My husband’s new wife is a peach. I really like her. My husband is the happiest he’s ever been.
She’s the kind of woman I always thought I’d be.
She and my husband have so much in common. If they don’t have it in common, she gets it in common. If he describes the cool way the circuit-amp-breaker-plugs were wired in our new living room she says Wow that’s fascinating and doesn’t excuse herself to watch Downton Abbey.
My husband’s new wife likes war movies. She thinks chick flicks are lame. She doesn’t watch a romance and then sigh and glare at her husband and think not once have you stood in my yard with a boombox over your head blaring an 80s love song.
Even if she did like chick flicks she wouldn’t get annoyed by the term chick flicks and say then why we don’t call war movies dick flicks and my husband wouldn’t have to sigh and think Lord not this again.
My husband’s new wife thinks bacon is a food group. She does not order pizza with zucchini on it. She doesn’t know any recipes for garbanzos.
She never gets PMS. She’s never happy and sad at the same time and all weeping into the salad spinner, not knowing why she’s crying except that love is huge and pain is huge and when it all gets too big it doesn’t fit in her heart and has to come leaking out as tears.
My husband’s new wife owns makeup. And she wears it. She can shade and contour and conceal.
When she’s back from a run she changes out of the sweaty running clothes.
My husband’s new wife says thank you when he unloads the dishwasher,
thank you when he folds laundry,
thank you when he replaces the bar of soap
which never happens.
She doesn’t care if he doesn’t change the toilet paper. She just changes it!
If he leaves a wet towel on the bed she just picks it up! Or lets it sit there and grow mushrooms! They eat them for dinner! Wrapped in bacon!
My husband’s new wife thinks, he does so much. He’s a good dad. He is give give give. Why bug him about stupid stuff?
Before she married my husband she dated some real losers. She remembers walking through the city alone, boot-steps on concrete. She will never forget the miracle of waking up to see this incredible person next to her. By what miracle is he here? Sharing life with her. Step by blessed step.
You don’t find this every day.
My husband’s new wife fills his car when it’s on empty. Week after week. She doesn’t say do you ever fill this thing??
She doesn’t say ever. She doesn’t say you always, you never.
When his alarm goes off at 5:00…5:07…5:14…she doesn’t knee him in the back.
She doesn’t save him the last chocolate chip cookie and then resent him for actually eating it.
She isn’t kind and generous and then needing neon signs to point out how kind and generous she is. She’s not writing the invisible book of her loveliness.
When my husband decides he’s going Paleo two days before Thanksgiving his new wife doesn’t think, oh my fucking hell. She orders a cookbook. She makes a pecan pie out of cauliflower.
My husband’s new wife doesn’t talk to him when he’s on his phone. She doesn’t frown and convey her silent judgement that he’s wasting time with this tiny screen that he could be spending talking to her.
When his new wife wants to talk, she waits until he’s ready. She can wait forever.
She’s not younger but she seems younger. She has endless energy. She thrives on tasks. She organizes coat drives. She shapes policy. She has a career she never quit, thinking it was more important to make homemade diapers out of organic cotton that she grew in her backyard. She didn’t stumble out of the preschool years, squinting into the light going, where the hell am I?
She is supremely confident and there’s nothing sexier. Your husband’s old wife would feel confident but then worried that her confidence made her arrogant. She lopped herself. She gave when she had nothing to give. She accepted emptiness.
My husband and his new wife entertain every weekend, drink apple martinis by the fire pit. She invites his college buddies, high school buddies, she doesn’t grumble and say how did she get in charge of his friends what is she his mother?
He stops working on weekends. He stops because she calmly and clearly and showing gratitude for his contributions to the household explains that this is not working for her. She asks for what she needs. And because she can do this, he hears her.
My husband’s new wife plans romantic trips to Colorado or maybe Zurich. It is assumed that time together is more important than elite swim camps for the kids.
My husband’s new wife loves our children, to pieces, but she does not let them dictate their lives. They sleep in their own beds. Their needs are not more important than hers. Or their needs as a couple. How could there be anything more important, she says, than the well-being of the people responsible for the children’s well-being?
It makes so much sense when she says it.
My husband’s new wife feeds on chaos. It fuels her. She likes when two kids and a husband talk to her all at the same time while the phone’s ringing and the timer’s going off and possibly in the oven is a small fire. Her hair doesn’t pop out on end like she’s been electrocuted.
My husband’s new wife is everything he wanted, all he dreamed of. Everything his mother wanted for him, when she gazed at him in his crib, wondering who was out there for her beautiful baby boy. My husband is happier than he’s ever been. He wonders why sometimes it seemed so hard.
Not any more, dear husband. Your new wife is coming.
It’s still a new year. It’s still possible.
I am your old wife.
And your new wife.
I’m really going to like her.
I’m going to like them both.