R Asks: Matt, is it hard living with such a fabulous domestic goddess?
A: It is and it isn't.
The easy parts: She makes excellent food (though this was not always true. One time, several years ago, she made what she called "vodka chicken," which, so far as I could tell, entailed taking boneless chicken breasts, putting them in the oven at some unconventional temperature for a non-standard amount of time, and then pouring vodka sauce on top, which was then also sort of baked. I'm not entirely sure why they ended up how they did, but they were like eating old tires---I have never had chicken like this, before or since. If you're lucky, she'll tell it what really happened.) She is also very good at fixing clothes, etc., and excellent at constructing pre-fab furniture, which comprises . . . pretty much all our stuff.
The harder parts: I am, at least I hope, not a guy who goes out of his way to be really stereotypically male when it comes to what I expect Marcia to do. I like to think that we aren't Donna Reed and family. So, at first, I was a little leery of the domesticity, because I was concerned that she was doing some of these things out of some sort of learned but misguided need to fit in with traditional gender roles. As an example, I was sort of adamant that Marcia did not have to change her name when we got married if she didn't want to, but she was insistent. So, the hard part is sitting back and saying, yeah, you know, I really do like homemade apple pie. It's getting easier.Bobealia wanted to ask me about me, but thought that was outside of the rules---it wasn't---but she did ask this interesting Question: Is there something that Marcia does often that she thinks she is getting away with, but actually you know that she does it (but politely ignore it)? If so, what is it?
A: I have difficulty answering for two reasons. First, and it is probably a fault on my part, but I rarely "politely ignore" much, especially with all the time we spend together. Second, some stuff could be tres embarassing. So I am going to say that Marcia does lots of hilarious stuff, but gets away with none, but only because I am an ass.
Blog Portland wondered what I thought of this maxim: "There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher."
A: Well, so many ways to approach the question. Although eloquently phrased, it's really says nothing more than one could glean from the basic teachings of most world religions, or secular humanism, for that matter. Though Nietzsche, and his 20th century impostor Ayn Rand, would probably disagree with the maxim, Aristotle, I think would concur. So would Kant, at least you could stretch the Kantian Moral Imperative (the golden rule, really), to read as such. You could be a relativist and say that the question erroneously presumes a value system by which we can judge both the acheivements of the individual and the state of mankind as a whole. On the whole, I would say, Agree, charity > egoism.
And now for something completely different.
Mommy the Maid asks: I have to know about the shoe thing. What is it about pink shoes?
A: Marcia wore BRIGHT PINK Kate Spade shoes to our wedding. They were fabulous. Out of this, the blog. She now has made it a sort calling card, and we have all manner of pink shoes and pink shoe accessories. Many supplied by my mother. Thanks Mom.
Princess in Galoshes asks: Matt, what's your version of the "how we met" story??
A: I hope my version is similar to Marcia's, but here goes. I was on campus early to try out for the Irish Guard. I am BARELY 6'2" and that is the minimum height requirement. Anyway, it's a storied ND tradition, and I wanted a shot, sort of. I thought that try-outs involved lots of chug-a-thons, various other feats of drinking prowess and general buffoonery, tempered during the day by some grueling, but generally unskilled, workouts--death marches, push ups, whatever. I was down. The Guard and the Band, however, have a different idea. It was a marching-and-standing-very-straight-and-still competition, and I was done after one day. Incidentally, that was the year the first female guard was selected, and I am pretty sure she did a better job than I would have. Moving on. I was there early for that reason, and Marcia was a Freshman O leader. We had mutual friends, went to a party together, hit it off, vaguely . . . she didn't remember my name and I couldn't pronounce hers correctly later---"What's my name?" "Mauricia"?---but, after learning we were in the same math class for the whole semester, things picked up.
E-liz asks: Are you still mad that you didn't win Summer Idol?
Vaguely Urban asks: What's it going to get to take you to take the CA bar and move to LA? Maybe this isn't the right week to ask that question, but then again, maybe you're flush with success and will rise to the challenge!
A: Quite a lot. After passing the second most difficult bar exam, taking the most difficult does not seem all that appetizing. That said, who knows what the future holds. Though, a lot of the work that I am interested in goes down in NY and DC, Marcia likes the sun, and she holds a lot of sway around here.
Tabitha Dial asks: Matt, we always hear about how crafty and creative your wife is. She's often sharing her special recipes, too. What crafty and creative things do you like to do? Do you have special recipes?
A: I am pretty inept at tasks that involve skilled labor. Marcia's painting, sewing, cooking and general craftiness talents far outstrip mine. Though, we are both horrendous at drawing. I am pretty good at football video games, though by no means all world; I played guitar averagely in high school, and less well in college by the time Marcia heard me. I also played piano, but not well. I am good at shooting from the hip and winging things, generally. I'm also good at finding things on Westlaw (I don't really use Lexis much, to Marcia's chagrin!), that can be crafty. Oh, lately, I have become fairly adept at Ping Pong, but I still lose a lot to my coworkers.
Librarian Pirate Asks: Matt - so, I know you are a huge reader (like Marcia) ... what is your favorite book and why?
A: This is really hard, because I have read a lot of books. I am going to limit my answer, somewhat, then, to recent reading. Since law school ended, I have taken up a get-reaquainted-with-fiction project, partially aimed at taking a break from law and also at educating myself on the use of the printed word in a fictional setting after 1950, which you will understand if you follow the "books" link above. At Marcia's insistence, I read The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Completely amazing. I have cried, in my adult life, at a very few things, but sections of this book did the trick. A brilliantly inventive concept, masterfully woven-together, artfully told, this book is majestic. Read it before the year is out. Other recent reads that I have really enjoyed are Philip Roth's The Plot Against America and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (yes, I spent much of college in the renaissance and the enlightment, all apologies, I am working to make up for it). I am currently making my way (slowly! slowly!) through Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Play Money by Julian Dibbell (non-fiction, about making money selling virtual commodities for real-world dollars that exist only in those online games like EverQuest---I have never played, but the whole concept is fascinating). Lastly, when I was a teenager, my favorite writer was Kurt Vonnegut, but my favorite book was Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. (I own disgusting, mid-1980s paperback copies of all four Salinger novels and nearly every Vonnegut novel, bought at second-hand bookstores in Ann Arbor).
Lena asks me these questions three:
1. What did you think of Marcia when you first met her?
A: She's trouble. In a fun way.
2. What TV show does Marcia watch that she would be most embarrassed for us to know about?
A: I'm sort of embarassed that she watches Dancing with the Stars. But, I'm going to say The View. (Marcia's lack of continuous employment makes for a lot of TV time this year).
3. How pissed does Marcia become when people call her Marsha? (Be honest. She screams in private, doesn't she?
A: "Marsha Marsha Marsha!!!" (very).
jo! asks: Which of Marcia's guilty pleasures drive you crazy? Which do you share?
A: Before we moved, Marcia seemed to buy a pair of shoes a week. That didn't really drive me crazy, but they end up in piles all over our floor. I would then impale my feet on their spiky heels. That was pretty horrible. Not sure that really counts, but it was hard to come up with something here. Is it a guilty pleasure to pretend to be afraid of the pizza ordering guy or the chinese takeout ordering person such that I have to call them on the phone every time? If that's a guilty pleasure, then it qualifies, because it certainly drives me crazy.
Logan asks: Boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs?
Boxers for all things but running. Then it's boxer briefs.