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28 years! Weirdos!

May 16, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
At 4:30 p.m. 28 years ago today, Kathleen Ann DeMartin made either the biggest mistake or the goofiest choice of her life. She stepped out of a Chrysler Fifth Avenue, proceeded down the aisle of St. Anthony’s Church and said “I do” before God, nine priests and all of our friends and family, thus embarking on a great adventure: Being married to me.

The Boss (at home) smiles and sticks with me. She smiles, despite all my various mental machinations, a 19-month career abandonment, moodiness, a shaved head, lousy eyesight, boorishness and a tendency to talk about stuff no one in the room cares about except me. She sticks with me despite her being a Browns and Cowboys fan while I am a sworn member of Steeler Nation. (When we first married and were moving our stuff into our first apartment, I discovered via a T-shirt in a box that, despite three years of dating, she had hidden her love of the Dallas Cowboys from me.)

I’m one of the lucky guys whose spouse loves watching the Pirates, has learned to love watching the Penguins, and who actually watches way more football every day in the fall than I can stand. She tolerates Indy cars and Formula 1, knowing they’re my favorite things in the sports world, though she describes the cars as looking too much like vacuum cleaners. She makes me watch chick flicks but only the ones that a guy can relate to. She reads a thousand books a year and tells me I’m the smart one, only because I answer “Jeopardy!” questions.

She is directionally dyslexic (she cannot find Settlers Ridge despite our going there at least every two weeks for dinner and shopping), while I memorize a map, then drive away, no need for a nav system, even if we’re heading all the way to Texas.

When it’s hot outside, she’s cold. When it’s cold, she’s hot.

She also has a smile that melts glass, cooks better than three moms mixed into one, has more patience with kids, dogs and cats then I would have ever developed on my own, thinks of others all the time, earned an advanced degree while working full time and raising a husband and kids, keeps faith in God first and foremost no matter what’s happening in our lives and can make me laugh at myself in the darkest of days.

Maybe it’s because we’re opposites in so many ways that our life has worked thus far. Maybe it’s because, despite my reputation for being the crazy one, she’s got to be a little off, sticking with this guy who is never going to earn his first million, even if all his annual salaries of all his life are added together and he works until he’s 89.

I think it includes the prayers of those nine priests, including the three who now pray from a place closer to God. (An aside: Our families were always close to our priests, as well as my family having now two of them among my cousins. We couldn’t settle on one priest, so we asked nine to be on the altar. They all came, God bless them. Thus the roster included a future bishop, a smattering of monsignors and a gaggle of pastors from Steubenville and Toronto at the time. To drop names, the roster incuded Giannamore (Monsignor Anthony), Foys (now Bishop of Covington, Ky.), Kemo (now the vicar), Huber, Heinz, Richter, Stabene, Mascolino (Robert) and Cornelius.)

What I know for sure is that life is an adventure best shared with a best friend, and your absolute best friend can alternately hold your hand or kick your butt as needed.

It’s a secret that fewer and fewer people of my generation and the ones that have followed seem to be willing to work toward. I love telling people who have been married at least as long as we have that it must feel good, being a fellow weirdo in this era. We’re not the normal ones, sticking with this marriage and family thing, after all.

I have no advice to anyone about how to do that, only a quote from my mom on her 50th anniversary.

She asked The Boss, “You think you will make it to 50 years with him?"

The Boss replied, “If I don’t kill him first.”

Mom smiled her J.R. Ewing grin and said, “You’ll be OK.”

So far, we're OK.


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