I just saw this picture for the first time yesterday. I feel it is necessary to tell you that I screamed so loud when I saw it that I almost made the subject of this post (and picture) wreck our (rental) car. This dashing young man is David Louis Dangelico, born October 23, 1986. (Maybe 3 days before this photo was taken.) From the shape of his head, to the ever-flared nostrils, to the squinty eye, this is, undoubtedly, my husband. And the only way he could be any better is if I could cradle him in my arms as he is being cradled here. (I am a freak.) Just like a baby, David is funny, sort of wrinkly, open, hungry, stinky, friendly, curious and a big sleeper. Unlike a baby, David is independent, brave, creative, considerate, humorous and a Steelers fan. (Contrary to what David believes, babies and dogs don't have preferences when it comes very much, especially when it comes to the NFL.)
David is a wild-man at heart. As seen in the photo above, he spent many years going through the rigorous Boy Scouts of America program where he learned valuable survival skills like how to shimmy into the window of your house when you lock yourself out, how to avoid being killed by a crack addict (this is really what he was, so don't call the PC police) and how to survive a summer head cold while hiking Macchu Piccu in Peru.
- One time, we locked ourselves out of the house, and by the grace of the good Lord, we had left one window open with just the screen on. So David stood on top of his dad's shoulders and pulled himself up to the second-story window and shimmied his way in. I am STILL beating myself up over the fact that I was too busy "spotting" in case David fell one floor to his bloody, horrible death, and worrying about what would happen if David fell one floor to his bloody, horrible death, to take a picture or video of this happening. One time, we locked ourselves out again 3 weeks later...
- One time, David was driving back to his apartment in Wilmington, NC from babysitting his cousin. It was the middle of the night. He stopped to help an old, disoriented woman who was standing in the roadway, and after seeing how upset she was, he offered to give her a ride. (Note: If there was an S in David's name, it would be shown here as S-weet, because he is so sweet. Sometimes too sweet...) So, after driving this woman "just around the corner" which turned out to actually be across town, David pulls up to "her friend who is really really sick's house" and the woman hops out without saying a word to him. Before he can even put the car into drive, a bunch of people swarm the car, and one guy jumps in. As a cop car cruises down the street, the guy yells "DRIVE" to a shocked and terrified David. Other necessary details: David was forced to drive this man around at sort-of gun point. The guy showed he had a gun, and then told David that if he knew what was good for him he would just drive and not try anything. He then proceeded to ask David if he thought Heaven was real, and if he believed in God. David thought this was really the end. Until finally, they pulled up to the last stop and the guy got out, leaving David very happy to be alive, and also leaving a cup full of liquor and a flyer for an Easter Revival church service. I cannot tell a lie.
- One time David went backpacking through Peru and I was really worried about him, and he got this really bad cold, and he got altitude sickness, but he survived and he made it to the top of Macchu Piccu because he is awesomely adventurous and brave.
One of the first things I noticed about David and liked about David is that he tells it like it is. Sure, he may tell a fib once in a while about having taken out the trash when really it is sitting in the rain getting soggy, but when it matters, David is unafraid to tell you what he thinks. I admire that about him. He doesn't worry so much about what the other person will think about him, or what the negative repercussions might be, he just speaks his mind—but pretty much only when its asked for. David also wears his emotions on his sleeve, which is why this conversation happens almost once a week in our house:
Me: What's wrong?
Me: Are you sure?
David. Yeah. Why?
Me: You just seem weird.
David: I'm not weird, I'm fine.
Me: I'm your wife, I know what you're usually like.
David: Do you wanna watch a movie?
*Two, three, four hours later*
David: I'm sorry, but it's just really bothering me that...
Maybe it's necessary to include that David's truth comes out in his own time, but nonetheless, I am always eager to hear what he has to say.
My man has the moves—what else can I say? (OK, well the only other thing I can say is that it also appears he has very few bones in his hands.) But other than those TWO things, I cannot say anything else about him. Oh, except that he looks SO CUTE in suspenders, and he loves beer, and also his thick-framed black glasses, and also my cousins. That is my cousin Forrest, stage left. (Hi, Forrest!) Also, David always knows the best up-and-coming musicians and bands, so he always knows the perfect song to play for any mood. He also knows pretty much any and all music trivia, even about the silly ones like my girl Katy Perry. Lastly, ever since we started dating David has made me these mix-CDs, they are always entitled "Love is a Mixtape: ______." The _______ is for whatever the particular mix is called. I have at least 10 of them. I still listen to them all the time. They are such good encapsulations of each different stage of our life together. They always make me happy, and there's always a good dance track or two on there, because, like I said: my man has the moves.
Not surprisingly, I have a very similar reaction to this photo as I do to the first one of him as a three-day old. I live for that smile and those squinty eyes. It is in them that I find so much comfort, humor, warmth, kindness, support, trust and love. There is only one David. He is my best friend, my personal movie reviewer, my muse, my lover, my dog walker, my music critic, my murse, my coach, my teammate, my stand-up comedian, my breath of fresh air. He is a daily reminder of how blessed I am, how proud I should be and how precious life is. Last night we sat at our teeny kitchen table, drinking beers and eating tacos and talking about what comes next: the work-week, doctors appointments, movies, the summertime. With our chairs shoved closely together, we sat in our little townhouse with our knees pulled into our chests like two little children giggling over some secret joke. Blissfully unaware of the future, the unknown, just living for this one evening—because if it were all that there was, this one evening would be enough.
It's nothing fancy or overblown, it doesn't need explanation or excuse or alarm, it just is. Simple, happy—perfect. As right for me as any old thing could be. It's just D-A-V-I-D.