For our inaugural article here at OneDarkSKy, I have conscripted the skills and journalistic stylings of my wife, Amy! Ever since my love of the night skies was rekindled by my daughter's curiosity, Amy has been a staunch supporter... steadfast advocate... weery witness to my astronomical endeavors. For this piece, I simply asked her to describe what it's like to be married to a night sky enthusiast (aka astrogeek). We hope you enjoy it!
Welcome to my world.
It is my world by chance, not by choice. I have been tasked by my husband, Robb, to write about what it is like to be married to an astronomy enthusiast, or “astrogeek” (his term, not mine). I was instructed to make this witty and charming, and I am sure I will fail at this.
As I type, he is at an astronomy meeting, while I am home alone writing about his hobby. Updated to add: It is now a different day, and he is in our garage making signs for stargazing events. So, how did this all come to be?
It all started many years ago, when we were first dating. I quickly learned that Robb is… passionate about his hobbies. That is one constant with him. The only problem is that his hobbies tend to change, often and rapidly. I call it OCD, but one of our friends refers to it as "Hobby Tourette’s." It is hard for me to remember all of the hobbies of yore. In early times, there was a love of travel and a plan to live on the beach. There was DisneyMania. The heavily-planted freshwater aquarium. Roasting green coffee beans. Hydroponics. The saltwater aquarium with coral. Photography (which included starting his own photography business out of our house). Wine. Building his own computers. Cooking. Jeeps. I am sure I am forgetting some. Chime in with others in the comments!
This brings us to 2010. The saltwater aquarium was in full swing. Trips were made to something called “frag swaps” to obtain new pieces of coral. Much time, energy, and money were spent. Apparently, at some point that spring, our daughter asked a question about the sky or stars. I don’t recall it being, “Daddy, could you spend lots of money, hundreds of hours, and drive countless miles to look at stars?” However, my memory could be failing me. Whatever the question was, it reawakened his “passion for the night skies” that was a part of his childhood. Of course, a passion for Milli Vanilli was part of his youth, as well. Luckily, he has not yet formed a Milli Vanilli tribute band. I left on a trip to Myrtle Beach with my parents and daughter in April 2010. When I came back, Robb had purchased a telescope on Craigslist for $60. As usual, this was sort of a gateway drug to something more hardcore. When the dogs conveniently knocked over said telescope, it was soon replaced with a snazzy Celestron C8 GoTo.
Seventeen months later, it is all astronomy, all the time at our home. I have learned more about the stars and night skies than I ever cared to know. When we were at Six Flags a few weeks ago and I found myself identifying stars as our roller coaster climbed the hill, I became a little frightened for my sanity. I suspect he uses some sort of subliminal messaging system to teach me about the stars as I sleep. I guess it is working.
I try not to become too engrossed in any of Robb’s hobbies, as they never last. We had an over/under on time to a new obsession, but astronomy seems to be surprisingly tenacious. For everyone reading and enjoying this site, keep your fingers crossed that raising alpacas or playing the accordion won’t strike his fancy in the near future. Or, of course, that Milli Vanilli tribute band.