Friday, August 9, 2013

A Decade in the Making

All kings, and all their favourites,
All glory of honours, beauties, wits,
The Sun itself, which makes times, as they pass,
Is elder by a year, now, than it was 
When thou and I first one another saw:
All other things to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,
Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
                       John Donne

Dear Ben,

As you know, I love me a good celebration. Birthdays, anniversaries, the end of an iconic TV series. And a milestone celebration...the bigger, the better is my motto. So, here we are at the 10 year anniversary of the day of our betrothal. 10 YEARS!!! A DECADE!!  To that end, I have been trying to come up with some momentous gesture to demonstrate my love, like holding a boombox over my head outside our bedroom window (but you wouldn't get that reference because you're not a sucker for a good 80's romcom).  Then I thought about hiring a sky writer.  But I make $0.00 a year and those fools are expensive.  I don't scrapbook (you're welcome). And I could try to quilt your likeness, but I'm pretty sure someone would end up dead. So, I'll write something about you...about us.

I don't know if you remember this, but the day we met is forever etched in my memory.  It was the meeting that RomComs are made of. And not RomComs starring now-disgraced former child actors, but the RomComs that star an academy award winning actress who's going back to her roots for her fans. I was rocking an androgynous hairdo and probably a pair of overalls that I thought were in fashion but were, in harsh reality, absolutely not. I was with a fellow incoming freshman (who by all rights, should have a Barbie made in her likeness) and you (a sophomore) were with a female friend (who was equally gorgeous).  You both were doing some sort of welcoming thing for student development at our now beloved alma mater.  Anyway, your friend was actually a mutual friend of mine, as well.  She introduced you to me and my beauty queen friend. I thought you were muy guapo, however I think you thought I was confused about my sexuality.  You seemed as interested in me as one would be about an imminent colonoscopy. I quickly determined you to be a conceited, beautiful man and wrote you off as someone with whom I had NOTHING in common. I mean if you could not appreciate my Lillith Fair do, then you were obviously out of the loop.  Me and my overalls would just converse it up with someone else. Preferably, a Sarah McLachlan fan.

A few weeks later another mutual friend of ours stopped me on my way to class to inform me that she knew the man I was going to marry. Intrigued, I asked if his name rhymed with Shmohn Shmamos. She revealed that my destined groom was  you. Whilst I still thought you to be a beautiful, evenly tanned individual, your initial dismissal of me earned you a thumbs down. Obviously a defense mechanism, right?

Our paths crossed from time to time as we lived in the same dorm building; however we exchanged nary a glance. I did secretly send God props for creating such a beautiful specimen of a man, but I would not even say hi to you. Take that, person who didn't know I existed.

Then, our paths were FORCED to cross every Monday and Wednesday morning the second semester of my freshman year, as I was asked to join our school's chapel band as a back up singer (eat your heart out, one of the Supremes). A band of which you were also a the suave acoustic guitar player.

Again, I feigned no knowledge of your existence and cursed the heavens when I walked out of practice one day to see you getting in your sporty looking car. Gah! Good looks, musically gifted and good taste in cars?

I prayed you had a flatulence problem or backne.

Enter sophomore year (mine) and you and I started to become friends...I think it was around our Death, Grief and Loss class? You know, something uplifting. I started to think of you as a (gasp) friend. We were both dating other people (your girlfriend looked like a print ad for Revlon), so, I really had no romantic notions about you. I still firmly believed you didn't find me attractive, and whilst I still thought you were God's gift to firm jawlines, I believed I wasn't your type.

Enter my junior year. December 2001, I received a call from your friend, Ben asking me out on a date for you. He said he was setting you up on a blind date and he thought I would be a good fit for you. I giddily agreed to meet up with you at his house. The whole walk over, I imagined the look of disappointment on your face when you realized that Ben picked me for you. When you opened the door, I think I said something like, "sorry." But you seemed happy to see me. "He must be self-medicating," I thought. But you were happy to see me, and we had a great time.

 And we went out again and again and again and then I fell in love with you.

In fact, I fell in love with the following things about you (in no particular order):

I fell in love with your perfect smile; I fell in love with your sense of humor; I fell in love with how much you loved Jesus and your family; I fell in love with how smart you were; I fell in love with your fart jokes; I fell in love with your eyelashes that you would later try to convince me earned you a role in a commercial for mascara; I fell in love with your mellifluous voice; I fell in love with your guitar skills; I fell in love with how you made it a point to visit your grandparents at least once a week; I fell in love with your forever love of the Detroit Tigers; I fell in love with your weird taste in Ernest movies; I fell in love with your penchant for adult contemporary Christian music.

And you fell in love with me, too...ahthankyouvevymuch.

Enter my senior year.  You were working for a small Bible college in Grand Rapids and we were weathering the somewhat long distance relationship.

And then Jesus smiled on me when on November 17, 2002, you popped a c.d. into our friends' "new stereo," and I heard your voice singing to a melody you wrote asking me to be your wife. I think I said something like, "shut up." I'm so eloquent.

And I knew, I was the luckiest.

August 9, 2003, I met you at the end of an aisle, held your hand and made the most important promise of my life.

And here we are ten years later. And the list of things I love about you has grown exponentially. I could write all of them down, but it may break the Internets.

But I will say this -- I love that here we are ten years later and you still make me want to be a better version of myself. Ten years later and I have discovered that the man I married is the MOST incredible father to our beautiful children. Ten years later and you still make me laugh. Ten years later and you're the person I can't wait to see.

We have been through a lot, including loss, new jobs, new homes, pregnancy hormones, pregnancy gas, the Twilight series, new friends, clogged toilets, SEVERAL cars, disappointment, my penchant for big sunglasses, illness, two Detroit Tigers World Series appearances, trips to various destinations, breakdowns over cheeseburgers, the births of our children, my loss of bladder control, and so much more.

And I cannot wait to add to our decades long story.

You are my favorite, and I will love you beyond forever.