Careful readers of my blog know I suck at grammar. Luckily, I married a red-pen wielding smarty pants who actually knows what he's talking about when discussing dangling participles and ending sentences with prepositions.
Me: "But that's my style," I protest.
Matt: "No, honey. That's not style, it's just wrong."
Me: "Okay, whatever."
Matt:"Babe! You asked me to edit this."
After having that conversation about a million times we've developed a few ground rules. Matt doesn't marvel – out loud - at how I got my degree with my inability to grasp the concept of a comma splice and I don't pick apart his corrections with lame excuses like "Well, that's AP Style." We're still working on the "no hovering" rule. It's just that I can't stand the waiting while someone is reading my work.
"I can feel you looking at me." I hear him say. Well, okay, I watch him say it because, well, busted.
Have I mentioned that I hate editing? I mean, like, I hate it. I get totally attached to my favorite quotes and can't stand to cut them. But, of course, must. I had an editor who used to beg me to just "start with the condensed version already."
When my last column was due, I had Matt glance over it before submitting it on my way out of town.
"B-." Was all he said, with his "kinda" kidding smile.
"B minus?! What are you talking about? It's due, like, now!"
"Sorry. Continuity issues," he shrugged. He saw me starting to stress out and reached for his trusty red pen. "Here. This is how you fix it." And damn if his suggestions weren't spot on. Most of them. Being cool with me passing on his helpful advice is another one of those rules.
How lucky am I, though, to have an ex-English teacher in the house? Sam, I'm sure, will be just delighted to have his papers corrected at home and at school.
As Matt handed me back my final draft of the Poets & Writes piece he shakes his head and sighs.
"I wish you'd taken my English class." I laugh and tell him it's okay, I know my grave stone will have a comma splice or two on it. He shakes his head again. "Not if you die first."