Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Married the Sys Admin

You never think about practicality when you're in love.

I married my husband because he was smart, funny, kind, sexy and loved to travel. Not to mention because after only a few weeks, I felt as though I had known him forever.

It never occurred to me to wonder whether he'd be useful!

Among his many other talents, over the years, he has taken on the role of system administrator for our rather considerable number of computers. Back when I met him, of course, we didn't have any computers. (That was in 1980.) I had no idea that one day our lives and our livelihoods would depend on things like uninterruptible power supplies, network firewalls and backups!

I'm so grateful that he handles all this!

It's not that I'm so technologically challenged. I code my own website in bare HTML. I can write a program in at least ten computer languages. I can even handle some simple Linux system management tasks. But I don't have the patience of my DH. I marvel at the methodical way he attacks a problem (a computer that doesn't start--a slow network--my having deleted a critical file...!) I'm ready to scream and throw a tantrum. In contrast, he takes things one step at a time, doing research, trying out hypotheses, eliminating possible solutions. Sometimes, of course, the problems aren't solvable. But I'd give up a long time before he does.

Lately I've been thinking about romance in the real world--how different it is from books. I don't think you should choose your partner for purely practical reasons (although in some parts of the world, with arranged marriages, consideration of rational benefits trumps emotion). On the other hand, a relationship where each member can offer competence in different areas might have more of a chance of being stable. So he writes Perl scripts to make sure we don't lose critical data, while I do graphic design and animation work. He handles our investments. I pay the bills. I'm our social secretary, keeping in touch with friends and organizing events. He organizes our documents, books and records. He's the plumber. I'm (for the most part) the cook. And so on.

Maybe just love isn't enough to make marriage work. Or perhaps all these responsibilities to one another are part of love.


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