Why I Love Maria, or Love Hack (baby, love hack)

Aug 24, 2008 by

This post is here for several reasons:

  1. Maria is always telling me I should write a blog
  2. It’s our anniversary tomorrow (13th)
  3. While I was sleeping the other day, and Maria couldn’t, she logged onto my iGoogle page and made some well-intentioned, but ultimately futile changes/additions in an effort to help me get my life organized. Revenge shall be mine!!!
  4. As a member of the Andersen clan of Billings, it is apparently part of my birthright to post a sappy ode to my wife on our anniversary (all my siblings, or at least their spouses, seem to do it).

That said, here goes:

Why I love Maria

  1. Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way: I think she’s pretty dang sexy!!
  2. She’s got gentle, smooth curves in all the right places. 😉
  3. Maria cares about other people on a deep and individual level.
  4. She always has three or four ideas about everything.
  5. She hasn’t given up on me yet.
  6. She’s always one step ahead.
  7. When she laughs, she really laughs. Not just a chuckle, or a polite “ha-ha”. But a laugh from deep down and all over. When I make her laugh like that, I feel so good about myself.
  8. Even though she’s one of the strongest, most independent, and most resilient people I know, she can still me feel needed.
  9. She hasn’t given up on me yet.
  10. ……

OK, so this is actually kind of a tough thing for me to quantify. Sure, people like Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey do it all the time in chick flicks. But seriously how do you state, in concrete terms, why you spend, and will spend, almost every day of your life with the same person (and you’re not in prison for serial killing).

I’ve never been a big fan of the idea of “romantic love”. I’m sure Maria will be the first to agree that when we first saw each other, neither of us thought “I’m gonna marry that person” (Though I did think she was cute). Heck, when we met, I was probably on People Magazine’s “Most Ineligible Bachelors”. The chemistry took some time. Even now, after 15+ years (13 married), when I feel most “in love” with Maria, I wouldn’t describe it the way it’s spelled out in the movies, books, poems, etc…

All I know is that I can’t imagine life without her. All I know is that when people ask about her, I can talk for an hour, and the whole time I’m thinking how proud I am to be her husband. All I know is that every guy in the bar could be ogling her, but if one of them made her laugh, that’s when I’d get jealous. All I know is that my jokes aren’t truly funny to me unless she laughs at them. All I know is that I can’t fall asleep at night until I know she’s safe at home. All I know is that when she’s out with her friends, or on a trip, I spend most of my time thinking about how long until she’ll return.

All I know is that when I have some new-fangled theory about the meaning of life, or the future of lawn tractor technology, she’s the first person I want to tell it to, and I value her opinion on it the most. All I know is that if Maria thinks it’s a bad idea, it’s a bad idea. All I know is that if Maria says I can do it, I can do it.

To me, none of these seem to fit the classical idea of romantic love. But they’re why I love Maria, why I love being married to her, why I’m happy waking up next to her, why I’m sad when I don’t fall asleep next to her, and why I hope every day that I continue to do all these.


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  1. Jenny

    Wow Joel! I’m so impressed. That was so romantic and a perfect gift on your anniversary. You guys are great and a wonderful couple. Maria is awesome, that’s for sure!! Happy Anniversary!

  2. Rose Jenkins

    How very touching. I hope that someone can say such nice things about me one day. Joel, you just went up a notch in my book and I don’t even know you. Happy anniversary! And best wishes for much joy and happiness in the future!

  3. momma k

    I’m so glad I checked Maria’s blog tonight. Joel always had a way with the written word and he really came through and for a good cause. You two have a wonderful anniversary tomorrow–we love you both. That is so true about Maria’s laugh!

  4. Pop

    What a nice post about a great woman and a great couple. Happy Anniversary!

  5. Jennifer

    Joel….you are awesome! You made me tear up…perhaps we need to do dinner again and you can give D some tips on what to do for an anniversary! This was truly touching! Happy anniversary Joel & Maria

  6. SG

    Happy Anniversary! Who says you’re not romantic, Joel?! Maria’s laugh is what I miss most and remember well.

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