... is often my conscience, giving me a gentle nudge to do what I almost always find out later was the right thing and what I should have been doing from the beginning.
... has never, not even once, doubted my ability to be more than I am.
... knows how to get a laugh from me even during those times when laughter is the furthest thing from my mind.
... makes me happy to be alive on those days, that happen to all of us, when getting out of bed has become a chore for one reason or another.
... has more consistently been in my corner than Bundini Brown was for Ali (and who, upon reading this, will ask me, "Who is Bundini Brown?")
... now knows more about The Three Stooges than she ever thought she would, ever wanted to, and ever would like to admit.
... has never, not even once, during the entire course of our more than 22 years together, tried to stop me from taking a nap.
(You may not consider that item to be on par with the other things I've mentioned, but I consider it of paramount importance.)
... despite all of the evidence I've given her to the contrary, still thinks I'm the greatest catch she could have made.
... makes sure that every birthday of a friend or relative is remembered in some way even though I barely ever remember when they're due to happen.
... despite the obvious convenience of not having to spell her name every time she has to give it over the phone, still chose not to become a Sullivan when we were married.
(And which I completely understand, by the way. Had the situation been reversed, and my last name was something like Mxzyptlk, I would have kept the same name I came into the marriage with, too.)
... who would be very mad at me if I gave you her age here, so I'll tell you she's the square root of 1521, divided by Delonte West's uniform number when he was with the Celtics, plus the number of American League Championships won by the Red Sox (even including those when they were called the "Americans", and not the "Red Sox"), times the combined final score of the seventh game between the Bruins and Montreal in 1979 (the bastards...), minus Tony Conigliaro's home run total to win the league championship in 1965, plus Doug Flutie's retired uniform number at Boston College, divided by Tony Conigliaro's uniform number (which should have been retired long ago), plus Rick Robey's uniform number while he was with the Celtics (which, if you need a clue, was Delonte West's number times 4, plus the number of times in my life I've left a professional baseball game before the last out.)
(And if you can figure out how old she is from that, you deserve to know. If you tell anyone else, however, I'll have to come to your house and kill you. On the other hand, she won't be able to figure out her own age if she tries to do it from those clues, so there's that.)
... deserves a better birthday card than this (but isn't gonna get one because I'm a slug.)
... is MY WIFE, for better or worse (and she's probably wavering as to just which category this falls into.)