It's one more random than 10!
The Lovely Becky and I celebrated our 15th anniversary yesterday (which I think is the Plasma Anniversary). We had a very nice dinner out, splitting a bottle of wine for the first time in probably two years and eating a couple of amazing desserts we couldn't finish because they were as big as a newborn Libby.
Fifteen years is a long time. As TLB pointed out, we've beaten the seven-year itch twice. Last night, we played a little game where we listed our top five moments since being married (with Libby as the consensus number one). A couple of those greatest hits showed that we've beaten those itches because we're particularly good at scratching each other's backs.
As fun as that scratching is, what I love more than anything is making TLB laugh, and that's not easy when you've been with someone for a decade and a half, because TLB knows every bit in what she calls "The Act." Yesterday, in discussing how long we have been married, I made a joke to our babysitter Stacey about how TLB used to have a pool boy even though we didn't have a pool.
"The pool boy material is so old," TLB groaned.
She had a point. That is a well I go to often. "But Stacey's never heard that one," I said. "You know I don't do old material for you."
And yet, on any random night, we make each other laugh. I'm always looking for a way to make my wife crack up, expanding The Act with new material just for her. It's not a one-way street, either: TLB is really funny, even though she always says she is not funny. That's especially huge now that we spend five months of the year holed up in the Overlook Hotel during the winter.
The bottom line is, after all this time, we still love being with each other. We have plenty of times where we do our own things, and certainly a lot of our attention has been diverted into parenting. But at the end of the day, we're always happy for each other's company. I think that will keep us going for at least another 15.
1) "You May Be Right," Billy Joel. I bought Glass Houses because Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this on Chipmunk Punk. I hate to say it, but I kind of preferred the Chipmunk version.
2) "When I'm Thinking About You," The Sundays. A severely underrated band. This morning, TLB had The Today Show on, and Taylor Swift was playing. It was a pleasant but completely forgettable song, that generic female acousti-pop that seems tailor-made (zing!) for a montage of tweens Twittering about watching Taylor Swift. Anyway, it's a shame that's on TV while The Sundays are left to the bin of relative obscurity, because this song is gorgeous.
3) "Phantom of the Opera," Iron Maiden. God help me, but I love this. I hope I never stop loving music like this. It's goofy, headbanging fun that always makes me feel like a kid again. When I'm 85 and living in my retirement castle, I want to crank some Maiden and celebrate that it's Pudding Night.
4) "A History of Lovers," Iron&Wine/Calexico. The kind of song to play when on a road trip to California, when its sunny and warm but cool enough to roll the windows down instead of using the AC, smiling because there's nothing quite like traveling on the open road when the destination is the coast. The video here is of a slower solo performance that, while good, doesn't do justice to the song.
5) "Us and Them," Pink Floyd. You're getting sleepy...sleepy...hey, you weren't supposed to fall asleep!
6) "Midnight in a Perfect World," DJ Shadow. Hypnotic in a good way. I really like trip-hop like DJ Shadow because it takes all the things I enjoy in hip-hop—the beats, the creative sampling, the art of making something new out of something old. It's like hip-hop prog.
7) "Love the One You're With," Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Such a great song about settling for second best. I believe this is from the album, Looking for Mrs. Right Now. I think the version in the video is just the Stephen Stills version.
8) "The Greatest," Cat Power. I'm not terribly happy with the concept of cat power. We have three cats, and if they had their way, we'd all be living in a world where we lick ourselves, poop in boxes, and sleep 18 hours a day. Okay, so two out of three of those things sound awesome, but I'd miss reading in the bathroom and using a shower to clean myself instead of my tongue.
9) "Take a Chance on Me," ABBA. The Obama Administration should make a PSA about universal health care that's set to this song. They could intersperse it with photos of happy Swedes visiting their doctors, with a final caption, "Don't we deserve to be as happy as Sweden? Let's take a chance on universal health care." And then ABBA could appear to sing in perfect harmony, "Suck it, Lumbaugh!"
10) "Stay Free," The Clash. A simply smashing song about friendship, and one of the best Clash songs. It avoids being sappy by being specific, weaving a story of two friends who stick together through thick and thin. It takes real talent to be punk and be touching.
11) "Bodies," Smashing Pumpkins. I started going to the gym again recently, after a long, long layoff brought on by baby duty and a busy schedule. For some reason, I've been cranking a lot of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie when I've been working out. I think it's because those albums are awesome background music. If I sit down and listen to the Pumpkins, the sameness of the songs and the whine of Billy Corrigan grind me down like being a rat in a cage despite all my rage. But give me 30 minutes of this fuzzy sturm und drang and I feel like I can run through a goddamned wall. So kudos to Billy Corrigan for making me feel super pumped up even when I'm puffing like a strangled whale and regretting every cheeseburger I've ever eaten.
Have a great weekend, and if you can't be with the one you love, remember to consider what he or she will think if they find out you loved the one you were with.