Melinda and Bill

The first time I met Bill Gates, and pretty much the only time, was in Arizona. We were on Ester Dyson’s tech boondoggle in 1995. Fred pointed him out. He was wearing green striped sweat knee socks that I wore as a teenager in camp with Clark ankle wallabies, polyester, slightly beige knee-length shorts with a side belt attached to the pants. On top, he has an oversized, burgundy crumpled like it had been in a laundry pile with a few stains here and there. Nerdy? I think so.

The rest of the time, like all of us in the tech world, we had watched with awe and fascination when Bill Gates married Linda and began the next journey with a partner. You could see the transformation quite quickly as he became more human and put himself together better—a more sophisticated geek.

Everyone knew how smart Linda was; otherwise, it would have never worked. As she blossomed, she started to notice that many women are feeling what she is feeling. Why are women still second fiddles? I love her voice for women and how she has used the foundation to make a world social impact with a slant towards social progress.

Fred and I have been together for forty years. We became adults together. We have both worked hard at finding common interests. Lucky for us our interests connect on almost everything. As two driven, passionate humans who live together, especially when one of them has become so successful, it isn’t always easy to shine.

Every relationship is an endless dance. It makes me sad to see that they couldn’t figure out how to keep dancing after all this time together.