Today marks the 19th anniversary of when I first started dating my wife. We don’t have a big celebration, we don’t give each other cards or gifts, but we do use this day to reminisce on all of those moments that we have spent together. I joke with my wife a lot about, but I am very proud that we have been together this long and it reminds me of how much we care for each other and how hard we work to make it “work.”
We went to the same high school together for 3 years, but our paths never crossed. We even worked at the same country club for 6 months and never came in contact with each. I was working on the grounds crew for the golf course and she was a waitress in the restaurant. When the summer ended, I was offered the chance to “come inside” and work as a dishwasher in the kitchen. I don’t think for the first several months she even knew I existed. She denies this fact, but I know that I am invisible to most. I think it was in February that one of her friends suggested that I should ask her out.
On our first date we went to see The Silence of the Lambs. This may not have been a great choice for a first date, especially when you arrive late and walk in just in time to hear Multiple Miggs say his infamous line. I thought that this was the end, that I finally got to go out on a date with a cool, older woman, but the night seemed to go as smooth as a junior in high school could expect.
That first date triggered almost 2 decades of amazing times – attending the same college together, getting married, buying our first home, having three children, watching them grow and learn and speak and talk back and cut their own hair and chip their teeth and … and many other happy and wondrous things. Together we made it through rough times and worked together to get through them. I think that is what life and marriage is all about - working at it. There is no other secret than to want to make it work, to be able to laugh together and laugh at each other. Being able to laugh at each other is important. WARNING: you have to be able to also take a sucker punch to the kidneys and to learn to love sleeping on the sofa. Men seem to learn this early on, but women are slow learners. Maybe in the next 19…
I have also learned some pretty useful tips for relationships and marriage:
- Some things do not go in the dryer – mainly sweaters and cats
- If it is rusty and has flaking paint and hangs on the wall or sits on a table, it is country and rustic. If it is rusty and has flaking paint and sits in the garage, it is “shouldn’t you get rid of that thing, you don’t need it anymore.”
- The ability to control your snoring (HOW IN THE HELL am I supposed to do that? Is it even possible to control what you are doing when you are unconscious?)
- Never use your cell phone to make a digital recording of your spouse snoring to prove that maybe she is waking herself up
- Not every meal should be hamburgers
- Feelings are not measurable things, there is no such thing as a mood meter
- Logic and reason have no place in arguments
- The Bachelor is someone’s quest to find true love, it is not whoring yourself on national television
The most important thing is to stick by each other, through thick or thin, right or wrong. That’s a hard lesson, but one worth remembering.
Thank you, my lovely wife and partner through the past 19 years. I can’t express to you how happy you make me.