My wife and I have been married, at this point, for almost six years. I’ve known her for about thirteen.
Thirteen years ago, the first time I ever met her, we went to a movie. It was a sneak peak of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, that randomly had The Others in front of it. I had known her online before that, and wanted to meet her in person. I may have told her something like “No one I asked wants to go.” Which was true. I just hadn’t asked anyone.
The second time I saw her, I had a spare ticket to a concert. That I bought after I asked her if she wanted an extra ticket if I were to have one.
I was not a suave teenager.
Luckily (or perhaps unfortunately), my wife has a worse sense of subtlety than I do and didn’t notice that anything strange was going on at all.
Flash forward past a great deal of shenanigans, and we’ve been married for a nearly six years, now.
In the last six years, concerts have stopped, because they’re always too loud and too quiet and the band plays their songs just enough faster or slower to be unrecognizable. Movies have started again recently, because caption glasses are catching on, but we still have to be careful of what theater we go to, and it’s a hassle.
And new things… we don’t do new things much. Especially not if someone’s going to talk. It doesn’t matter how quiet the room is, it doesn’t matter how perfect the situation is for hearing, it doesn’t matter. It will end up with me frustrated, my wife upset, and general unhappiness all around.
So when my wife decided to go see Mary Roach do an author’s talk a couple Wednesdays ago, it was a hell of a vote of confidence in her cybernetic enhancements. (Don’t know who Mary Roach is? Go fix that. I can equally recommend Stiff, Bonk, and Gulp. Go now. I’ll still be here.) I was otherwise occupied, so she went by herself.
Now in all fairness, this was an author’s talk. A small room. Quiet. My wife sat in the second row, and by all accounts Mary Roach is a great public speaker. But even so, I was braced for a 50/50 chance that she would come home in tears.
Success measured in non-events. My wife went. She listened. She laughed. She came home full of random facts with a signed book.
Last weekend, we went to see Iron Man 3. She still got her caption glasses. Even with those, she frequently misses the quick one liners. They flash by too fast, and she misses them.
Only, she didn’t miss them. She heard them. With her ears.
She described it as the best she’s done at a movie in 15 years. Since back before I knew her.
So that’s what this is going to be like, then. This is success. It’s not big, it’s not dramatic. It’s just doing stuff like we used to be able to do, and having it not being horribly upsetting.
It’s pretty alright. I think I’ll take it.