In Which I Imagine Writing My Husband’s Dating Profile

When my husband was a child, he tells me, his favorite thing was the Titanic sinking. Not the Titanic, the Titanic sinking. My husband did not have a particular fondness for boats, not even enormous ones, not even the most impressive ones the world had ever seen. What he loved was the wreck: the way that the indestructible was destroyed, the way hubris has an inevitable end that we might as well sit back and admire. He told me this on our first date.

He also told me that he’d loved vacuums and Home Depot. By the time we met, though, he liked red wine, good red wine. He liked cities built on a grid system. He liked plants, having won a regional plant identification contest as a kid who, surprisingly, also had friends in school. He liked winter. He liked books about urban planning and brutalist architecture and the importance of preserving the longleaf pine in the southeastern United States. He liked Billy Collins but I didn’t like that.

My friend Caitlin once said, if Jacoby were on Tinder, she’d swipe left because he looks like he majored in business. My friend Caitlin once said, after living with us for three weeks during the pandemic, “Jacoby is really fucking weird.”

He drinks his coffee black; you may not know it but this is the mark of a sociopath. Even in public, even when people stare in horror, he tips the salt shaker into his water glass and gives it a good thump. I want to tell you he has a salt deficiency, that I have not chosen a man who chooses to do this.

Star sign: Gemini.

Likes: Trains. Trees. Cities with rivers. Chairs named after their designers. Chickens. The north and south of Spain. Gardeners’ World on the BBC. Linen pants. Falafel. Cycling, particularly uphill. Related: the Giro, the Tour, the Vuelta. Olive oil. Being near water but not in it. Ferns. The lobster roll at Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine. Maple syrup. Belgian white beers. Taylor Swift. Weekend Update. Murakami. Breeze block. Wood paneling. Our daughter’s hair the morning after it has been shampooed.

The first night I went home with him, he spilled gin on the sofa when he leaned in to kiss me. While he was in the kitchen grabbing paper towels to sop up the gin, his cat, Sybil, named after the Downton Abbey character, licked the puddle from the cushion. He kissed me anyway. The cat was fine.

The first night I went home with him, he insisted he’d had all of those books about ballet before dating the Columbia ballerina. I’ve mentioned that he is a Gemini.

He and his siblings were each named after baseball players and I nodded sagely when he told me this because in my family, the closest anyone ever came to playing a sport was when my dad was in the middle school marching band, and also because I didn’t know how to pronounce his name until the second month of our relationship: Jack-uh-be? Jacob-ee? When I panicked in IKEA because I kept turning corners after which there were only more corners and no doors and we were going to die in there, I yelled his name to tell him that, you know, we were going to die in there, and he very gently corrected my inflection–Ja-cO-bee–and located the exit.

Dislikes: Chain restaurants. Houses with garages on the front. Urban sprawl. Knockout roses. Telling the server that he ordered the hanger steak, medium-rare, when he’s brought the pork chop, well-done. Me telling the server that he ordered the hanger steak, medium-rare, when he’s brought the pork chop, well-done. Post-Brexit regulations that blocked BritBox in the European Union so that he couldn’t watch Gardeners’ World on the BBC. Dutch food. Condiments. The mushroom trip that I insisted would help his anxiety but instead made him see a time-controlling warthog on the Herengracht canal taunting him with the finite and minuscule span of his own existence. The discontinuance of the Shack-cago Dog at Shake Shack.

He comes to bed smelling of the spoonfuls of peanut butter he eats standing sock-footed in the kitchen late at night. He leaves his clothes on the floor, very near to but not in the hamper. In the mornings, he brings cups of coffee to my bedside, hand-ground, poured-over, each step careful and slow. When I ask if he loves me for the fifteenth time before noon, he says yes, I love you. Yes, I like you.