Twenty-one years ago yesterday, I took a walk down an aisle with my dad. My shoes, which were a last minute purchase, were way too big, and they were stuffed with enormous wads of Charmin, to keep them in place. It’s what happens when you don’t think SHOES at the same time you think WEDDING DRESS, and you live in a very small town, in the dark ages, before Amazon Prime.
Sometimes you just take what you can get.
Thankfully, I wasn’t just taking what I could get elsewhere in my life. Down front, standing with the minster, was the cutest boy I’d ever dated, and he’d bought this really SWEET ring. I heard stories about how he couldn’t get the Mickey Thompson tires he wanted for his truck, because he used all of his cash for something sparkly, instead.
Sacrifices, people. Sacrifices.
The ceremony was simple and fun. My very biggest memory of that wedding is HOW BADLY MY FACE ACHED, from all the smiling, smiling, smiling, when it was all over with and we were driving the get-away car, adorned with streamers and tin cans.
And then… days later… we realized that our legal marriage document had been dated July 2nd, and not the 1st. The maid-of-honor and best man had gone right ahead and signed their signatures as witnesses to this piece of paper, because they were in a big hurry to get a slice of cake before it was gone. Clearly, it was another instance of people signing ALL THINGS LEGAL without reading the fine print.
Or, you know, even THE DATE.
As luck would have it, Hubs and I later discovered that it was basically going to take an act of Congress, a presidential pardon and a couple eyes of newt to change the date on our paperwork. So, we did what any young couple in love would do.
We kept the wrong date on our paperwork.
And we’ve always had TWO anniversaries to celebrate. We have my sister and Hubs’ brother to thank for this.
Hubs brought me a cup of coffee first thing this morning and said, “Happy anniversary… again today!” And then we kind of clinked our mugs together, as awkwardly as anyone would do when their mugs were filled with scalding hot coffee and plenty of cream, that was entirely too precious to slop out of the cup.
Twenty-one years of marriage.
In other words, the children born the weekend that we got married can now legally drink fruity, rum-infused punch. I have no idea how this extremely quick passage of time has happened.
Over the years, I’ve learned that what I look for in a guy is kind of simple. I want someone who listens to me intently, when I have enormous things to say, and asks me beforehand, “Is this going to be a story that I need to tell you how to fix? Or am I just supposed to quietly listen and pat your shoulder, as I say, ‘There, there’?” I want someone who makes me a cup of coffee-flavored milk every morning, which turns out to be the perfect ratio of coffee-to-cream. I want someone who will spend hours lying on a hardwood floor, building a rocket out of Legos with his boys. I want someone who tells me, “Let him try to conquer this giant hill by himself,” when our boys haul their sleds to the top and I step forward to tell them, JUST USE THE SMALLER HILL, BEFORE YOU MAKE MAMA’S HEART BLOW OUT FROM STRESS. I want someone who is kind and full of compassion. I want someone who knows what hard work is. I want someone to clap for, as he takes an idea for a computer company, and builds it from scratch, with a couple of buddies, turning it into a successful business. I want someone who takes our family to church every Sunday. I want someone who can step on all the spiders who make their way indoors. I want someone who will trap and catch a snake in the yard, and IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT HASTE remove it from the premises before I suffer a stroke. I want someone who doesn’t complain, when he comes home from working all day to see cereal boxes on the kitchen counter, set out for supper.
And really? Well, I’m pretty sure that guy is out there somewhere, but… until then…
… HAPPY TWENTY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY (for the second time this weekend!), HUBS!