Reb Zee, who officiated our wedding, asked us a few months ago to email her with how/when/why we knew we loved each other. She told us these emails were confidential, and that we couldn’t see what the other one wrote about us.
We saved the emails and showed them to each other afterward. This is my email about Suzie.
! I tried to write about how/what/why I love Suzie, but it’s just impossible to fully explain! Here’s my attempt.
how/what/why I love Suzie:
I fell in love with Suzie over grilled cheese. We were supposed to be studying and doing homework, but neither of us could shut up. I remember the conversation being animated and full of laughter, one of those moments that separates itself from time and before you know it, it’s late at night and the restaurant is closing and you’ve gotten absolutely nothing done but you just don’t care because the world is perfect and you know you’re exactly where you should be.
That moment is everything I love about us. I feel like we’re soul food; when I’m with Suzie, I know everything is going to be okay, and more than okay, and possibly involve too much cheese, and definitely be delicious.
I love the way she does everything whole heartedly. When she smiles, there isn’t a single ounce of her that isn’t smiling.
I love the way she thinks–quickly, messily, and thoroughly.
I love the way she’s a scholar. I love how that’s part of her identity. I love how all of her books take over our home. I love how she’s particular about how they’re organized… I remember when we were putting up the bookshelves together. She apologized for being so nuts about them, but then she bragged about how her non Jewish philosophy section is broken down into schools (which are of course organized chronologically), and within the schools the authors are organized alphabetically by last name. It made perfect sense, and it was so beautiful, so endearing…
SHE makes perfect sense to me. I understand her kind of crazy, because it’s just like mine. She needs so much love, and she needs to give so much love, and she needs to work hard and be recognized for being brilliant, and all of that is so completely reasonable and obvious… we complement each other; we are exactly what the other one needs. There have been times when we were getting ready to go out, and I’d be looking in the mirror while putting on my earrings, and just when I felt a little self conscious about my hair, she always said something like, “don’t worry about your hair; it’s perfect.”
There are times when she’s starting a homework assignment and she’s stumped, and she asks me for advice. She explains the assignment out loud to me, and then I ask one question or make one observation and suddenly she says something like, “that’s it! oh thank you so much!” And I have no idea what she’s talking about, but somewhere in the explanation she has become inspired. I love that. I love being what she needs–or at least being the catalyst for her inspiration.
I love how she brags to me, unabashedly, about being great at her job. She’s honest. She’s not subtle. I trust that in her. Once when we were first starting to talk on the phone frequently, she called me on a Sunday afternoon, bragging about how well her lesson went over with the kids. I listened and applauded her, because it really was a good lesson, but when we got off the phone, I thought to myself how endearing it was for her to call me like that. It was the combination of bluster and vulnerability, when someone so blatantly NEEDS praise, that I found so touching. I completely understood.
I love how she fights. She argues logically, she argues passionately, she acknowledges her own fallibility, and she remembers she loves me the whole time. I feel like our fights are productive; we learn things about ourselves and each other and we become better people by the end of them. I could not imagine a better fighter than Suzie.
I love how she’s sweet. She’s a complete sap. She’s the world’s biggest romantic; there is a never-ending stream of hearts and flowers that pours forth from her soul, day in and day out.
I love how she puts her arm around my waist when we’re sitting side by side.
I love how she cooks.
I love how she drinks.
I love how we prepare for parties and holidays together with such zeal and such completely over-the-top excitement. I love how she knows how to really plan a party, and I love how we work well together.
I love how she spends money too easily. She’s generous spirited. I don’t like spending money; I’m better at saving. But I know that sometimes I shouldn’t be such a miser, and she knows that she needs to learn how to save money. So we learn from each other, and we’re more balanced in the end.
I love how she makes babies giggle.
I love how she always wants to know my deepest truth. When she asks, she really asks.
I love how she values and respects my thoughts and feelings about Gd.
I love how she’s so knowledgable about Judaism.
I love how she’s an artist. I have honestly never met anyone who has more art inside of them than Suzie. Some people are craftsmen, some people are talented, but Suzie’s art has soul.
I love how she’s a hippie and spins fire as a hobby. We’re compatible in the strangest ways… (I also spin fire.)
I love how she’s a New Yorker. She talks fast and appreciates good deli. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just love that about her. I’m not intense enough to be a New Yorker, and I know some people who happen to live in New York now and they’re not intense enough either. But Suzie, she takes the whole world by storm, and whether she’s right or wrong, she’s so fully present, so fully herself, that wonderful things end up happening.
This list will never be complete… I’ll never be able to fully explain what it is about Suzie, what combination of experiences and personality traits, showed me that she’s the one. I just know.