February 13, 2018

The Love Letter

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Oh, Valentine’s Day. You’re here, again. And tbh, like most years, I don’t give a fuck. I am very much of the mindset that, like most holidays, it’s stupid, but I am not here to shit on the day, or on anyone’s excitement. I do think all the pink and red decorating that one aisle in the grocery store is fun and warm. It is a nice way to break up the drudge of winter.

And after hearing my 3-year-old nephew’s excitement about making “Valentimes cookies”, I’m kind of feeling all warm and squishy. Thanks, kid! And those feelings are making me want to share one of the grandest gestures of love I’ve ever received.

It’s probably not what you’d expect. It’s not a fancy date or trip or even being spoiled with gifts of any kind. My husband is a lovely and loving man, but like me, he’s a little too pragmatic for your typical acts of romance. It’s one of the things I love about him. If I want flowers, I can buy them myself. I don’t need him for that (I do need him for reaching the top shelf of the cabinets, but I could just buy a stool).

Our random acts of love come in the form of ordering pizza instead of cooking; packing me up a pre-cardio bowl; taking both the dogs out so the other one can keep working or sleep or whatever; sitting 3 feet away from each other banging away on our keyboards every single day; spending too much on dinner; splurging on pastimes, like comedy shows, makeup, and electronics; scheduling a massage for the other one just because. We do all the lovey-dovey shit, it’s just not necessarily dictated by a calendar.

It’s just like, “oh, it’s Tuesday? Let’s go get spoiled.”

My husband is also an extremely talented software developer. When I met him, he was working for himself, running a business making custom websites and software. Our early relationship was a whirlwind, and before I knew it, I had moved in and was helping him get shit done.

Since he was doing most of the maintenance for his clients’ sites, and he loathes WordPress, he built his own content management system. It was nice and worked well. However, it was very clearly built for him, and not for anyone else to use. I was very comfortable with simple HTML and CSS, WordPress, and even Drupal, but I felt like I needed a manual to use his CMS.

It was almost too simple to use when it came down to it. But ultimately, as someone who was an on again off again blogger and marketer, I thought of a million ways to make it better. So I told him.

One of the other things my husband is very good at is taking my advice.

Before I knew it, he was making plans for an entirely new content management system. He was obsessed with it. He’s still obsessed with it. Every single step of the way, he asked for my input. How should this work? How about that?

“It needs email marketing, or the forms need to sync to MailChimp!!” I exclaimed with exhaustion one night. Less than a week later, boom. MailChimp integration.

“Can you put a clear cache button in the menu?” I told him, late one night, our eyes red and bleary from silently staring at our screens for far too long.

“It’s already in the next version,” he replied. I love hearing that the most. Whoa baby, talk about anticipating my needs.

After 4 years, it’s the longest love letter I’ve ever received. It’s also the only living love letter I’ve ever received, perhaps in existence. This page you’re reading right now lives on his love letter. This entire website, in fact (and this one, this one, and this one).

It’s easy to get annoyed when he’s clacking away on his (MECHANICAL) keyboard until 3 in the morning. Then I remember, he does that for me. All those feature requests. All the updates. All the late, late nights. For me. For him too, because his clients love it, and it’s also one of his hobbies in addition to his work, but it’s got my name on it.

If you want to check it out and tell my man what a beautiful piece of software his love letter is, go here.

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