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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Hardy Perennial

It’s my wife’s birthday again. I cannot explain it, but I will report it: I never get tired of my wife.

In many ways, I am a tiresome person. There’s something of the extrovert of biblical proportions to my makeup. As the saying goes, I want to be the corpse at every funeral, and the bride at every wedding. My wife is like the antidote to me. She is quiet, polite, and deferential, and is funny, but not music hall funny. Quiet funny.

We have children of course; the tie that binds. That idea — the tie that binds– is not as de rigeur as it once was. But the ties that bind my wife and I together are so strong, and so numerous, that I cannot picture them broken; and as time has passed, I’ve come to understand the elderly women who used to sit in the back of the Catholic church wearing black every day of their lives after their husbands had passed away. Would it be any different for me? There are holes that cannot be filled.

But no gloom today, please. She is radiant, and occasionally when we are all sated and content, she gets a moment at the table, alone with her thoughts. I see her and I know others settle for cut flowers, pretty, fresh, ephemeral. She is all that, but more too: she blooms daily, year after year, and will brighten the world long after she and I are gone, endlessly bestowing the solid good sense and grace she inculcates in her children, and through them who knows how many more.

I’m gratified she keeps me around. Like the cat, I do not understand why; I simply empty the bowls and purr.

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