Maybe if I had planned better, this would have been a Valentine’s Day column. Although, maybe not. Despite our still-expanding love, February 14 has never really been a big holiday for my wife, Elenor, and me.
We need no nudges to express our fondness.
First of all, we have a fair number of anniversaries: when we became a couple (17 years ago), when we had our commitment ceremony (almost 13 years ago) and our legal marriage (8 years ago).
Secondly, one of Elenor’s most delightful qualities is that she articulates her love and adoration without reservation every day. Every. Day.
Like, at ease, Hallmark.
I’m apparently not shy about it either. After a medical procedure last week, my doctor reported back that as I was going under anesthesia, I yammered on about how lucky I am to have El by my side.
I have zero recollection of this, but evidently, not even propofol can’t sedate this love.
It’s just that she delights every fiber of my being. The silly fibers. The intellectual ones. The curious and quiet ones. And the ones that are rough around the edges.
I don’t know if I am cynical or just weathered, but she — unlike most — can still surprise me.
She remembers obscure details and recalls them at the perfect moment. She knows who that singer’s voice reminds me of when all I can do is hum an off-key half of a bar. And for some reason, she’s still willing to sit through my doctor’s appointments, ER visits and procedures and always ask the best questions.
She’s absolutely ridiculous.
Her prowess at living already blew my mind, and then she became a mom. She melted like a candle to form the most perfect version of herself to cocoon our son, Harvey. She keeps reforming herself to accommodate his light. I watch in utter awe.
She wants to be the first or only person with a Bette Midler tattoo sleeve. She’s pissed that she can’t will herself to like olives. And without any evidence to support it, she’s under the impression that when she gives it a try for the first time, she’ll be an Olympic-level snowboarder.
My hero grandma Betty saw it right away. She had a lot of loud voices around her saying “the gays” shouldn’t be able to marry, but it was the kindness she saw in Elenor’s eyes, along with the joy I emanated when in Elenor’s proximity, that shaped Betty’s beliefs. Betty sat on the front row at our commitment ceremony in 2009.
Elenor inspires me to be a better person and simultaneously cheers me on when I fail. She’s the thing I know best and the mystery I’ll always want to crack. She’s salt and spice, and 94% of everything nice.
And she’s mine.
On certain days in February and all the others.
Marina Gomberg is a professional communicator, a practicing optimist and a lover of love. She lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org.