Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hey DJ, Keep Playing that Song

Today is Jeff and my 12 year wedding anniversary, and for the last week I've been thinking about my husband of the last dozen years, my sweetheart for the last 16, and all the things he is to me. I decided his multiple positive roles deserved a blog on this day. Here goes.

My D.J. Since 1995, the soundtrack of my life has been arranged by Jeff. Thanks to used C.D. stores and BMG music club (back in the 1990s), he has satisfied his voracious musical appetite, and broadened the spectrum of what I listen to. He introduced me to Sarah McLauchlan and Neil Young. The way I first knew he was "into" me? A mixed tape with Weezer on one side and "Not Weezer" on the other side, a mix containing Oasis' "Wonderwall" which was our first song ("I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now..."). He knows how to set a tone that will make me feel good. For our recent anniversary road trip, Jeff made us eight CDs with 18 tracks a piece, a mixture of Tom Petty, Patty Griffin, The Decemberists, the Weepies, the Swell Season, and a whole bunch of other things I didn't recognize. Good stuff, man.

My GPS Navigational System: Just last week, I called home, frantic, from the 405, where I had almost exited Beach Blvd instead of Seal Beach Boulevard (about 8 miles off) on the way to meet a friend at a location I'd never been. With a dying cell phone battery at my ear and a bunch of orange detour signs out the window, I shrieked into the phone and my calm-as-usual husband, armed with google maps, talked me through it and got me there safe. This is a common occurrence. Until I get GPS in my car, Jeff is the one who makes sure I get where I'm going.

My Comic Sidekick Hubby is the Abbott to my Costello, the Andy to my Connan, the Chris Tucker to my Jackie Chan. Sometimes I can't get my next funny line out, because I'm still laughing so hard at his last one. Our senses of humor are idiosyncratic, but in sync. All day today, we've been calling each other Hoagy Charmichael and Neil Sugarman (each contributors to the Michael Buble album Jeff gave me this morning. I'm Hoagy.). Gosh, but we think we're funny.

My Copy Editor I can't spell, as Jeff learned back when we were corresponding across the Atlantic at a rate of at least one love letter a week. He finally wrote me to say that "agree" had only one "g." He's been checking my spelling ever since in everything from birthday cards to blogs. Last week I called him at work to find out how to spell "laminate" (well, he's an architect and it's a building term and I couldn't figure it out because I thought it had an "n"). That was crossing a line, he said.

My Filter Okay, so I have a tendency to say things out loud that I shouldn't. When in doubt whether or not to confront that friend, make that comment, or write that idea in a blog, I ask Jeff. He will tell me if it's appropriate or not. (Side note: if I know it's not appropriate but want to say or write it anyway, I do not ask Jeff.)

My Sharpener As it says in Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Or, as Michael Buble sang on my anniversary CD, "You make me work so we can work to work it out." Jeff has always made me want to be a better person, and in fact, I am actually succeeding under his influence. It's hard to demonstrate a lack of integrity around him. I can't yell at the kids. I can't be mean to my mom (when he's listening). I can't gossip. And I can't manipulate him emotionally (not that I want to, very often). He's too smart. The fact is, his opinion matters most to me of anyone's, and as he's a better person than I am, I have to keep raising my standards.

My Handyman and Bicycle Mechanic I can count on one had the amount of time in 12 years that I have had to pay someone to fix anything around here. He rocks at garbage disposals, wood glue, plaster, epoxy, jewelry repair. He recently installed a new gear shift on my bike. He rocks.

My Personal Shopper This may sound like a weird thing to say about one's husband, but Jeff has great influence on my style. It's even weirder because when I met him he was wearing a pink backpack and argyle socks with his Vans and shorts. But he pushes me to creative accessory and color combination and he always buys me cute things. He thinks I never listen to his opinion about what to wear (gosh, does he hate being asked about my outfits), but I do!

My Friend Still my most loyal and fun friend after all these years, Hubby is just a good person to spend time with. I can be myself around him, and I like the self that I am when I'm around him. We make each other better, as he wrote in our wedding vows.

So D.J. Jazzy Jeff, as I like to call you, keep the hits coming, honey. You know what I like.


  1. Nice tribute...say hi to Jeff for me...he's a great guy. I remember that day 12 years ago very well. It was great to be there. Maybe we could see you guys sometime on one of our trips out there. Congrats on 12 years.

  2. Made me cry! Love my brother and you. Happy 12th! xoxo