NORMAN — When you commit the rest of your life to a significant other, eventually you absorb characteristics of that person.
Prior to my marriage, I never watched a football game. I never cared for basketball, either. I also didn’t know that it was a slap in the face to any chef if you put steak sauce on your ribeye.
Now, I’m not saying that I love football or basketball, but I do have a better understanding and I’ve grown to appreciate that my husband enjoys watching sports. But, I have to add, that I still put steak sauce on my ribeyes. That won’t change.
And that street goes two ways. My husband has learned that when we drive up on an accident or anything that deems itself “breaking news” that I’m going to spring into action and either call the reporter on duty or start snapping photos myself. He also knows that if he sees news happen, he had better call me and let me know.
It’s hard to learn to be the spouse of a journalist. We never know when we will be home. You never know if we will be nice or not when you call us during the afternoon. Sometimes deadlines or other irritants get under our skin and we are just downright cranky.
I’ve always wondered if my husband really got it, if he really understood what it was like to be a journalist. But I don’t have to wonder any more.
On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from my husband saying he’d be a bit late to our lunch date because he’d just witnessed a police officer shoot a suspect near his office. Not your normal excuse for running behind schedule, so I asked him to repeat that information.
I’m not used to being the news, I’m used to reporting the news. I admit I got a bit flustered after his call. I honestly didn’t know how to process that information. But after I remembered the number to the newsroom, I called in what had just happened and I rushed to the scene. I couldn’t get there fast enough, but this time it wasn’t so I could break the story. This time it is was so I could make sure my beloved was OK.
He had only been a few feet away from the incident, and where we come from, things like this just don’t happen. Luckily, he was fine, just a bit shaken up. I was, too.
I had a hard time that day deciding who I was going to be. Reporter or wife. I hope it’s a decision I never have to make and I would like to thank my coworkers and bosses for understanding that maybe my first instincts to be a reporter were not the right ones. Those instincts, by the way, lasted about 10 seconds until I saw my husband. I knew he was safe. I knew he had just seen something horrific. And I knew I had to be a wife.
That afternoon I watched my husband tell his eyewitness account to several police officers. He stood strong. He was able to give details that most would have probably forgot. He was able to help piece together a very unfortunate situation so that those involved could figure out the best plan of action. He did it all and kept himself calm. Something very few people, myself included, probably couldn’t do. And, as a wife, I’ve never been more proud.