You’re always the last to discover how blessed you are.

One day a woman asks me about my wife, I describe her and she says, with a sad face:

‘I really doubt my boyfriend says such positive things about me when they ask him about me.’

Funny, I wasn’t trying to be particularly postive about Zuzi, I was just stating the facts.

She gets up at six am, leaves home at 7 am and often returns home 11 to 12 hours later. Then it’s not uncommon for her to go into our ‘classroom’ at home and teach somebody German. If she doesn’t do that, she paints and draws postcards which she manages to sell to museums and other organizations. About two weekends a month she follows a course about pedagogy. She’s enrolled on two different pedagogy course, neither of those are in any way mandatory, she just does it. She also rarely skips Sunday Church, does the washing, helps out with grocery shopping, and from time to time she even cooks (although that’s my job).

On top of that she gives a lot of attention to her family, helps me out with administration (invoices, bills, insurance, taxes, …) She designs the covers of my books or the covers of books we are translating. She reads and evaluates everything that appears on Pep talk and is also the first and most outspoken critic of plays or novels I write. She even helps me focus on the phd concerning the American Civil war I’m working on. She’s also translated one of my Dutch plays to Slovak and got it published in a literary magazine. From time to time she gets paid to write book reviews. She also promotes our books. Here in Slovakia she arranged everything so we would buy an apartment in a nice neighbourhood at a bargain price…

She’s a rocket that runs on hugs, affection, flowers, romantic dinners in Indian or Chinese restaurants, and two hours of conversation a day. We talk about two hours a day about everything, which might as well be called business meetings – slash – councils of war -slash- funny therapy sessions.

At night she likes to fall asleep listening to me talking about historical topics. At least there’s one great use for my otherwise economically useless consumption of an anabolic rate of history books and documentaries.

Is this the perfect woman?

I think so. To me she’s wonderwoman.

How can she get so much more done than the average person? Here are some reasons:

  • She doesn’t go out boozing on Friday or Saturday nights
  • She doesn’t smoke, which am sure usually lowers a person’s productivity
  • She doesn’t spend whole Saturdays shopping for clothes
  • She doesn’t spend hours trying to look the house more ‘original’ by making her own curtains or painting a chair she’s found on some flea market. Nice activities, but what difference in value output does it make? And there’s nothing original about cocooning, because that’s what everyone seems to be doing these days, pretending the home is a separate universe with no links to the scary outside world
  • She rarely meets up with people to chat about every day things for four to six hours. She keeps in touch with friends, but not to chat away two full days a week as I see quite a few people do
  • She does not have the cry for attention reflex that translates as changing or coloring her hair every two weeks, she doesn’t spend hours taking selfies, and she’s discovered that spending six to eight hours a week trying to get a ‘fitness’ body won’t get her anything in life. Luckily she doesn’t need the gym, she gets all the movement she needs because she tends to walk everywhere if it’s only a couple of miles. The fitness freaks I know tend to only want to use their body when they are in the gym, but would start crying if they had to walk to work or to school or to a shop for a couple of miles