Race Day

It started with breakfast in bed. Eggs, sausages, the last potatoes from the garden, fresh tomatoes with basil and balsamic.

After that was couch time with South Park while I did some weeding, a late lunch (bit embarrassing that I forgot my wallet) and then off to the race track.

I’d long since decided that a 40th birthday called for one of those once-in-a-lifetime presents. Perhaps a memory rather than just another thing. Rob loves his motor racing, and the day-long Bathurst V8 race is in our calendar every year. He’s never wavered off Holden. Among large sections of New Zealand, it’s practically a religion.

I had the option to put him in the passenger seat with a professional driver, but this seemed like something he needed to do for himself. And after a quick lesson and two laps round the track, he was just thrown in the deep bucket of the driver seat.

One of the things that I love most about my husband is that we share the same (slightly twisted) sense of humour. So the trip to the track was filled with discussions of whether he’d need a diaper inside his suit, and how he hadn’t finished his life insurance application yet. And the trip home became about how he could now show the Formula 1 guys a thing or two.

As I weeded between the roses this morning, I got thinking about the sheer felicity of Rob and I coming into each other’s lives. We met when he served me in a shop. If I’d timed the trip differently, or simply walked a different path around the aisles, then chances are we never would have encountered one another. Yet here we are, 9 years later. I’d been through the wringer with ex-boyfriends over the previous few years – and he’d never dated anyone before. Experience had taught him that it was impossible to find a woman who liked Star Wars and Heavy Metal. Experience had taught me that I attracted sociopaths and men who didn’t want to take responsibility for their lives. We were both, understandably, cautious.

Yet, in him, I finally found someone both morally strong and kind. He would stand up for himself (and for me) without it becoming an exercise in power and control. He accepts me for the things he cannot change. And he is grateful. We’ve had many trials over the past 9 years, and there have been so many times when he could have made a bad situation worse by blaming me or undermining me or trying to school me… but he didn’t. I try my best to return the favour. We seem to understand each other as self-contained people.

Love you, Robbie-Roo. Always will.

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