I first fell madly in love when I was 15. I still had a head full of hair back then. I was naive, starry-eyed and a hopeless romantic.
Today, the hair is gone. I’m a bit older, hopefully wiser, and more realistic. And exactly today, I have been married 15 years.
Many men complain endlessly about their wives — how they are always nagging, how they keep a tight fist on the money, and how they just don’t understand them. My wife, however, proofreads my articles before I submit them, so I do not have that luxury.
Seriously though, what do I have to complain about? I do not think I could have a found a better complement for my personality. She does many things I cannot do (and do not like doing, anyway), and likewise I can also do things she cannot do. When we ran a web development business in Manila, she would be the one meeting potential clients and contacts and I would be the one in the back office, taking care of the technical stuff, making sure we could deliver what she promised.
I would often be amazed when she called back new customers and would talk to them, joke with them and laugh as if they had been best friends for many years. She connects with people very quickly, while it usually takes me some time to warm up to them.
When we tutor our kids, we divide the labor. She takes care of Chinese, Filipino and the Social Sciences, while I take care of Math, English and Science. She tends to be more firm and strict while I tend to be more loose and laissez-faire about academics, and between those two polar opposites, I think we have created a healthy balance in how our children approach their studies, if they do not become schizophrenic, that is.
After 15 years, you think we would have run out of things to talk about and our conversations would have degenerated into the boring drudgery of empty greetings and mindless grunts. But no, we still enjoy discussing new ideas, and still find new topics to argue about.
I think a key element in our relationship is that although we have opposing personalities, we enjoy many things together and we find new things to enjoy together. We like the same movies and TV shows (well, mostly — when she wants to watch Filipino movies, she usually has to go with someone else). We like the same type of music.
We laugh at the same jokes, although sometimes I have to explain things a bit. We like eating out together, so much so that our kids give a collective groan when we tell them mommy and daddy are going out on a date. As a natural consequence, we also grow fat together.
This is not to say that our partnership has been smooth sailing all the way. As with any relationship, we’ve had our share of spats and quarrels, of saying or doing things we later regretted. But I guess what keeps us going is that from the very start, both of us are committed to making our relationship work, no matter what.
So to my wife of 15 years, and best friend for much longer, here’s to more music and laughter (and food) as we grow old together.
And to my dear readers, if this seems a bit too rosy for your tastes, remember who my proofreader is.
Originally published in Sunstar Davao.