I’m the overtly sentimental type, and my wife… isn’t. I’m the person who remembers every single “first,” like the first time we had dinner together, our first trip as a couple, the first kiss we shared, and even our very first “I love you”‘s. She would be lucky to tell you the date of the first time we met, or even the day she first told me she was falling in love with me. Yet somehow she understands more about the day-to-day maintenance of our relationship than I ever will. And that fascinates me so much more than my own memory of rote facts.
We first met over the internet, and, without looking, I can tell you the exact date she first emailed me. It was October 31, 2001, yet the email had absolutely nothing to do with Halloween. On December 27, 2001 she told me on the phone that she was going to legitimately give “us” a chance, and I was nothing short of ecstatic. I first met her in person on March 12, 2002 at the Albany airport, where I was sweating so profusely I had to stop off at the bathroom before meeting her. We moved in together on July 11, 2002, and by then I knew it was forever, even if she didn’t… then.
I think her birthday is more special to me than it ever has been to her. Maybe it’s because I’m that sentimental sort, and I can find something to hang on to and get emotional about with just about anything. And there are so many other dates I can list off right now that are special to me because of their connection — no matter how random — to her and to us. It’s funny, but I bring them up as they come up and she just laughs, knowing how I am, and what I find important. She humors me, but we both know what’s really important aren’t all those dates, but the feelings and memories that brought us to those points in our relationship, the ones that keep us going, that sustain us throughout our hardships, so that we overcome.
So, I want to revise my earlier statement. My wife is sentimental, in her own way, and its subtlety is so refreshing even to me, the man who likes all the bells and whistles, all the accoutrements of the big moment, of the special dates. Speaking of special dates, this is one of those. This is actually the biggest of those, because on today’s date, back in 2003, we were married in a civil service at Utica’s City Hall, a joining that legally affirmed the bond we already had emotionally, mentally, and physically. It rained on that day, which is supposed to be a negative, but I just raised my face to it and rejoiced.
I had lunch with my wife today, and every single time we take time out from our busy schedules to include each other, no matter how small the gesture seems, means the world to me. Every single time, no matter what the date says, no matter what else is going on in these hectic lives of ours. Because, before all those dates, between all those dates, and after all those dates, we are still us, two people who came together in the strangest of ways, but who connect in the deepest of ways. That’s what I truly value, and that’s what my amazing wife shows me every day of our life together.