My wife finally found something of mine that she reads regularly. My blog. You see, my wife’s not much of a reader. Never really had an interest (she hates reading and games. All games.), but she wants to raise the boys to have the opportunity to develop a love of reading. That, you know, goes a long way on that “maybe we can overlook this quirk of yours” train. It used to bug me that she never ready my stories, my children, the things I poured myself into for hours on end with the pains of mental birthing.

It’s a frustrating thing when you’re a writer. It’s not like I’m desperately insecure and needy. There’s not a sign on my head that reads “please validate me.” However, as a writer, I communicate through the written word, but it has to be read in order to be heard. Ladies, you can relate to this: it’s like wanting to talk through your emotions or problems and your boyfriend/husband is tuning you out.

Early in our marriage, when the classes really started in the school of learning your spouse, I would try to involve her in that part of my life by reading to her. We’d lay in bed, I’d read my nearly final draft, editing for flow as I went. Then, as artists are wont to do, I started to working on stories that drew on our experiences together. Then the questions started: where’d that idea come from? Is that character you? Didn’t I say that once? I soon made peace with this quirk of hers, quickly tiring of the whole “no, that’s not you,” “no, that’s not me,” “yes, you once said soemthing like that, but no one will know that you did.” Heck, I actually grew to appreciate, even count on it (depending on how personal a story I was working on). Moreso when my barber, my collaborator of my African-American romance went through similar things with his wife (who was a reader … especially of African-American romances). He stopped showing her chapters after the third one, once the questions started coming fast and furious. It didn’t help that we made one of the characters a philandering barber. There’s a freedom to not having to write in fear.

It helped realize something. Spousal support takes different forms. I kind of envisioned someone who would read everything I ever wrote and would offer valuable feedback or critique. Then again, they could, not quite understanding that spiritual alchemy that is the creative arts, simply believe in you. Suffocating you with praise and encouragement. Maybe they carve out time (keeping the kids out of your hair while you’re off in your imagination) or space (a den, a writing cave) to let you do your thing. With the occasional bragging about you to their friends and family.

Or maybe, just maybe, their support could simply take the form of them loving your neurotic, needy butt for who you are, as you are, and what you do.

Well, things finally came full circle. I came home and Sally had that look on her face. You know what I’m talking about. That “you’re in trouble” look. That look that says “I’ve been reading your blog.” That look that says I have to cook something special tonight. That look that says though I decried women’s boxing, I certainly veered into stream of consciousness ramblings about her. I informed her that I deleted the line in my pro-women pronouncements about me not only springing from my mothers loins and greatly enjoying my wife’s.

She then mentioned something about some need of mine not getting met for a long, long time.

Oddly enough, that doesn’t weird me out as the idea of her reading my blog.

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