A few days ago Amy and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. It was March 21, 1998 when we tied the knot in a humble little church in Norris, Tennessee. At the time, I had a pretty good idea that I had made a good choice. Fourteen years, and four wonderful kids, later I’m amazed at how lucky I am to have such a great wife who has so many talents and is so good for me in so many ways. Although the number 14 isn’t a standard milestone, as a football fan, I consider it a very significant milestone, as are 7, 21, 28, etc. So to celebrate this point in our marriage, I will share fourteen facts about my wife, in no particularly significant order:
1. Home Cookin’ — Amy is professional caliber cook with a knack for turning ordinary dishes into powerful culinary aesthetic experiences. This is probably due in part to the fact that she’s a super-taster, which can be a burden for her sometimes. But she handles her hypersensitivity well.
2. Home Schoolin’ — When it comes to our kids’ education, we’ve been rather eclectic, but homeschooling has always been a part of the learning buffet at the Spiegel household. Amy has excelled at it, somehow staying organized and innovative despite the chaos that a home with four kids brings.
3. Bookeater — Amy can read a novel like most people devour a bag of chips—at one sitting and with a tasty beverage in hand. Early in our marriage I tried to keep up with her book-a-week pace but quickly realized this was futile.
4. Great Writing Stylist — Here is another category where I know I can’t compete with my wife, as I’m sure this blog amply demonstrates.
5. Humorist — Christopher Hitchens once notoriously observed that, generally speaking, women aren’t funny. Quite independently of Hitchens, Amy has often made the same observation. Ironically, she is a clear exception to this rule. On my list of funniest women ever, I rank my wife third (behind Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett).
6. Fierce Traditionalist — Amy is no feminist in the current sense of the term, but she is a strong “womanist,” you might say. Like Sidney Callahan and some other critics of contemporary feminism, Amy affirms the old dictum that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Before we married, I was as skeptical as anyone about that. Fourteen years later I’m a true believer.
7. Fantastic Mom — Speaking of motherhood, my wife is good as they get. Perhaps I should devote an entire post to this point, including quotes from the kids, but that could get a bit lengthy.
8. Superb Film Critic — The “Snapshots” posts that Amy does for this blog don’t do justice to the depth of insight she has when it comes to cinema. This is one of two areas where I hate to debate her, because I usually lose.
9. Politically Astute — The other topic where I usually lose debates with Amy is politics. But I try to resist the temptation to avoid debating her, because to lose is to win when it comes to debate (since it means discovering truth). At least that’s what I tell myself.
10. Theologically Astute — Amy will balk at this when she reads it, but its true. On many issues, she arrives instantly and intuitively where it has taken some of the greatest theologians years of contemplation to land.
11. Computer Tech Savvy — This was perhaps the single most surprising discovery for me in our marriage. Amy has a gift for working with computers and fixing various bugs in our PC at home. (Since I now use a Mac, I have no more computer problems—seriously. But when I used to have a PC, she was always ready with a fix for any problem that I had.)
12. Lover of All Things Tennessee — My wife is an unrelenting apologist for the Volunteer State. After all these years of spending lots of time there, now I’m just as devoted and dogmatic in calling Tennessee the greatest state in the country.
13. Loyal Friend — Amy has many great friends, because she is a great friend. Her loyalty is one of her most outstanding virtues.
14. Loyal Wife — Being married to someone so intensely loyal is a blessing, of course, but its also humbling. I’m quite sure I don’t deserve such stalwart commitment from her, but she always makes me feel like I do!