Friday, December 28, 2007

Sixteen Years

Dear John,

On December 28, 1991, we went out for coffee. That lasted five hours. We went for a walk, remember? And ended up in a church, peeking in on somebody else's wedding. I swore of Family, Children, Domesticity, all sort. Here stands that resolve in 2005.

After coffee, you asked if I wanted to come over to your house for dinner. A meatloaf supper. It is Vast Testament to my keen interest in you that my answer was yes. And you lived in a carriage house! I was sure you were gay, you were so pretty and the place was that quaint. And clean (except behind the tub but I discovered that later). You even had a pretty black square plate with decorative sand design sitting on a coffee table. What was not to like?

Here's your youngest, running, about three years ago. Look at those cheeks! Those munchkin legs!

Meatloaf supper, indeed. I stayed two days. When we finally parted, you admitted relief. Your single (serious) reservation about me had been laid to rest: despite the tie dye leggings I wore (with groovy black leather boots), I was not a Deadhead. Indeed, I could barely distinguish between musical groups. I asked: "Is that the Beatles" when Simon and Garfunkel came on. Still, you loved me. I moved in a week later.

Here is the first time Scarlett went on an official stage, in front of a significant audience. She's the one with her eyes shut, all anticipation and joy.

Now, I can't advise hauling over suitcases within a week of the first date. But I did. My friends were worried. I was just days out of the last relationship, after all. And then there was History: "Remember Brian? Remember Kevin? Steve? Hassan?" Yes, Impulse tended to overtake.

But I knew this was different. Right before I moved in, you told me you loved me. With clarification. You said, "I love you. To like four degrees out of ten, because we've only known each other six days."

Here's Stryker with bad hair that's even worse now, doing one of the yo-yo tricks that helped earn him that national championship. We learned about the tournament the very morning it started. You dropped everything and rearranged your whole day so he could go. And I wouldn't have to do it (at the Mall of America).

When I was pregnant with Scarlett, we knew the baby was a girl. You said, "I hope she gets your brains and my looks." I pretended to be appalled but I hoped so, too. I guess the jury is still out on the brain thing, but she's looking every bit as adorable as nine-year olds go.

We actually met three months before that very first December 28th date. Remember? We shared a table at Dunn Brothers Coffee shop because the place was jam-packed. A man playing an accordion was conveniently located two feet from my head. You didn't hit on me. We exchanged pleasantries.

But then an odd thing happened. You appeared in one of my dream. We were doing silly, routine things like grocery shopping and getting a car fixed. We mowed a lawn. I woke up but remembered because the dream seemed, well, real.

Things weren't going well with my current boyfriend. I was thinking about him while preparing to visit and mused: is Kevin the one I'll spend my life with?

"No. It's the guy from Dunn Brothers."

That thought popped --whole and instructional --into my head. My next thought was: "I better find out his name."

So the next time I saw you at Dunn Brothers, I stopped at your table and got that name, encouraged Invitation. Before long, I told you about the dream and directive. I guess that was okay with you.

On my birthday you gave me a beautiful ring and a card that said, "Looks like we're getting married."

We have a history of unilateral decision making about our relationship. But I guess that's working out.

And you still look every bit as good as you did the day the woman in the car next to ours flashed you her phone number at the red light. Remember how she wrote that out, on a big piece of paper and held it up to the window?

Happy Anniversary--and, you're the one who remembered and bought the gift. I am lucky in love, indeed.


Jodi Anderson said...

Happy Anniversary!

In two days, my husband and I will celebrate number 18.

Mrs. G. said...

Awwww....Mrs. G. + Love Story = Over the Moon. What a sweet tribute to a good man. Happy anniversary. May you have many more!

Minnesota Matron said...

And I just had to reread this post to remind myself of all that romance, given that my three children (11, 9 and 4) have been stuck to me like shackles for the past few days. One dog ate a pound of chocolate and had to be forced to puke with hydrogen peroxide; the other dog has taken to just peeing and pooping right BY the front door, largely because he can't see well enough to walk out of it. And we had nearly 30 phone calls today. But in the midst that nugget of love remains -- I just forgot until rereading that post :-)

Sharon said...

Sweet memories, thanks for sharing! We should all take the time to remember the good things.

Susie Q said...

What a wonderful post! I found your blog through another's whom I enjoy.
Your banner words drew me in...I smiled and knew I would have fun here...think and feel.

Happy Anniversary (a little late)to a special couple.

Bill and I will celebrate our 30th *gulp* next Summer. How can that be???

Happy 2008 to you all!!


skatey katie said...

woah, glad you linked to this, LOVE it to bits!!!
love the past and present all mooshed in together!
my brain works just like that too.
mwah X