I kissed you for the first time in December of 1993. Do you remember that? Of course you do. That didn’t end well.
But why didn’t it work then? I don’t really know. You were/are a pretty girl but…I dunno…something wasn’t quite…
The next summer I was busy telling you all about that other girl I was hoping to marry someday. But said girl wasn’t having any of it. Why was I telling you?
Shortly after that I swore off playing kissy face and got more “serious” about work and school. You remember that. I was “tired of wasting my kisses” (ah, the smell of teen drama…). I wouldn’t kiss another girl until I knew I was going to marry her. You were there. I told you about it. Why were you there? My parents had a party to celebrate the new house they had built. We were sitting on the front step talking. I was talking about that other girl. You were rolling your eyes.
How did you know?
I didn’t hold out. Somehow you broke down my barriers. I remember kissing you in November of 1995. Do you remember that? Of course you do. I got you an engagement ring at Christmas but it arrived late. I spent every last dime on that ring and I didn’t have a present for you on Christmas Eve. Not even a card. Oh, the things I would do differently…
What happened in between? How did I go from “something wasn’t quite…” to “let’s get hitched”?
You came home from a trip in the fall of ’94 talking about some dude you met and I felt myself getting angry. Mark. Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, MARK! Why was I getting angry? I had nothing to be jealous of. We weren’t dating. I was just hanging out at your house playing video games with you and your brothers.
I wasn’t there specifically to be with you. I was watching movies and making potato guns and listening to music…you were just somewhere nearby. We played king of the mountain in the snow, we caught frogs and snakes and stuff…we just played around. You were there too.
Why were you there?
Why did we get engaged? Not because of Mark.
What did you do to me?
Whatever you did seems to be working. Nearly half of my life I’ve been married to you. And Mark hasn’t. Nanny-nanny boo-boo. (I hope I don’t find out someday that Mark is fictional…)
So what is it about you? Is it your hair or your looks? You are certainly a pretty girl. 20 years and four children haven’t changed you at all.
Maybe it’s that you look great standing in the rain and mud after milking the cow and taking a selfie. Or maybe it’s that you stand in the rain and mud after milking the cow and take a selfie. Or maybe that you milk the cow in spite of the rain and mud. Maybe that was the point of the selfie.
I really don’t know.
So what is it about you that I married?
Remember that part about your brothers? Your dad played video games with us too. Heck, your mom played Dr. Mario with us. And your mom made us pizza every week while we watched movies. And your grandpa hired me. And your grandpa fired me. And your grandma hired me. And your aunts and uncles are pretty cool.
Maybe I married your family and you were just a bonus.
Maybe. But I don’t think so.
I think it’s just something about you. Something I can’t quite pin down. And I have no idea how you did it.
Maybe I’ll figure it out in another couple of decades.
I know that I love you. It’s hard to be specific about what I love about you so I’ll just take the whole package and not ask “Why?” questions.
I love you. Happy 18th anniversary Julie Boo.
Friday night Julie said, “I know you do a blog post for our anniversary every year. It might be nice for us to work on that together.”
“Um…it’s already written and scheduled.”
This post isn’t old enough for me to regret writing it yet but maybe I should have just scrapped it in favor of the collaborative effort. But she’s reminding me of details that…ugh. What a dork. Why did she marry me? She even said, “You can’t put that in the post…” Nope. I can’t. Ugh.