My wife and I are not big on the Valentine’s Day hoopla. I know that sounds like a lazy, ungrateful husband’s rationalization, but in this case, it’s true. We’ll exchange cards, but gifts aren’t on the menu. Valentine’s Day is just another overhyped holiday designed to drive consumption, economic growth, and Internet dating site traffic. On this rare subject, we agree.
Posting a short love missive to my bride of 21 years, however, is completely within the guidelines, so here we go.
I have seen many movies over the years that embrace the theory of love at first sight. The event is typically highlighted by violins, bells, and/or friendly thunderbolts. Perhaps my relationship is the exception that proves the rule. The first time I remember noticing Cherie, a friend was trying to find a love connection for me and pointed her out in a crowd (Cherie and I worked for the same company at the time).
“How about her? Would you date her?”
I considered the idea for about 2 seconds. “Her legs are too skinny and she’s way too quiet.” No violins, bells, or friendly thunderbolts, but a seed must have been planted deep in my subconscious.
Many months passed before the first date happened, a date that happened only because Cherie made it happen. Cherie called me at work and asked me to go with her to an after work company sponsored happy hour. I said yes right away to the skinny legged and too quiet caller. I said yes for a few reasons. First, any excuse for a date was good enough for me at that time (I was uncharacteristically in a dry spell and my biological clock was starting to tick). Second, I accepted the date because I didn’t know who was on the phone.
Yes, that’s correct. Regardless of who was on the other end of that telephone, I was going on a date with that person in 3 days time. As I said, I was in a dry spell. Besides, if the date turned out to be a train wreck, I’d be at a happy hour where I could ditch gracefully, or not so gracefully, depending upon how long I stayed at said happy hour.
I did not need to ditch. She tolerated me, not a small task, so I was smitten. Apparently, way too skinny legs and way too quiet was my type. Apparently, way too skinny, gregarious and handsome was her type. Who knew? Cupid is a mad scientist.
So, 21 years later (first date March 29, 1990) and 3 beautiful and occasionally obedient children later, we soldier blissfully on, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have discovered that Cherie has a number of qualities beyond skinny legs and a quiet public persona that I am deeply attracted to, not the least of which is her warmth and sensitivity. I must add that she is a harder worker than I am, but that’s obvious, isn’t it? Loving me takes a lot of work, and I put up a helluva fight sometimes.
Marriage can be hard, but being married to Cherie is easy. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.
LYM (that’s our secret couple code to each other, and now I can skip buying that card, too).