Dynamo got married yesterday. He admitted to a bad case of the nerves pre-vows, born of a very healthy respect for the commitment he was about to embark on, as witnessed by friends, family and God. Put it that way, yeah, marriage is intimidating.
Dynamo fretted about his ability to be a good husband to his fiancée and, eventually, a good father to his future children. I was hard put not to laugh at him for being ridiculous. Anyone who knows Dynamo knows that he is a stand-up guy. He radiates humour, integrity and kindness.
Dynamo to the rescue, version 1
Dynamo has never approved of my interest in kickboxing and boxing: he doesn’t find these sports ladylike, and deems the risk of concussions an unwonted danger for someone whose career is knowledge-based. He has always been annoyingly vocal in his opinions, “Vanilla, you are having a hard enough time finding guy, do you really think turning yourself into a bruised vegetable will improve your attractiveness?! Please, help me out here, there is only so much a wingman can do!!”
3 years ago, I blew out my knee during a kickboxing practice. I traumatized the entire class, as I lay helpless in considerable pain with my knee at an unnatural angle, waiting 45 long minutes for the ambulance to come. Unbeknownst to me, one of my teammates who knew Dynamo called him to appraise him of the event. He pretended indifference (“serves her right for practicing a dangerous sport“) and then requested that he be informed of the hospital the ambulance would eventually bring me to.
Dynamo showed up at the hospital and stayed with me through the long process of having my knee reset, X-Rays and waiting on the orthopedist to sign my release (with the prognosis that my recovery would take 9-12 months and might never be complete). I was a shattered, emotional, drugged-up mess. By the time I was released, it was 3am, and I was on crutches with an unwieldy leg brace. Dynamo drove me home, carried all my sweaty gym stuff up to my apartment, and arranged the essentials close to my bed (towel, glass of water for my pain medication, phone). Then he left, because he had a 9am client meeting later that morning.
He called me at 11am to laugh at my crutches and my inelegant maneuvers in and out of a taxi as I made my way to work. He never let me thank him (“Don’t be an idiot, Vanilla. But please consider taking up yoga? I don’t like hospitals and you clearly don’t have any athletic talent”).
Dynamo to the rescue, version 2
2 months later, my mother died in her sleep. I’d just left my place and was on my way to a Tinder brunch date when I got my father’s phone call. The sun seemed too bright, the air too cold, and my body too heavy. I sat down in the middle of the sidewalk and tried to think of what to do. I wanted to magically appear (à la Harry Potter) at my parents’ home in the suburbs, but that seemed rather impossible. Whilst two kind strangers offered to call me a cab, which I numbly agreed to, I concentrated on determining what my next action should be. My fingers decided for me that my next action would be to call Dynamo. When he didn’t pick up, I texted him to call me back. Fighting the mounting anxiety, I felt unable to figure out anything else. I was quite content to continue sitting on the sidewalk until my cab showed up, which seemed like an eternity.
Dynamo called me back a few minutes later – he’d been driving to meet his mother for one last brunch before catching a flight for an important month-long business trip. When he heard the news, he turned the car around, came and picked me up, drove me to my parents, without a word. I tried doing the math, to figure if he was going to be late for his check-in, but he told me not to worry about it, so I didn’t.
Dynamo had never been to my parents’, and had never met my father. Yet he walked me up the stairs to my parents’ place, and stayed in the hallway, while I rushed to find my very hysterical father. Dynamo stayed in the hallway, a calm presence for 40 minutes, while I saw my mother’s body, and listened to my father’s recital of the discovery of her death. Dynamo stayed in that hallway, along with the 2 cops that had been the first to arrive on the scene. He stayed even as he heard my father and I utter moans of grief. He stayed, in what must have been the most awkward circumstances ever, in case I needed him.
He eventually left, once he was sure that our common friends were aware of the news, and available to help, and that I had no immediate need of assistance or comfort. He apologized countless times for his business trip, and for missing the funeral. I found later that he almost missed his flight, and ran to the gate, which the air stewardesses obligingly kept open for him a few extra minutes.
Happily ever after
All of Dynamo’s friends have stories of similar moments of generosity and thoughtfulness. (We also all have stories of how he has pranked and enraged us, but those wouldn’t fit with the tone of this post.) Without a doubt, Dynamo will make a standup husband. Mrs. Dynamite is one wise gal.