Thursday, June 17, 2010

Opposites Attract (or My Wife the Saint)

Actually it should probably be more like "opposites attract and then get stuck together and then stay together even though they are opposites."

I am referring - very much tongue in cheek - to me and my wife. Just a few examples of how we are opposite:
  • wife - work, me - not working.
  • wife - spends money on others, me - spends money on me.
  • wife - puts clothes away after wearing them, me - puts clothes on floor after wearing them.
  • wife - knows what clothes can be dried in the dryer, me - no clue.
  • wife - drinks wine, me - can't handle my liquor.
  • wife - finds sophomoric humor tiresome, me - finds sophomoric humor every chance I get (and freely teaches it to our children which my wife then has to "unteach" so they don't offend the grandparents, neighbors or teachers.)
  • wife - petite, me - big.
  • wife - female, me - less female.
Another example of our "oppositeness" is what we perceive as "great opportunities" especially as they pertain to islands.

As you know, I recently spent time on the Pacific paradise of the Big Island of Hawaii. It was to pursue an "opportunity" I just couldn't pass up. That opportunity was, of course, to race a half Ironman distance triathlon on the Big Island and meet a bunch of people who I only knew through Facebook, Twitter and blogs. As you also know, I had a great time. Stayed in an awesome condo overlooking the ocean, ate awesome food and just really enjoyed myself and my new friends.

My wife was talking with our across-the-street neighbor a couple of months ago and she came home with an "opportunity" she felt she just couldn't pass up. It too was on an island, in the Caribbean. She'd be gone for a week without me or the kids (not unlike I was in Hawaii.) She would be meeting new "friends" as well, but she had no idea who they were. Not so "opposite-y," right?

Here is where things get "opposite-y." She would be living in a tent (I don't think we have ever stayed in a one star hotel,) eating one meal a day of rice and beans (not one of our staple meals) and her new "friends" would be sick and injured and living in a disaster area. My "opportunity" was about me and my personal interest. Her "opportunity" was to make a difference.

Tomorrow at 7:25 AM she flies off to Miami on her way to Port au Prince, Haiti. She will be living in the Jenkins - Penn tent city. Taking a shower. Eating beans and rice and anything else she brought with her. Her days will be long, hot, humid days helping the poor people still trying to recover from the January 12th earthquake. She's not really sure what she will be doing day-to-day. She may be birthing babies, suturing, assisting docs, helping organize, helping amputees or trauma victims with daily tasks by using adaptive equipment (she's an Occupational Therapist, so this is her field of expertise.)

To prepare for her trip she got her shots and has been taking her anti-malarial medicine.

She's been packing.

And packing.

She got a water filter bottle.

and just in case.

Her bedtime reading subject matter has changed somewhat from Jane Austen to this:

The cover just makes me queasy. Several times she would start laughing at something she was reading. I'd ask her what was so funny and she'd reply, "Oh, if I showed you, you'd get all squirmy and weird." Thank you for extending me that courtesy anyway.

I am excited and nervous for her and know she is excited and nervous about going - as evidenced by her inability to sleep and need to repack at 2 in the morning. I know she is going to do just fine and will gain a ton from the experience. I am just hoping that by being married to her I will get to ride her coattails into heaven.


Jill Costantino said...

Todd - your wife sounds like a pretty amazing lady. What a great example she is setting for your kids (and you) and everyone else out there. Keep us posted on her experience or maybe she can do a "guest" blog post on your blog. Safe travels to her:)

Teresa said...

What a heartfelt journey she is embarking. I would stick with triathlon though, where they throw water at you!

Go wife!


Mary V said...

Ann is perfect! :)
Oh--and Mark is wondering if Ann will remember to bring home some cigars...I'm sure he is thinking he is doing his part to spark the economy in Haiti! Sheesh.....

ADC said...

Your wife is AMAZING!!!

SSB said...

I'd actually be more excited about her trip, than yours. Tell her not to forget the spray adhesive.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

She's amazing! Love that you added her pic to your blog photo :-) Wishing her safe travels.

Beth said...

What an awesome opportunity!! (and your opportunity was just as awesome :) Best of luck to your wife. I think she needs a guest blog when she returns. :)

Charisa said...

Wow, that is super awesome. Keep us updated on her journey!

RP said...

Actually the cover on that wound care book is nada brother. You should see and smell them in RT. :-)

My hat is off to her, and anyone else that gives their time in Haiti, and wherever help is needed.

Luv the opposite comparisons.

Hope you survive with the kids and don't make them too much of juvenile delinquents before the wifey returns.

Amy Beth Kloner said...

What a bad ass wife you have!
You are one lucky dude. Did you drug her when you proposed? ;)

Kiet said...

T-odd, didn't realize you're the same Todd as T-odd when I met you at Kona Aquatics, as you never post pics of yourself. Had I known, I would have told you that your comments on people's blogs are always freaking hilarious. Sorry I didn't recognize you as you look nothing like your profile pic in real life.

Julie said...

As I wipe the tears off my keyboard, I want to reiterate that Ann is the kindest, most giving person I've ever met. Todd, you do get some points for holding down the home front, allowing Ann to have this opportunity! I'm anxious to hear all about it!

Question Authority. said...

That is some book cover!

kerrie said...

good thing she isn't on to you must let us in on how you've managed to fool her for so long ;)