The answer is, nothing. Nothing makes me special. But she certainly makes me feel that way.

We are driving to a restaurant. I am dressed up. She is dressed up. We are not talking, just driving. The radio is playing Don Williams’ song, “Amanda.”

“…Amanda, light of my life,
“Fate should have made you,
“A gentleman’s wife…”

Soon, we are in a swanky restaurant. All the servers wear black. The appetizers come on square plates, doused with sauces that have fancy names that I can’t pronounce. Everything here costs more than a summer cottage in Maui.

Napkins are spread upon our laps. My wife and I are not talking because we are nosy. At the table next to ours is an elderly man with a woman who looks about twenty-one.

The man kisses her. She giggles. When the old man’s waiter arrives, the man orders aged Scotch. His date orders expensive merlot.

Our waitress arrives. My wife orders sushi for an appetizer. I’m still looking.

When the sushi comes, it looks frightening. The lime green stuff that comes with it looks like guacamole, but it is actually nuclear horseradish that will disfigure your sinuses for life.

My wife loves sushi because she is more cultured than I am. She has been to foreign countries, she knows the difference between good wine and Boone’s Farm, and she is sharp enough to win Wheel of Fortune.

Somehow, she married a guy who has never been anywhere or done anything. A kid who was once at a famous bar in New Orleans with his buddy, where the bartender offered him a free glass of thirty-seven-year-old Scotch. And this kid—who has always been a few clowns short of a circus—refused the Scotch and ordered Coors instead.

I’ll never forget it when my buddy said, “What were you thinking, you big hick? That Scotch probably costs two hundred bucks per glass.”

My only defense was that I was a fool. And God looks out for fools.

The waitress brings more sushi. My wife loves sushi. She deserves all the sushi she can get.

This is our celebration dinner. It’s been a long week. We’ve been on the road for seven days, trapped in a small vehicle.

She drove across six states. I tapped on a laptop in the passenger seat. Mostly, I was writing you. But between bouts of writing, we would have these long conversations about nothing.

She would say, “I wonder if I woulda made a good attorney.”

“You? A lawyer?”

“Yeah, you think I coulda?”

“I dunno. You’re a great arguer.”

“Think so?”

“You always beat the stew outta me.”

“I woulda gone into business law, that’s where the big bucks are. What would you have been if you coulda been anything?”

“Willie Nelson’s lap dog.”

She laughs. She knows that we come from different sides of the tracks. But it doesn’t seem to bother her.

“Hey,” she went on. “Let’s go out for dinner tonight, what do you say?”

“Aren’t you tired?” I said.

“Yes, but let’s go anyway.”

“Do you wanna go somewhere nice? Or just Applebee’s?”

“Definitely not Applebee’s.”

So that’s how we got here. We went home, showered, and stepped out on the town. The lady, and her clown.

My life is full of irony. For example, I did not expect to become a writer. I had no aspirations of being anything more than what my father was. A faceless man in denim and boots.

He was a man who always choose Coors over Scotch. Not because Scotch wasn’t good, but because it was too good.

That’s probably why I never touch it. Me drinking Scotch would be like a possum eating wedding cake, or a chimpanzee flying a commercial airplane. It just wouldn’t be right.

I am sloppy, forgetful, under-confident, bad with numbers, I always forget to carry cash, and I’m a slow driver. As a young man, I could never keep a reliable schedule. And I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t make it past the first round on Wheel of Fortune.

My writing career is because of her. My wife. It’s all her. She made it possible. She blazed a trail through the woods for me, then she gave me space to be myself. You might not know that, but it’s true.

Maybe you have read things I’ve written before and thought, “Hey, anyone could write this crap. What makes this dude so freaking special?”

The answer is, nothing. Nothing makes me special. But she certainly makes me feel like I could be.

I wish I could buy her something. Something fine. I wish I could give her something that shows how much I care. Something better than sushi on a square plate. Something that would let her know how I feel.

Sometimes, I lie awake in bed listening to her breathe beside me. I think about how much fun it is being alive together. And how I dread the day when they will place a wreath upon my door and carry me away.

I wish I had more than these weak words. But I am what I am. And God looks out for fools.

We are interrupted by a waitress. She asks what I will have to drink.

I am about to speak when my wife answers for me.

“He’ll have a Coors,” she says. “And so will I.”

Then she winks at me.

Fate should have made her a gentleman’s wife. But I’m glad it didn’t.

49 comments

  1. Lisa - August 8, 2019 7:36 am

    Boone’s Farm is not a fine wine?

    Reply
  2. W. Gary Smith - August 8, 2019 7:57 am

    Well Sean, I enjoy your stories, I have seen you “live”, listened to you sing and play the piano. I have even met you and have a picture of the two of us to prove it. I feel like I have known you you forever because as a friend does,you have shared your heart and exposed your soul through your writing. I believe that you are a good man and certainly a true gentleman.

    Reply
  3. Marilyn Vance - August 8, 2019 8:29 am

    I think ‘fate’ did just fine!

    Reply
  4. Meredith Smith - August 8, 2019 9:17 am

    “I wish I could give her something that shows her how much I care..”. Sean in my eyes you just did.

