What's a superhero without a sidekick? Batman had Robin; Superman had Superboy and Supergirl; Lone Ranger had Tonto; Spiderman had, well, his old Aunt Mae...Masked Mom has Hidden Hubby. ("Alliteration, he's our guy! If he can't do it, why even try?"--yet another reason why the Creative Writing Club never has cheerleaders.)
Much has been made of Hubby's saintly patience, especially where my hot* date with Mr. High School is concerned. And he is a patient and saintly man in many ways. For example, he not only tolerated but encouraged my attempts to get in touch with Mr. High School. For another example, he's been a faithful reader of this blog through all the many purple paragraphs of Mr. High School-inspired prose and hasn't had a single tantrum or even minor fit of jealousy or crankiness--at least not with regard to the blog or the sorta-ex-sorta-boyfriend.
It was his saintliness that originally drew me to him. We met in January 1987 on a work-sponsored ski trip. I was not there to ski, but to drive my roommate home if she broke anything and to observe (read: make fun of) my co-workers, many of whom were first-timers on the slopes. When I first saw him, he was huddled in the snow at the feet of one of our co-workers, checking her buckles and bindings. He was kneeling before one of the cutest and perkiest girls from work and I (in my sexist way) assumed he was trying to score points with her, rather than helping her out of the kindness of his heart. I was wrong. An expert skier, no doubt antsy to hit the slopes himself, he spent the next fifteen minutes helping the rest of the first-timers in the group--male, female, cute and not-so. I was suitably impressed.
Suitably impressed--but as you may remember, still kind of hung up on What's-His-Face, not to mention pathologically shy, and scheduled at the opposite end of the day from Hubby. In the next few months, we would sometimes bump into each other, swap small talk, and flirt a little, but that was as far as it went until mid-March, when all of a sudden (or so it seemed), we were a couple.
How this happened is kind of vague and foggy to me--maybe one of Hidden Hubby's superpowers is the ability to hypnotize women, I can't really be sure. What I do know is that we met in January, started dating in March and married in July, of the same year. It sounds insane in print and in reality, it was completely insane.
It's not that people didn't try to warn me--my mother, even while helping to plan the wedding, was saying "Are you sure?" every thirty seconds. A friend of the family said, "It's not too late." right up until I walked down the aisle. (In fact, on our wedding video, after the ceremony, I say to this friend, "Aren't you going to say 'now it's too late'?" and she says, "Now it's too late--no wait! I think the JP is still here! We can catch her!" )
We were too young. We didn't really know each other. We were in love, but we really had no idea how to love each other, how much work it would be to keep loving each other.
In the eighteen years since then, we have had our ups and downs, we have been through thick and thin, we have survived a crapload of cliches.
He has his saintly side--he always, always, always puts the toilet seat down; he changed his share of diapers; he doesn't watch televised sports; he's not the jealous type. But he has his human side, too, for which I'm forever grateful.
*"Hot" in the trudging around in the woods in August sense.
2 hours ago