Day #11,260: As of today, Mr. M and I have been partners-in-crime for 15 years and exactly half of our lives. Well, technically as of yesterday… but a day-before-Valentine’s-Day anniversary is both redundant and expensive, so we long ago decided to create the franken-holiday known as “Valentinesversary.”
Our first date was almost our last. I was highly suspicious that Mr. M was a deranged- albeit very handsome- cat murderer.
Because we were too young to drive, Mr. M’s older friend chauffeured the two of us to the local bowling alley to play pool. I remember asking Mr. M what he kept in his pockets. (Strange as it sounds, you can learn a lot about someone by what they keep in their pockets or purse.)
Mr. M shrugged and proceeded to empty out onto the pool table: a wallet… tissue… Tic Tacs… a giant loose fistful of change that somehow didn’t make the cut to be wallet-worthy… a massive keychain with 50+ keys to God Knows Where… a long piece of twine… a full-size screwdriver (I’m 100% not exaggerating)… and a sparkly, silver cat collar.
I remember debating whether I should make a run for it [Note to future daughter, if this happens to you: YES, RUN] because any teenage psycho with a cat collar and a screwdriver in his pocket clearly murdered a cat by strangling it with the twine or screwdriver-stabbing it (Cat Clue: Mr. M in the billiards room with the screwdriver) and was likely fixin’ to come after me next.
Lucky for me and the neighborhood cats, Mr. M turned out to be less psychopath and more odd kid with a part-time job working stage crew (hence the keys & screwdriver… kind of…) and a penchant for collecting sparkly things, which actually worked in my favor, as I was deep into mid-90’s sequins & sparkles at the time.
With a beginning like this, I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d wind up playing the role of The Crazy One.
Our second date was to the spring formal, where Mr. M was the perfect gentleman but refused to dance with me. I’m immediately wary of anyone who hates dancing, and this was almost dealbreaker #2. (A distant second to the cat collar, let’s make that clear.) Mr. M finally agreed to dance the next slow dance with me.
The song ended up being Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” he ended up wanting to dance every single other slow dance with me, and when we got married ten years later, “Let’s Get It On” ended up being our kind of romantic, kind of inappropriate first dance song.
When Mr. M first kissed me, I was so excited I awkwardly fell off my high heel. I don’t wear heels anymore so that we can make out hard-core and there’s no danger of a sprained ankle.
WARNING: If your sappy-cheesy-romance gag reflex is particularly sensitive, just skip the rest of the post. I do not blame you… I’m usually the same way, but poor Mr. M should get thrown a bone every 15yrs or so, right?
In fact, Mr. M told me he was going to marry me a long, long time ago, back when we were still teenagers. I suppose I should’ve believed him rather than laughed; he always knows best.
Since then, we’ve had more than our fair share of adventures, only a tiny fraction of which have been detailed here.
Mr. M’s wedding vows were comprised entirely of reasons why he loved me.
This may be because any time I’m sad or bored or drugged on airplane sedatives, I bother him to list all the reasons why he loves me. And I only settle for the Extended Remix version, not the abbreviated “because I have to, now be quiet and go away.” He’s never pathetic (or sad or bored or drugged) enough to ask the same of me, but it only seemed right that this is the form my ode should take.
So here are a few random, hopefully not-too-cheesy reasons why I’m desperately in love with my mystery man. (Infuriating that he refuses to show his handsome face, really. I just docked him a reason-why-I-love-you for that.)
*Because he has the most integrity of anyone I’ve ever met. It’s kind of crazy really. Mr. M is a man of very few words, but he always does what he says and says what he means.
*Because he’s a bit of a rebel with a cause… kind of a stupid-laws-are-meant-to-be-broken sort of man. He never expected me to take his last name when we married (“It’s a merger, not an acquisition”), and he was called into the principal’s office for sneaking a decorated Christmas tree into our high school after religious symbols were banned (we’re not religious, but honestly, neither is a Christmas tree). How can you not love a Reverse Grinch?
*Because he sends me a postcard from every country he’s visited without me (on school trips or business or whatever) with “I love you” written in that language. I have them all saved so our descendants can one day find them in an old mystery box in the attic. Because that seems like a nice moment for descendants to have.
*Because he has the patience of a saint. When I’m especially bratty (often) and ask him to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how bummed he is that he’s stuck with me FOREVER, he always says zero, even if we’ve been fighting, and even if, while fighting, I ask myself the same question about him, loudly so he can hear, and self-answer TEN.
*Because he’s always stuck beside me through the ups and downs. When my dad passed away six years ago, I told him that he was never allowed to leave me, and he told me he hadn’t planned on it since the day we met.
*Because our first date involved a screwdriver and a cat collar. Seriously. That’s a damn good story.
*Because… as those hipster V-Day cards say… he’s the macaroni to my cheese, the sane to my crazy, the silver lining to any cloud I’ve encountered.
Because we’re a team.
And because fifteen years is only the beginning.
End of the sappiness, promise.