Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some Day Somebody's Gonna Ask You a Question

It's a reflection of her curiosity and her calculation. My wife has a lethal set-up for getting what she wants merely by asking for it. It makes no difference if you and she have met just now for the first time in this life or if you've known her for all the years I've made her know me. Simple, direct, seemingly without artifice (but with much deliberation and delivery), she opens her eyes just a little wider, tilting her head slightly to her left as she leans forward to share with you with the softest of Hessicher dialekt, 'I haf a kwestion.'
It's a reflection of her curiosity and her calculation. My wife has a lethal set-up for getting what she wants merely by asking for it. It makes no difference if you and she have met just now for the first time in this life or if you've known her for all the years I've made her know me. Simple, direct, seemingly without artifice (but with much deliberation and delivery), she opens her eyes just a little wider, tilting her head slightly to her left as she leans forward to share with you with the softest of Hessicher dialekt, 'I haf a kwestion.'

At least that's what it sounds like to me. And she always gets an answer and assistance-from the hardware store guy, the shelf-stocker in the refrigerator case at the market, or from one of the swarm of white-coated jargon-spewing health care professionals she fences with on the phone as part of her one woman crusade to understand the complexities and contradictions of the American health care industry.

She raised two children to adulthood for the most part in a culture and society thousands of miles from where she, herself, had been raised, with the barest of assistance from a man whose heroes, he told her the night they met, were Peter Pan and Yossarian. I'm pretty sure she heard me clearly but decided to not make an issue of it.

Thirty-four years ago today I asked her to marry me. Both Pete and Yo-Yo would be pleased. She and I find it difficult to believe that it's been that length of time. I still can't believe she said yes. She says 'it feels longer'. I'm thinking that's because the Germans use the metric system. At least that's why I'm hoping she says that.

My recollection is, after her assent, I asked her if she was sure. Which, come to think of it, sounds exactly like something I'd say. As has happened so often ever since, she assures my recollection is entirely inaccurate. Wie du meinst my dear.

I do remember promising her a marvelous adventure with large amounts of laughter and, I believe, elaborately big dance numbers with Busby Berkley choreography. I may have oversold, ever so slightly, the upside of the matrimonial state with me but she's never complained at how the movie's turned out, even now when we're closer to the last reel and the closing credits than the previews.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. I guess that's another reason why I love her-she's experienced all of me there is and still loves me while I ended up with what I wanted, her. Yay me!
-bill kenny

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