That has since changed.
My Lovely Wife doesn’t play guitar, front a rock band, have huge hair, a cocaine habit or wear spandex while grinding on stage for an MTV video, but she certainly has a high profile at home here in Columbus, Ga.
She has always loomed large as a parent, teacher, community theater actress and spot-on impersonator, but recent events have taken her star to new heights. Literally. As in three stories high.
My Lovely Wife has become the unofficial spokesperson for Columbus Regional Medical Center’s nurse recruitment campaign. Her picture graces several billboards across downtown Columbus.
Funny thing is that I was one of the last people to see it. About every other day for a couple of weeks straight, someone at work would sheepishly come up to be and say, “OK, weird question — but is that your wife on the billboard on Veterans Parkway?”
Turning around with a grin, I’d sit up proudly, puff out my chest and say, “Why yes. Yes it is. The woman with whom I share a matrimonial bed (not to mention two children, three dogs and a mortgage) is in fact the model for those striking billboards you see almost daily.”
Now I know how Susan Lucci’s husband must have felt when she finally won a Daytime Emmy. “Like, I’ve seen how awesome she was all the time, but a little recognition ain’t bad.”
As much as I joke, it really is a cool thing to drive into work, stop to buy gas and have my wife looking over my shoulder … but not in that nagging way.
The real honor is why they chose My Lovely Wife for these ads. It’s not just because she’s beautiful as the “face” of local nursing excellence. It’s because of the love and passion she has for the job and how she can convey that passion in a way that inspires others to dedicate their lives to a job that’s terribly thankless and kind of gross.
In the ad, she says, “You could spend your entire career at Columbus Regional and you can continue to learn and grow and never feel like you reached your limit.”
That’s a real quote spawned from “just talking” about what it means to be a nurse.
If somebody had spoken to me that way, I might still be a full-time journalist — also if newspapers hadn’t become an endangered species — but, I’m sure that it’ll work for nurses, too.
She’s in the paper, too, which was once my sole domain. But the picture of her standing all poised and professional in front of a podium as if preparing to give the commencement address to a crop of fresh-faced nursing students sure beats the beejesus out of my byline and ugly mug shot (which, by the way, is so old that I still have hair).
I’ve long since gotten used to being referred to as “Sumer’s husband.” Let’s face it, she’s prettier than I am.
But I’m the only man on the planet who can go home and say, “Wow honey … you’re huge!” and not end up sleeping on the couch.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org