    Reply
  5. GaryD - August 8, 2019 9:31 am

    You’re nice. You’re polite. You’re humble. You ARE a gentleman.

    Reply
  6. Judy Broussard - August 8, 2019 9:57 am

    You are great, down to earth and really lucky to have found such a soul mate as Jamie. I love you both

    Reply
  7. Lisa - August 8, 2019 10:14 am

    Hi Sean, have you changed your font and font size in your posts lately? I have to squint to read you now, just wondering….

    Reply
  8. Connie Havard Ryland - August 8, 2019 10:19 am

    Y’all are incredibly blessed to have each other. But you are most certainly a gentleman, and you have a way with words that most people don’t have. You touch something in our hearts that keeps us coming back every day to read your words, and share the joy you radiate. I’ve met you twice; heard you speak; got the hugs and the pictures to prove it. You and Jamie are both lovely people. Don’t worry about giving her “things”. You gave her the precious gift in the world. You love her and it shows. Love and hugs.

    Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - August 8, 2019 6:59 pm

      Amen and Amen!!

      Reply
  9. Dawn G Todhunter - August 8, 2019 11:07 am

    Reply
  10. Lucretia Jones - August 8, 2019 11:12 am

    Immortalized your love and divine esteem of your beloved through these beautifully written and shared Words, God’ given talent to you, your exercise and her vision, faith, and joy in ya’lls journey. Now this wonderful energy bleses my life and marriage. Most grateful I am to the both of you. May God continue to bless you both.

    Reply
  11. Sue Carol Browning - August 8, 2019 11:15 am

    What a beautiful love letter!

    Reply
  12. Ginger - August 8, 2019 12:22 pm

    You ARE giving her something special. You are listening to her, respecting her, riding down the road with her, and listening to her breathe beside you.

    Reply
  13. Linda - August 8, 2019 12:26 pm

    Lucky lady!!!

    Reply
  14. Anne Chandler - August 8, 2019 1:01 pm

    Thanks for the lump in my throat. I’m quite sure no one could love Jamie as much as you do. She knows that too.

    Reply
  15. Joe Patterson - August 8, 2019 1:03 pm

    Thanks top of your game mine saved me too but from a different demon Keep writing you make me appreciate all the blessings I take for granted

    Reply
  16. Dianne - August 8, 2019 1:13 pm

    You have the perfect wife, Sean. You didn’t meet her by coincidence, because with God involved, there are no coincidences. He meant for you to have each other.

    Reply
  17. Lynn - August 8, 2019 1:14 pm

    She’s a lucky gal and you a lucky guy!

    Reply
  18. HT - August 8, 2019 1:17 pm

    Blessed indeed

    Reply
  19. Janie F. - August 8, 2019 1:21 pm

    Okay Sean, what you may not know is that all the posts you share about Jamie probably mean more to her than the biggest diamonds, the fanciest cars or the most beautiful mansions. You see not many of us gals have a guy who can put how they feel on a blog for the world to read.
    Personally I love Jamie and appreciate her though we most likely will never meet because she was the first to see you have a gift the world needs. Jamie, THANK YOU!!!
    I am so glad I get to read your posts everyday for they are a GIFT to me and the rest of the world fortunate enough to have discovered your writing. Please don’t ever stop sharing your heart with us.

    Reply
  20. Shelton A. - August 8, 2019 1:32 pm

    Sean, if you know how lucky and fortunate you are, smile. That’s what your stories about Jamie make me do. God bless you and Jamie (and the dogs).

    Reply
  21. Catherine - August 8, 2019 1:34 pm

    Lucky Jamie to be married to a guy who would aspire to be Willie Nelson’s lapdog. Perfect!

    Reply
  22. MermaidGrammy - August 8, 2019 1:48 pm

    Yes. It did. Fate made Jamie a Gentleman’s Wife. For sure. Give her a Little Sean or a Little Jamie. Better yet — get her one of each

    Reply
  23. Betsy - August 8, 2019 2:09 pm

    Love your reference to George Jones, “place a wreath upon my door….” Just heard it the other day on country radio! Keep those stories coming, Sean!

    Reply
  24. Emjay - August 8, 2019 2:27 pm

    If sonnets didn’t have so many rules, this would equal anything Browning could write. That, and you have a gift for creating perfect similes. In plain English, you are a born writer.

    Reply
  25. Jakki - August 8, 2019 2:37 pm

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  26. Marge - August 8, 2019 2:41 pm

    Sean, you give your true self to your lovely and loving wife every minute of every day – how lucky she is to have you by her side on this journey we call life. I had someone like you by my side for 57 years and miss his presence daily. Only difference he loved a good glass of scotch! You bring all the good stuff back to my mind each and every time I read your words. How blessed I am to have found you! Thanks for sharing you with all of us!

    Reply
  27. wandajb - August 8, 2019 2:53 pm

    You are a class act—probably because you don’t know it. You are both blessed to have each other. I love your words. Don’t ever stop writing!

