Sunday, February 18, 2007


"one may have thousands of friends, but only one love-mate. for if i say ‘two’ i have started to count and there is no end to it. there is only one real number: One. and love, apparently, is the best exponent of this singularity." –Vladimir Nabokov

I’ve been trying to think of odd people or experiences I’ve encountered over the last week or so and I haven’t come up with much other than the odd homeless man here and the father of modern linguistics there. I’ve been thinking that in my effort to detail the quotidian landscape of my life I may be ignoring the elephant in the room: Jennifer.

Jennifer turned 27 this week, Friday actually. I’m happy that she has been with us this long already. It seems that my life began with her; perhaps, because life without her is less imaginable then a Telurian’s camping tent on a mountain in the moon (which is you stop and think about it is exceedingly strange, so white and bright just hanging there glowing in the dark – but life in the universe is weird). Jennifer is not weird though, really, she is hard to figure out sometimes but not weird. She is the most sensible person I know. And she’s cute too, most of the time, and beautiful sometimes too.

I took her to watch a documentary about female blue jean factory workers in China at MOMA but the film was sold out so we went to the midrange Thai/Sushi place on 51st Street and ate sushi and green curry until it was gone and the wine-sopping men next to us upped their antics and their volume and Jennifer was happy because of the sushi and the books and Monteverdi tickets and other found items I had given her and because she knew she could sleep for a very long time the next day. “Besides being with you,” she said, “Sleeping-in is the best birthday present ever.”

Here are some of the things I like about Jennifer: I like that she can spell hard words out loud on demand, that she can memorize long numbers – like my library card number, that she likes good friends and has a good family, that she made a recipe grid, that she eats good food, that she cries when she watches documentaries about Haiti, that she “makes up” sentences in Chinese, that she likes to help small children whose parents are busy or gone and elderly women whose children are busy or gone, that she remembers to make special small people feel special on their birthdays, that she likes to tell me everything and listen to me too, that she cries when humans who commit murders are hanged, she gets mad when women she knows are mistreated, I like Jennifer because she is always so grateful when I wash the dishes, or cook or clean the bathroom, I like that sometimes she asks questions like “how do they make vinegar?” or “how do they get gas to gas stations?” or “do you realize that all of these people actually picked out the coats they’re wearing – that they thought ‘this coat looks the best’?” I like that watching a man chew something with his eyes closed across the subway platform just gets funnier and funnier, I like that she lets a backrub fix just about anything.


Blogger Meredith said...

I like Jen's sensitivity too and I'm glad you honour and respect her! I tried leaving a comment earlier when I first read this, but I couldn't get it to publish it. Hopefully it will this time. MIL

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, that was a very, very sweet letter to your wife.
and-- thanks for the comment awhile back, jennifer. i told galen that was the best compliment i got in awhile...

and you were right, the picture of you two, was just as cool and darren-esk as we had hoped... :)letter was great too, we sat in bed and chuckled...
jenny k

7:17 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

i like jennifer 2. especially because she still likes me even when i forget her birthday.

7:24 PM  

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