I was programming my DVR to record the upcoming season of Hard Knocks, the behind-the-scenes look at an NFL training camp. As I was finishing up, Elysha walked into the room and said, “Oh good. That’s the NFL show we watched last year. Right?”
That’s right. My wife watches Hard Knocks with me. And she looks forward to it.
Moreover, and more important, she is not the kind of wife who proclaims that her enjoyment of football is derived from looking at the players’ butts or staring into Tom Brady’s eyes. During the last episode of Hard Knocks, we had an in-depth explanation about what constituted a good special teams unit. She does not fully understand the game of football yet, but she wants to, and for less than superficial reasons.
At that moment, I realized that if she and I ever had a son, the best advice that I could ever give him would be to find a wife who is cool.
Beauty, intelligence, and a great sense of humor are all wonderful qualities, and my wife possesses them in abundance, but it’s her coolness that sets her apart from the rest of the world.
Elysha knows more about music than anyone I have ever met, and I’m a DJ with a number of friends who are musicians. She can identify a song from almost any genre in less than ten seconds and can often tell me an in-depth history of the band. And she’s introduced me to more good music than anyone I’ve ever known. It’s not uncommon to catch her listening to the Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Bon Jovi, Lyle Lovett, Zeppelin, and Rilo Kylie all in one day. She’s as familiar with Elvis Costello and The Ink Spots as she is with the current releases by Lady Gaga and Vampire Weekend.
It’s also not uncommon for me to walk into the room and find her watching The Simpson or South Park. They are two of her favorite shows. On what I refer to as our first date (the subject of a future blog post), in the midst of a conversation centering on her future career plans, she cut me off and asked if we could turn on the television. The Simpsons were coming on, she explained and she wanted to watch.
The sky opened up at that moment, the clouds parted, and the sun poured into the room. I knew I had found my girl.
A year ago, I walked into the living room and found her watching The Guild, an online web series about a group of World of Warcraft players and the oddities that online gaming can bring. It’s a show that I have been watching for months and one that she discovered on her own. She watched all seven episodes of the first season in one sitting.
She recently complained that Ask a Ninja, another one of my favorite video podcasts, hasn’t been producing new content in a while.
She fell in love with the latest iteration of Battlestar Galactica and frequently attempts to tell other disbelieving women about how excellent the series is.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her all-time favorite television show.
The content that she enjoys, both in terms of music, film and television, would be the envy of most men.
But this is only the beginning.
She is a remarkable dancer.
She can sit on the couch all night with a laptop and be completely happy.
In high school, she once skipped school in order to play The Legend of Zelda and still laments the loss of the game.
She has a style of dress that is uniquely her own and admired by many, including myself, but more important (since I have no real taste). by many other women.
She encourages me to play poker, and while she doesn’t play anymore, she retired from the game in the black.
She supports almost all of the controversial and inane material that comes from my mouth, and quite often agrees with it.
She has an amazing array of friends, none of whom annoy me. I find this almost impossible to believe, since I am so easily annoyed. They range in age and socio-economic status and represent a vast array of religions and lifestyles. Yet each one is an interesting, intelligent person. She is not saddled with bores and dunces.
And she is rarely confined by societal standards. In high school, she hung out with musicians and theater nerds. She had a friend named Chainsaw who reflected every bit of his nickname. And despite her Jewish heritage, she almost never dated Jewish boys, preferring instead to keep an open mind rather than limiting herself to a small slice of the population. Had she decided that she needed to marry within the religion and find a nice, Jewish boy, as most Jews do, we would not be together, and Clara would not exist.
When we were engaged, she was often asked if I was Jewish, a question that is asked so often because it is an expectation of many. This question annoyed her but did not cause her to doubt her decision. It was her self assurance, her belief in herself, and her inner fortitude that allowed her to ignore the cultural pressures of her heritage and do what she thought was right, and I will be forever grateful that she was strong enough to do what so many others cannot.
And when I told her a few minutes ago that I wanted to see the comic book-based film Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World with my friend Shep, she said that she wanted to see it, too.
“Maybe we can go separately, then,” I suggested.
“That’s not going to work,” she said. “None of my girlfriends are going to want to see that movie.”
And she’s right. And that’s why she’s cool.
What more could a guy ever want?