Today’s my anniversary. Now, we’re not married—I like to say that I’m old-fashioned and don’t believe in marriage, although that’s not exactly true either, but I’m getting off track (I know, already?) and you’ve probably noticed how often I do that so ANYWAY, moving on. A while after my partner and I got together, we were trying to figure out when we started dating/going steady/whatever you want to call it. We knew it was late August because we’re not SO far gone that we don’t know what month it is at any given time. When it came time to settle on a date, I said, “August 31.”
I had an ulterior motive. That’s also my parents’ anniversary (happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!), and I knew it was unlikely I’d forget both of them if they were on the same date. Because while I may not be THAT far gone yet, I have my days. Usually Tuesdays. I can’t get the hang of Tuesdays, for some reason.
ANYWAY. Why do I bring this up, besides the fact that today is our anniversary? Because on a very practical level, if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be a writer right now.
Yes, I’d still be writing. OF COURSE I’d still be writing. (You might as well ask me to stop breathing. Have I turned blue yet? No. See? Still breathing.) But I’m incredibly fortunate to have someone as patient as him and who believes in what I’m doing. How much does he believe in me? Well, enough that back in 2006 he said “Why don’t you go to work part time while you finish your novel?” So I did. And that’s when I finally finished Detours. (Which you should totally read, by the way. You want to do something for my anniversary? Buy my book. Support the literary arts! You don’t even have to read it [but you could]. Either way, I promise not to tell.) So anyway, all that is, why when I read this article at Salon back in January, it rang a little bit true for me.
He’s still hoping I hit the big time, though. So am I, for that matter! So yeah, buy that book, or the other one. Or both!
ANYWAY. He’s like that with the whole believing-in-me thing. When I got into grad school, he said go. I sign up for workshops and residencies and spend ridiculous amounts of time outside of St. Louis (to preserve my sanity; also, it gets really hot here in the summer and ice queens don’t like the heat), and he says go. He says yes more than he says no, and I think there’s a lesson in that for everyone, least of all me.
So yeah, if you’ve read something of mine and you liked it, don’t thank me. Well, yes, you can thank me, but also thank him. I know I do.
Happy anniversary, hon. Eleven years and we still haven’t killed each other! (Well, not yet.)