How True Love Works


When I was in elementary school I walked to the nearby library every day after school, where I waited until one of my parents could pick me up. As a result, I was conscripted as a library volunteer, shelving books. While I loved to read, I hated to shelve. The fact that every book had a precise spot to belong annoyed me no end. Why not just put the children’s books in the same general area? Why not arrange by book size — or better yet — by color? Dealing with the whole Dewey Decimal system was like being handcuffed in a phone booth with a thousand hungry mosquitoes. Many years later, I went to art school and became a designer, eschewing all things highly ordered.

When the Husband was elementary age, his mother took him to Hancock Fabrics whenever she went to purchase sewing supplies. Like a worshiper entering the sanctuary, he went with deep reverence and anticipation straight to the zippers.

The zippers were always a mess. People were constantly picking up a 4″ burgundy and putting it back with the 6″ burgundies. Or mixing the oranges with the reds, or the synthetics with the cottons. Very disorderly. The Husband, age seven, was there to make it right, and he would not leave until the job was done. Many years later, he went to college in engineering and became a mathematician, statistician, and computer geek.

And that’s why I had to marry him.

He knows where every receipt, warranty, account number, birth certificate, registration, and instruction booklet is filed because he’s the one who filed it. Our checkbook is always balanced and our bank accounts have the best rates. We were the first in our neighborhood to be wireless, and his passwords have good strength. Our taxes are often finished by February, and there is oil in my car, gas in the tank, and air in the tires.

Whenever I go to a fabric store, I always spend a few moments of grateful silence in front of the zippers.

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