    Reply
  28. Tim House - August 8, 2019 3:07 pm

    Beautiful, loving tribute. And a few of my memories popped in. ‘Amanda’ is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, so much so, because of it, and ‘Mandy”, I named my daughter Amanda (she was Mandy growing up). Anyway, sounds like you’ve got a keeper!

    Reply
  29. Bill - August 8, 2019 3:19 pm

    Sean, I enjoy your writing, and NO, not “anyone could write this crap.” Everyone enjoys reading your “crap”, because it is actually very well-written comments on life. What makes you even more enjoyable is your comments on your sweet Jamie. The ladies all love you, but trust me, a ton of guys are now in love with Jamie!

    Reply
    • Jerry - August 9, 2019 2:16 am

      I am.

      Reply
  30. Kyle Smith - August 8, 2019 3:33 pm

    Hey Sean, I too look forward to your column each day. I just wanted to say I caught an error in today’s column, these lyrics “…Amanda, light of my life, Fate should have made you, A gentleman’s wife…”
    Are Waylon’s not Don’s. Waylon’s song played this song while I was reading the post.
    Hopefully, I’ll be able to see you sometime when you’re in Atlanta. 😊

    Reply
  31. Nedetria - August 8, 2019 3:44 pm

    What a precious tribute…we all know, behind every good man is a better woman…except in my case, my man made me want to be a better person and because of him, I am.
    Thank you for reminding me today of how special it is to have him and have to honor of sharing my life with him.

    Reply
  32. Linda Moon - August 8, 2019 3:48 pm

    Observations while not talking can be weirdly interesting and productive. An elderly man with a 21-year woman and a groovy Don Williams song creatively morphed into your “special crap”. Those tracks….they divide places, but they don’t have to divide people. I bet Jamie agrees and is glad she’s not a gentleman’s wife, you Loved-By-God-Fool!

    Reply
  33. Kathy Daum - August 8, 2019 4:46 pm

    I am educated and have traveled. But I don’t like Scotch. I probably would take the Coors, too. Maybe a Corona instead.

    Reply
  34. Jeannie Schweck - August 8, 2019 5:15 pm

    You are so blessed to have each other. I, too, am so very blessed and I thank God everyday for letting Richard be my life companion. And, once again you have put everything into beautiful words to share with all. Thank you Sean for being a writer, following the path you were put on this good Earth to be

    Reply
  35. Pat - August 8, 2019 7:01 pm

    Sweet!

    Reply
  36. Jess - August 8, 2019 7:06 pm

    Sean, Jamie and you seem to be perfect for one another. Quit worrying about things and enjoy every minute with your beautiful wife…..time is flying by in case you haven’t noticed. Enjoy every day that you’re given. That’s what I try to do and so far it’s worked out pretty well for me. Oh, yeah, I married my “Jamie” almost fifty-three years ago and we’re perfect for one another and we’re loving every minute of time we have together.

    Reply
  37. Brenda - August 8, 2019 8:10 pm

    I love this, thank you

    Reply
  38. BE - August 8, 2019 8:43 pm

    YOU AND JAMIE. ARE. THE. BEST!!!!! 🙂

    Reply
  39. James e inman - August 8, 2019 11:28 pm

    Good beer is fine but do yourself a favor, sample the Scotch once in awhile. Seems to me like ya reached for the top shelf when ya picked your partner. Cheers

    Reply
  40. That's jack - August 9, 2019 3:02 am

    Good entry my friend, we blame a lot on our wives, you and I. But I honestly know it. I have been successful in most of my ‘lives’, which are many. AND it is all her fault. She is the best and has been for over 60 years…
    Good read,
    Sherry & jack (she will by later)

    Reply
  41. Ann Marie Bouchet - August 9, 2019 4:35 am

    Because God made Sean for Jamie and Jamie for Sean….I love you two. Sean your words make my day brighter

    Reply
  42. Terry - August 9, 2019 4:49 am

    Please, please stop the self deprecation. Once in a while is fine when you’re writing about a bone head stunt, but not 9 out of 10 times. You dishonor yourself and more importantly Jamie. All the negativity you lay on yourself and your devoted readers may have been true once but by the grace of Jamie and your own bootstraps it no longer deserves the air time. Take it from one who knows.

    Reply
  43. Carol - August 10, 2019 2:00 pm

    Love ❤️ is all she needs from you ❤️
    Love ya!

    Reply
  44. Lisa Gillen - August 10, 2019 2:20 pm

    I absolutely love your posts and wish you would consider doing a podcast so we could hear these stories in your own voice. You make me smile in gratitude every day. Thank you!

    Reply
  45. Kathy Snell - August 10, 2019 6:02 pm

    Love your stories! Keep Pounding!
    I’m a Carolina Panther’s fan and Charlotte native, and this little phrase works for lots of things! It’s the best! (The story behind it is awesome)

    Reply
  46. Robert Chiles - August 12, 2019 2:58 pm

    Try a couple of fingers of Balvenie. Better than Coors

    Reply
  47. Karen Apostolico - August 12, 2019 3:14 pm

    Sean, I love your blog. They make me happy no matter what kind of shitty day I’m having.

    Have a great day!

    Karen

    Reply

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