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58

What brought me here today:

My husband Berin’s birthday is tomorrow. He turns 58 (my two favorite numbers). I don’t talk a lot about my husband here. This is done purposefully by me. I’m not the kind of person to write about someone without their knowledge of my doing so. I know that Berin likes to keep certain aspects of his life, and our life together as a married couple, to himself. However, I’ve decided that I need to write a blog post about him. It’s the day before his birthday after all!

Berin is a stone-cold amazing man who shoulders so much responsibility. I will never be able to adequately thank him for the never-ending love and support he gives to me in all aspects of my personal and creative life. Yes. He is my best friend.  And partner in crime. There has never been another person in my life who understands me the way that Berin does. Even when I’m at my complete weirdest, he gets me. And strangely, likes me when I’m at my weirdest.

So, in honor of Berin’s birthday, I thought I’d share a little about him (and us). Just for funsies.

How we met:

We met through a mutual friend. Berin had recently moved back to Albuquerque after living in Arizona for too long. Many of his close friends still lived in Albuquerque. Cinamon and her husband, John, hosted a weekly D&D game for several friends back then. I had been brought into the group through my friendship with Cinamon. Originally, she had hoped that I could be a possible girlfriend candidate for another D&D player. This player had no interest in dating me though.

The first time Berin and I met was at a movie. Our D&D group met to see Avatar at one of those mega-google-plex movie theatres. I drove myself. There was a short introduction by Cinamon I think. I don’t remember Berin saying anything other than, “Hi” to me. He was more involved in texting. Or at least I thought so. In an interesting twist, that player who was not interested in dating me was also a good friend of my future husband. They had even come to the movie together.

I thought he hated me:

Berin quickly joined the weekly D&D game at Cinamon and John’s house. There were a couple of games in which I felt as though Berin was mercilessly teasing me. You know the kind of teasing where a guy and another guy start teasing a girl and they’re just being kind of stupid and making references the girl doesn’t know. Then the guys laugh and point, and make more jokes she doesn’t get? Yeah. That’s what my future husband and another player were doing to me.

I just tried to ignore them as best I could. They were just being dorks. But something changed durig the next game night. Berin wasn’t being such a jerk to me. He started being nicer. Long story somewhat shorter, I knew I could possibly “like” him when his character saved mine from a witch by pushing a potbelly stove on top of her from a great height.

You know what I mean by “like” right? It’s the thing where a person kind of starts to think that another person is someone they want to spend more time with to see if maybe they could get to the “like-like” stage of emotional attachment? The precursor to maybe, someday, kind of falling in love with a person stage.

Accidentally dating:

Berin and I started dating by accident. We would make plans with our group of friends. Then one by one, they would cancel. This would mean it was just me and Berin going to a movie. Or a local event. This gave us both a lot of time to get to know each other a lot better.

I honestly do not remember a single thing I said during our first “official” date. He took me to a Thai restaurant we both loved. We only left because they had to close. After that, we were officially dating each other.

He moved to Finland for me:

We hadn’t been married long when we started making plans to move to Finland so that I could study for my master’s in education. I was still working as an elementary school art teacher and wanted to get my master’s. The cost of getting the degree in the US was cost prohibitive though. There was also no guarantee that I would ever be able to make enough money as a public school teacher to justify the expense either.

Berin and I had the same idea on the same day one summer. I was working during the summer, teaching art during summer school sessions. While coming in through the back gate, I heard Berin in the kitchen and said, “I have an idea about school and travel”. When I told him my idea about studying abroad, he took me into our studio and pointed to his whiteboard. This is where he had written, “study abroad”.

With not quite three years of marriage under our collective belts, we sold and gave away almost everything we owned and moved to Finland. Where we lived for seven years. The two of us have more experience as a married couple in a foreign country than in the US!

Goodness of fit:

We both maintain that we met at the right time for each of us. I had arrived at a point of contentment with myself and the life I was living. In other words, being single and never getting married wasn’t going to bother me. Seriously. Three months after I came to this conclusion, I met Berin. And yes. I knew by the third date I wanted to marry him. Which still somehow just pisses me off. Mostly because of all of the smug married couples who said, “Oh. You’ll know if you want to marry him right at the beginning.” GAH!

Basically, each of our individual weird personality bits and pieces compliments the other’s weird personality bits and pieces. Things that I do that have bugged the crap out of friends and family members, he thinks are cute. And vice versa. This means that we just function well together as a married couple. Honestly, being married to Berin is the easiest relationship I have ever been part of in my entire life.

Stereotypes and gender-conforming roles:

Yeah. That’s not how our marriage works. Berin loves meal planning and cooking for us. I cannot remember the last meal I cooked. Much less planned! I do enjoy baking though. So I stick to cookies and cakes. Honestly, it’s a relief. If I did all the cooking, we’d eat nothing but tortillas and cheese and coffee. Oh. And maybe cookies and the occasional cake.

If social media is any measure, apparently Berin and I don’t have enough fights. The kind where the wife gets mad because the husband leaves his crap everywhere. He never cleans. Or takes care of the kids. Husbands who get mad that their wife doesn’t know where to she wants to eat dinner. Or that she takes too long to get ready to go out. That kind of stuff. Berin and I disagree plenty. But the aforementioned types of disagreements? Nope.

Our most recent argument:

We’re both AEW fans. One of the newer wrestlers on the roster is Jamie Hayter. She’s got this mane of hair that was just defying all the laws of physics for me. It was reminiscent of Natasha Lyonne’s locks in Orange Is the New Black. ANYWAY. Berin and I kept going ’round and ’round about her hair. Was it real or a weave? Maybe she had extentions? Perhaps her hair just took curl and product well?

I maintained that it was her real hair. Berin didn’t. He looked at her Instagram and showed me this picture. She’s a brunette instead of blonde, like she had been since she joined AEW. I had to admit. The brunette looked more like her real hair instead of the lion’s mane of blonde hair she’d been sporting. Berin said the picture he found was proof that the blonde hair had not been her real hair.

Yeah. This is the kind of argument we have.

So what does this all mean?

It means I married the right person. During the time we’ve been married, we’ve grown and changed together in a direction that we’ve chosen together. I’m not extremely good at expressing lovey-dovey kinds of emotions. It’s not that I don’t feel them intensely. I’m just clumsy attempting to express them in words.

Perhaps it’s because some of the things people say about their partner or spouse all tend to sound the same. “He’s so smart and talented! And kind! He’s so handsome! Oh! And so, so, so funny! He loves babies and animals too!” It begins to sound incredibly fake after a while, doesn’t it? Berin is all of those things, but a lot of not so great stuff too. Just like me. All of our good and not-so-good stuff all matches up in the best possible way to make us compatible in marriage.

I have my own train car full of emotional baggage that manifests in all manner of weirdness. But Berin’s chosen to stick around and keep me company until I invariably get squished by a car because I’m looking at squirrels instead of on-coming traffic. I love him completely and unconditionally.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday.