These are a few pictures of Kate, my wife. (A word I'm only just getting used to saying.) She's a Nurse-Practioner, specializing in Neonatalogy. She and I live together in New York City, and I met her through my friend, coworker, and separated-at-birth twin Luke, who's married to her sister, Lindy.

The night I met her, she came over with Lindy and Luke for dinner. I'd planned for us to make fresh pasta by hand, and I remember being impressed at her willingness to dive in, her gusto at getting forearm-deep into kneading pasta dough, and her eyes, which are deep, blue, and compelling. The next day we all got together and played frisbee, laughing and tackling each other in the muddy Cambridge afternoon, and for over a year, dating at a distance, we talked on the phone nearly every day we didn't manage to visit each other. After eight years living in Somerville, I made the decision to leave Boston and headed down to Philadelphia for a year so we could live together, learned what it is to share space with a lover, and felt the rhythms of my days shift a bit, like adjusting the sails on a ship as the wind changes. Our move to New Hampshire was our first move together, and our move down to New York City our second.

Kate's smart and funny and kind and capable. She laughs a lot, she dresses impeccably, and we have a blast together. She is at once unlike anyone else I've ever met and utterly familiar to me.

We seem to bring out the better in each another; when I'm with her, I feel closer to being the person I want to be. Also, she's simply, elegantly, devastatingly attractive; when I'm with her, I feel closer to being the primate I want to be, too.

I call her Chuck for no reason at all other than that I started doing it in October of 2002 and that it seems to fit well. She's auditioning a couple of nicknames for me, "Sam" being the current frontrunner, with "Digit" currently being used in a trial capacity, after I cut a nice slice off one of my fingertips. (My uncle Terry says that one can judge the health of a relationship by how many nicknames one has for the other -- by that metric, I think we're doing very, very well.) This, all of this, is a process I'm enjoying. I've never done it before.

As may be expected from someone who's picked a career involving an endless procession of the smallest, wee-est people imaginable, Kate gets along fabulously with children. She picks beans well, her closet is full of shoes, and she abhors mayonnaise in any form.

Seven facts about Kate, six of them true:

  • She is approximately 3 and 5/8 years younger than I am. Cradle-robbing jokes still make me chortle appreciatively; Kate makes aggrieved noises and her patented "Zip it!" hand gestures whenever they come up.
  • She grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the home stomping grounds of M. Night Shyalaman. He has filmed several of his movies there, and watching them with Kate is a blast, as she recognizes every shop, traffic light, and hillside.
  • In every major city we've been in, Kate can put a car radio in Scan mode and identify 90% of the songs that go by in under 4 seconds per.
  • Kate, like me, is a Quaker. She was born into a Quaker family, I was "Convinced." Thankfully she doesn't hold this late blooming against me.
  • Before deciding to go into medicine, Kate worked for the better part of a year as a long-haul trucker for the Dole Fruit company. Her aggressive driving habits won her lucrative contracts at first, but after a while the long hours and talk radio finally got to her, and she gave up the excitement of trying to race a fully loaded 18-wheeler full of bananas against the clock to get to L.A. in order to try her hand at neonatalogy.

    She still refers to cops in cars as "Smokies."

  • we have a steadily growing list of movies that we wish to either
    1. show each other, due to "Oh my god you haven't seen that? That's a classic!" reactions, or
    2. watch together for the first time
    At the rate we're growing our list-of-movies-we-want-to-watch (Kate's work schedule and resultant pseudo-narcolepsy prevent a lot of movie watching), we will both need to live until we're 108 years old to get to them all. Netflix is helping us quantify the list, at least, though we're woefully slow at watching them.
  • We are both habitually 5 - 10 minutes late for things. On the upside, it's yet another thing we have in common. On the downside, none of our friends ever expect us to be on time.
In early evening light, her skin glows like candle-lit stained glass. I often find myself watching her when she doesn't know I'm looking -- asleep, or across the room -- and her movements are smooth and sure. Maybe that comes with regularly handling very small, very fragile babies. She is miraculously comfortable in her own body; that said, she may or may not be a natural blonde.

She was a nationally ranked runner while at Smith, running 400m hurdles, 4x400m relays, 4x100m relays, the 600m, and others, making All-American twice. Our schedules are so irregular just now that we don't get out to exercise as much as we'd like, but we both tend to stay pretty trim, anyhow.

She made my grandmother tremendously pleased, as they both attended Smith (some 50 years apart) and both became RNs. We know this because my grandmother once told Kate that she was the absolute best of the "parade of women" I'd brought up to Maine with me.

She's gotten more speeding tickets than I have in my life, but then she's got more degrees than I have, too. More cavities than me, but also a secret super power involving bone growth. She wears whites and pastels easily, and earth tones, too, but refuses, point blank, to teach me how to put her shoulder back in its socket despite having had it dislocated 3 times in her life.

She owns one cat; I own two. Despite my mother's concerns, owning three cats together has not yet caused us to break up. (That said, we threaten our cats nearly daily with either being sent to the sausage factory or sold to the gypsies. You might think this would encourage good (or at least docile) behavior. You would be wrong. This may indicate a need to refine our parenting techniques before we attempt to raise anything but housecats.) Her friends universally seem to adore her. I'm baffled that she was single when we met, but count my lucky stars that she was.

Among many other things, she's introduced me to:

  1. fresh Amish pretzels at Reading Terminal Market
  2. Philly Cheesesteaks
  3. a wonderful Rodin museum
  4. the oddly named but very tasty Pennsylvania treat, Water Ice
  5. the Sawmill Parkway
  6. What it's like to live with a Significant Other
  7. Stephen Starr's astounding series of restaurants
  8. Diana Gabaldon
  9. What it's like to meet the person with whom it is obvious you want to spend the rest of your life with
Kate doesn't make herself the center of the party, but she's always near the center of the party. She drinks beer, but she drinks wine, too. She's the only woman in my life who has ever brought me chicken feet.

The first (and only) woman to make me a birthday pie (peach cream pie, and tasty, too) and the first (and only) woman to drive 6 hours just to surprise me for this same birthday. In the morning, I wake up 20 minutes before she does, but then I have the ability to take short naps during the day, which she lacks. She sleeps easily (some would say narcoleptically) in moving cars, though, an ability which I lack.

Until I found the picture below, I had no idea she checks out my ass. Apparently she does.

[Kate brazenly checks out my ass]
She's been an active member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, just finished getting her Masters degree from Penn, and has recently started working full-time at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in New Hampshire. How she manages to flex and shift her sleep schedule so distinctly every week is beyond me. We both procrastinate, too.

For the first several months we were dating, we made several music mixes for each other, something I haven't done for anyone since high school. She put Nikka Costa, Coldplay, and the Beastie Boys on some of hers. Since we've been living together, she's started enjoying (or claims to, at least) our clock radio being set to NPR, despite having teased me for months about my own NPR-centric radio habits. She chuckles at my twin desires to be without a television and to have a TiVo. We're both comfortable in our respective hypocrisies, and comfortable with each others'. She complains about the ass-chapping quality of the earth-friendly toilet paper I buy; I complain about the gene-destroying cleaners she sprays around in the kitchen. We go to bed every night smiling, though. It's the best feeling ever.

[Adam kisses Kate's cheek in Arizona]

On Sunday, March 28th, 2004, I read Kate a little piece of writing I'd done for her one week previous, on the Spring Equinox, while I was sitting in a mothball-smelling hotel room in a small town in southern India. In it, I talked about who she and I seem to be, what we're doing, how she makes me feel, and asked her if she'd marry me. She said yes.

On June 25th, 2005, Kate and I stood at the Meriden Congregational Church in Meriden, New Hampshire, and said our vows to each other. (It was a Quaker wedding, so there was no officiant -- just we two and family and friends to witness it.) After weeks and months of an inexorably rising fever pitch of planning and frenzy, the day itself was ... astounding. Hot, yes, but fun and exciting and heartfelt and ... the best day of our lives to date. Bar none.

After seven years of doing computer work for the same Boston-based company, I decided (with Kate's constant urging and support) that enough was enough and applied to several journalism schools. I was accepted to Columbia University's School of Journalism and graduated in spring, 2008. It would never have happened without Kate's encouragement.