What I don’t understand about my wife is how anyone in a world of such evil and selfishness can be so good. Yes, as my sister says, “Your basic human is not such a hot item.” My sister is so right.
But when my dog died, Alex gave me her dog. She had two, but she gave me her favorite, Ginger, a magnificent German short-haired pointer. Who gives away her dog — even to a husband — who is living in Malibu while she is living in the Hollywood Hills? What kind of human is that?
Wives are supposed to be wildly jealous and angry when their men flirt. But Alex is so confident in her position in my life that when I flirt or stare, she laughs, and when other women ask me for money, she cares if they are in genuine need and if so, insists I give it to them. She has no anger in her. My father once said of fellow economist Paul McCracken that he had no anger in him and no meanness of spirit. So it is with Alex. Like her father, she simply has no time in her life for anything but kindness.
She has no dark in her. Only light, and yet she never preaches, never acts superior, and makes fun of herself at every turn. She has no wish to be anyone but herself. I always marvel at how she eternally orders something tastier than I do at restaurants. It’s simply because she knows who she is and what she likes and there are no twists or turns about her, no secrets even from herself. She just orders what she likes and she never sends it back.
A week ago, I set out on a long business trip. I was not feeling well and she was not feeling well. She wore her floor to neck dark green robe and walked me to my car and waved as if I were leaving on a cruise. She shone in the morning sun against our still emerald green lawn. She smiled as she did and I could see her out the back window as she waved even when I was a block away, even though because of the tinted windows, she could not see if I was waving back. Waving me away and waving me home. Home is always where she is.
Beautiful, loyal unto death, brilliant, well read, saintly, witty, patient as hell, and best of all, forgiving beyond what anyone could imagine. Never self-pitying. Never whining. Never self-obsessed. The precise opposite of me. The only woman I have ever wanted to marry. The only one whose lock of goodness perfectly fits my key of neurosis. This is Alex. Goddess, genius, saint, wife for life. “What is bound on earth is bound in heaven.”
Dear God, I hope so.
Happy Birthday, wifey.