Friday, February 14, 2014

The 12 Days of Birthday, Day 10: Katie

I'm in love with someone who doesn't care about comics. Her name is Katie, and she's amazing, but comics aren't her thing and never will be. She's read some, and even really liked a few (100 Bullets in particular) but they don't hold the same appeal for her as they do for me. We've got a lot in common, but this is one area where we differ, yet it's never been a problem for us because, as I said, she's amazing.

I met Katie around the same time I was starting to get really into comics again in a big way, so she's never really known me as anything but a devoted collector. I wasn't blogging yet when we started dating, but I was reading more and more all the time, spending lots of time and money on the budding hobby, so it was always part of my life and therefore always part of our life together. And though Katie didn't share my interest, she always appreciated and supported it completely. It wasn't something she had to get over or get used to, it was just one small part of the man she was getting to know, and she was down with it. I valued that in her, the total lack of judgement or discomfort when it came to me being a comicbook nerd. She got my enthusiasm even if she didn't share it, and never did anything to dampen it.

In fact, she actively fuels my fire. She listens to me carry on about things I've read or written, not because she's interested but because she knows that sometimes I need to talk things through. For my birthday a few years back, she surprised me by secretly finding out from a friend of mine that I was interested in X-Factor and then buying me the first couple of trades. She actually went to a comicbook store by herself armed with nothing but the title of a series that has had numerous volumes over the years and came back with the perfect gift. She's been working harder than I have these past months to figure out a better, more convenient way for me to store my comics in our new house. We haven't landed on a great solution yet, but all the research has been on her end, which I probably shouldn't admit because it makes me look like the lazy fool I am, but my point is that, though Katie doesn't care about comics herself, she cares that I care about them and wants me to enjoy them as much as I can. That's love, y'all.

My favorite thing about Katie's relationship with my relationship with comics is when she invents stories for what I'm reading based on a single page or, more often, just the cover image. I would love to give some specific examples, but I can't remember any in much detail, and also without her expert delivery the humor would be spoiled. She'll latch onto one visual detail that amuses her and create a whole plot around it, sometimes a complicated one, and explain to me what's happening in the comic she imagines I'm reading. It always makes me laugh (but so does most of what she does) and it also often draws my attention to something in the real comic I hadn't noticed before. Whatever detail Katie spots that inspires her joke story becomes highlighted in my eyes through the simple act of her pointing it out. She zeroes my focus on things I might have otherwise brushed past, and though it doesn't happen that often and it's mostly just for a laugh, I appreciate the way in which she legitimately pushes me to look at different parts of my comics than I normally would.

Katie and I are getting married in July, and it's been a long time coming. We've been engaged for almost two years, living together for more than three, a couple for more than five, and in love since like day one. Actually, I think I've been in love with her since like two months before I asked her out, but whenever it happened, it's been a good while and my feelings have only grown stronger. And it's only a tiny piece of the puzzle, but her unwavering support of my comicbook collecting and criticism is definitely one of the things I love about and admire in her. It can't be easy to be with someone who is so passionate about something she's not interested in, but she does more than merely put up with it, she engages with it as much and as often as she can. She's interested because I'm interested. I love her for that, and for a million other things.

Tomorrow: I ask the universe for birthday presents.

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