
4. He continued to stay married to me even after finding out what it was like, working for my father.
5. When I decided to go back to college and get a teaching degree, he supported me both financially and in every other way, even though I had our second daughter right in the middle of the whole thing.
6. After I graduated, I had two more babies, and then my mother got sick and needed a lot of assistance over the next ten years, so I never did use my teaching degree. He never once complained. He did like to use it as a form of good old Catholic guilt once in a while…but only with a smile.
7. When I began writing, he humored me. But then, after he read my first short story, he was the one who pointed out a writing contest announcement in the Charlotte, NC newspaper. I came in second place and felt like I’d won the Pulitzer.
8. He continued to support my writing, even when he’d come home from work and I’d be laying on the couch, an arm thrown dramatically across my eyes. He’d ask, what’s up, and I’d say, I’m writing, and he’d just wander off and make his own lunch and go back to work.
9. He pointed out the article about Kindle publishing in the Wall Street Journal, and suggested I consider it for my first book, Every Little Step She Takes.
10. He tells his friends I’m a writer. He doesn’t say “she likes to write” or “she writes for fun”. He says I’m a writer. Proudly.
11. When one of my short stories won a prize and was dramatized on BBC radio, he bought me a gold charm of a microphone and had it engraved BBC.
12. When I wrote my second book, The Pleasure of Your Company, I did it in ‘real time’ between November 24, 2008 and May 22, 2009. I went down that rabbit hole and barely made it back up. Initially, the chapters were posted on my website, with photos of various things referenced in the story, and when I needed a photo of the Chick-fil-A cow, he drove out and worked around heavy traffic to get one.
13. When I wrote Organized and Loving it, a co-worker asked Matt if I was a very organized person around the home. Matt helpfully replied, “She writes fiction.”
14. Seven years ago, when I wanted to get a dog and he didn’t, we got the dog. Gus. Matt walks him most the time (his own fault!), and complains about it, but not really. Gus has Matt totally wrapped around his little finger. Er, toe.
15. During a long spell when I had no faith in myself and stopped writing, he pointed out a newspaper announcement of a book club that met at a nearby library. Belonging to that book club has been a wonderful experience and it led directly to me writing my newest book, Two Weeks Every Summer.
16. When I decided to write Two Weeks, which is inspired by real events in my hometown, he willingly drove around with me all one Saturday so I could take photos of old houses and churches and cemeteries and gas stations.
17. He has always encouraged me to write. Even when I’m discouraged. Even when I doubt myself. Even when it means I’m spending hours at the computer and am absent-minded most of the time and disorganized the rest. He encourages me because he knows it makes me happy.
18. I could go on and on about the other ways he is supportive, and tell you about what a great dad and grandpa and brother-in-law he is, and brag about all the many awards he’s won through his business, but this blog post would become endless. Endless. About a month after we first met, we were at his mom’s house and went into the garage where we saw a small dead bird. He said, “Oh, poor baby,” and immediately went down on one knee, picked it up in his handkerchief, and took it outside to bury it. I thought, ‘He could be The One.” And he was. And is.
19. Also a very good kisser.
By Carolyn Steele Agosta