Nov. 4, 2014
My dearest Catherine,
On this, our 20th anniversary together, I could tell you that you are my soul mate — the true fitting lid to the pot that is me – and that I’m the luckiest guy in the world. But you’ve heard that from me at least a thousand times. Just like you’ve heard repeatedly that we were meant to be. Or, how beautiful you are. Instead, I think I’ll tell you a few things that I’ve never said to you before.
I remember playing cribbage with you on the Caribbean Sea and atop Reunion Tower in Dallas. Those are some of my favorite memories of us. Truly though, no matter where we’ve played, I’ve always loved the way you shuffle the cards and I am hypnotized by your voice when you count out your hand.
I remember riding as your passenger as you whisked us from Chinatown to the Bronx. It was my first trip to New York City. I was scared to pieces, and I’m not sure why — except I am from a town of 50,000 people in east Texas. But that all changed when you began singing along with the radio to Billy Joel’s ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.’ We were in Harlem at the time. That song became one of my all-time favorites on that day.
I also remember and treasure those few waking moments at that seedy motel somewhere in Virginia. Or was it Tennessee? I was falling asleep at the wheel, so you took over. Next thing I know, you were telling me that we’d rented a room. The sheets weren’t clean, but we didn’t care. By early the next morning, we discovered that the shower had no head, and that the motel had provided a nicely used bar of soap with which to clean ourselves. It might’ve been the worst $40 we’ve ever spent … Or the best, considering it provided us with a memory.
Our memories aren’t so enchanting when it comes to the Quarterdeck in Ship Bottom, NJ. Remember? We were there trying to celebrate an anniversary and the server and bus-woman copped serious attitudes? We asked ourselves “Is it us?” As it turned out, it was us who let the manager know how the cow ate the cabbage. And it was us who massively over-tipped the waitress at brunch the next morning … much to the chagrin of the grumpy women from the night before — who received nothing. Looking back, you have to admit that we had fun getting even. Even if we did feel a little evil. Damn, we make such a good team!
I have fond but twisted memories of the time we managed to get away for our anniversary to the Poconos. The place was kitschy enough with the heart-shaped hot tub near the fireplace. All we needed was some cheap brandy and a Peaches and Herb cassette. But everything changed about the place as we were heading out on the first night to grab a bite of dinner. We ran into about 50 people who were at the same resort on a church retreat — and you knew all 50 of them. Sorry if I wasn’t my normal lascivious self that weekend.
Remember the first time I set up a table in our bedroom and served you dinner there? Or our first Valentine’s Day when I set up a picnic on the living room floor? I know. You must’ve thought I was a real dork with nary an idea. Truth is, I was (a dork) and couldn’t come up with a romantic idea to save my life. (I still can’t.) But you made me feel like I was the most romantic guy in the world. You’re just that way and I appreciate you more than you know for that.
I will never forget watching you walk up the aisle to become my wife. You were about 15 minutes late, but oh so gorgeous. (And I was oh so nervous that you’d changed your mind.) I remember dancing with you and having our pictures made at every turn. I also remember at least a few folks who bet against us. Little did they know…
I could go on with the memories, but truth is — every day with you is a great memory. Hugging and kissing you every afternoon is the highlight of my day. Hearing your voice when you answer the phone is special … every single time. I love watching you sleep and hearing you breathe. I even get thrills by watching you walk by.
You know, Catherine? You are my soul mate and my lid. We were meant to be. You are my beautiful everything. And I really am the luckiest guy in the world.
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