As part of the series where I introduce or reintroduce the members of my family, I'd like to give you MathMan. Not literally, of course. He's the glue that holds the rest of together. I'd say he's the most important piece of the puzzle because without him, there would be no us.
But what can I say about the person who has shared over half my life, alternately loving me and wishing a painful death upon my sorry ass? Okay, here's a perfect example of a MathManism. Just now he wanted to know why I was snickering as I typed (lord, I snicker at my own writing, how embarrassing) so I read him the line. His response? "That's passion, honey. You may not think we're passionate about each other, but you'd be wrong."
Over the years, I've written many posts either about or including MathMan. He's a gift, a source of material both poignant and humorous. I'm sorry I can't link to the old Unglued blog because those were times to try this couple's soul and MathMan's light really shined that summer of 2008. Lately, we get along so well, it seems almost like the calm before a storm, but the truth is, we're in the eye of the storm. Thankfully, we've learned to use the other as both anchor and launch. It's a lot easier to take risks when you've got a safe place to return to.
I did a little research into my own scholarly writings on love, marriage, and friendship and found a few posts that would best illustrate this man I met in August 1987, hooked up with on October 1, 1987, began cohabiting with in November 1987, married in August 1988, lived apart from August 1997 - November 1997, separated from in October 2000, was served divorce papers by in December 2000, reconciled with in February 2001, treated badly January 2008 - May 2008, ran away from for a day May 19, 2008 and returned to bruised and broken, but smarter May 20, 2008.
The rest has been smooth sailing ... if you like a wild ride, that is. Why he puts up with the drama will probably always be a mystery to me, but I'm fortunate that he does.
I've thought a lot about what it means to love and be loved. The main male character in my first manuscript is based on MathMan. While working on that book, I've had a chance to really dissect what it is that I like about him, what I love, what I find perplexing and what I wish were different. In so many ways, that piece of writing has been a labor of love.
There's so much I want to say, but then so much has already been said. So let's take a look...
The Many Faces of MathMan, not a poem
He's the man who pulled the poo cork.
Who texts me from the bathroom to let me know he's peeing. (True story)
He's the driver for the Commute Chat video series
He's a math guy and so much more.
The father of my children, Big Daddy to the cats.
He's my muse, my erotic inspiration, the person who tells me to get my butt in the chair and write and stop whining about it.
He makes me laugh. And laugh some more.
One of his hallmarks is the ability to say a lot using a minimum of words. This morning I sat in bed reading Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees and read the following to MathMan:
"Most writers appear neurotic; the truth is, we don't know the half of it.....What's useful about neurotic behavior is that they lend a shapeless day structure. If you must use yellow paper, if you must drink a double espresso before starting, if you can only write for three hours in the morning, then at least you have parameters...."MathMan rolled his eyes. "That's because you're all Special Ed."
He went on to say that he'd learned a few years ago in a training that if someone said the characters moved on the paper, try giving them colored paper to use. He has a whole bag of tricks for helping learners cope with their unique styles.
He also noted that he's always known that I'm a little crazy. This was said without apology or derision, a statement of fact like 2 + 2 = 4.
I'd be a liar if I tried to contradict him.
|Circa 1988. A great year for love, for hair? Not so much.|