Libman Tax - February 2019




What I Learned From a High School Ceramics Class

As millions of people all over the world scour the busy stores for those human-sized stuffed animals, boxes of Sweethearts candies, and heart-covered greeting cards to shower their partners with adoration this Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but think about how this February, Maria and I will have just finished celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. To that end, I’d like to take this edition to shout out my amazingly awesome wife, who has somehow managed to put up with my shenanigans for over a decade.

a public school to, as she put it, “mingle with some normal kids.” I still remember the first day I walked into Mr. Perez’s classroom, ready to learn absolutely everything I could about both ceramics and public school kids. It was a fairly small group of students, so I got to know Maria quickly. Even though I was the new kid and definitely not cool, she was still outgoing and befriended me early on. I didn’t imagine that she liked-me -liked-me right away, but then one day, I accidentally left a sweater in class. She picked it up for me, returned it during the next class period, and then invited me to her friend’s birthday party — an invitation that I readily accepted. My main takeaway from that birthday party was that the students at my private school didn’t know how to have fun. Public school parties were so much wilder! Maria and I dated throughout the rest of high school, and we decided to take the next step and get married on Jan. 29, 2006. When we made the decision to tie the knot, we actually didn’t tell anyone. The only other people in attendance were the rabbi and a couple of witnesses. Man, were my parents mad! Our last 13 years together have been a whirlwind of truly awesome times. We’ve gone on so many amazing vacations, we’ve traveled to concerts all over the place, and we’ve become the parents of four great sons. While there have certainly been frustrations and hard times over the years, I’m continuously blown away by Maria’s empathy and understanding. She is extraordinarily supportive, and when I screw up (which we all know rarely happens), she is kind and loving. Overall, I’m just truly amazed at how well our friendship has endured. I think one of the keys to maintaining that friendship is that we don’t annoy each other. We care for each other, support each other, and consistently focus on growing together. The characteristics that we work on to ensure the success of our marriage are things that we try to mimic in other aspects of our lives. For example, I try to remember the same kind of open communication and growth I strive for with Maria when I’m working with clients. Likewise, Maria employs the same kind of empathy and understanding she brings to our marriage as a mother to our children. As I look back over these last 13 years, I can’t help but feel thankful for that summer public school class that taught me about ceramics, love, and the keys to a great relationship.

Not many people can say that they met their spouse in a high school ceramics class, but that was exactly what happened to me. It was the summer before my senior year, and I was attending Flintridge Prep, which was and still is considered a top-ranked private school in the U.S. My mom thought it might be a good idea for me to take a couple of summer classes at

-Adam Libman

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