Tomorrow is my 11 year wedding anniversary. That’s right. There is a saintly soul out there who’s put up with me for more than a decade. I am under no delusions: I know I don’t deserve him. He is patient, kind, smart, and brave. I…well…I swear at spiders and politicians.
In 1998, I was a secretary in the Nursing Administration office of a civilian hospital back home. I was working two or three jobs at the time, plus going to school. He was a Graduate Nurse, working “upstairs”. He had to come into my office because his paycheck was wrong; our first meeting went something like this:
1) door opens. I look up.
2) we make eye contact. He smiles. I smile.
3) angels sing. sparkles light up the room. CareBears whoosh by on MyLittlePonies. The Monty Python troupe waves.
4) I have no idea what I said. He leaves. I break my neck watching him walk away as the door slowly closes.
5) He looked back! He smiled again!
He was, and still is, the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
And he had a JOB!
I asked my boss about him, he asked his boss about me. I committed a felony and looked up his personal information in the hospital database and left a message for him at his home. He called me back. The subsequent conversation went like this:
“Hi, this is J**. I’m returning a phone call.”
“Hi. I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m A** from the Nursing Office.”
“Yes. I remember you.”
“Well, I think you’re hot and I was wondering if you wanted to go out sometime.”
…insert silence here while I scrunched my eyes and crossed my fingers and held my breath and calculated how long it would take me to dump my current boyfriend…
“Yeah, okay. I’d like that.”
That led to three hour phone calls at all hours of the night, dates at Barnes & Noble, dancing on the tables at Sun Deckers in St. Louis, trips to Miami, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and the emergency department (that’s another story). It led to camping trips and roller blades and running shoes and too much coffee. It led to a ring, a dress, “I Do!”, “It’s a girl!”, “It’s a boy!”, “It’s another boy!”. It led to the ocean, the mountains, and more laughs than I can count. It led to another mom and dad who loves me, another brother and sister who tolerate me reasonably well, Christmas trees, C-130’s, British comedies, and a dog.
We’ve had our rough patches, yeah. There’ve been miscarriages and disagreements and bad perms and that time I let my little brother paint the living room. We’ve loved each other through tired, cranky, fat, broke, burnt food, crappy vehicles, crazy relatives, dead relatives, and geographic separations. He’s been my cheer leader for races that I really had no business running. It’s been a crazy, wonderful, unexpected, ever-growing, some-times-I’m-a-total-chick-and-I’m-sorry, joyous, what-the-heck-is-that-under-the-boy’s-bed?, lovely eleven years. In fact, they’re the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen…
…I can’t wait to see the next eleven-ty twelve years.
I love you, honey. You’ll always by my SuperMan.
(thank you, Kim, for the photo that never ceases to make me smile…)