One of the nice things of having one’s own website is I, quite frankly, can write whatever the hell I want. Generally speaking I keep it to real estate but, just as there’s more to me than just helping people buy and sell homes, I have more things to discuss than the fact inventory’s up 10 percent in the past month.
For most of America, this is Shark Week. For us in the Dalton household, it’s anniversary week. Well, and Shark Week – to the delight of my spouse, who is scared to death of sharks and won’t step foot in a swimming pool much less the ocean.
Two days ago was the three-year anniversary of my double valve repair; for those inclined to do the math, that means that we spent our seventh wedding anniversary in the CVICU at Arrowhead Hospital. Not terribly romantic, but it got me out of buying her a gift.
Actually, that’s a bit disingenuous. We haven’t bought individual anniversary gifts for each other in most of our time together. Rather, a few years ago we decided it would make more sense to purchase a piece of Judaica for what now has turned into a beautifully decorated dining area because, as we build our life together, we’re putting the house together as we want.
Not that she doesn’t want diamond earrings … which is where I ask you to refer your friends and family to me so that I might be able to purchase them for Chanukah. No, seriously. Send me your friends. Now. Today. I’ll wait …
… humming …
When this journey started back in December 2002, I never thought we’d be at this point. Our entire relationship, and future marriage, at one point came down to the fortuitous roll of a cherry tomato. And, no, I’m not going to explain to you what that means. She’ll know, and that’s pretty much the point.
There’s a certain irony in her talking me into watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette (and me eventually becoming a fan of the train wreck, despite my better judgment.) We watch these people travel the world “in search of love” trying to see if the people they are dating/screening are good marriage material. Because, seriously, what prepares you for married life than a helicopter trip to a mountaintop in Madeira?
Want reality? Let’s put the Bachelorette and her beau-to-be at a kitchen table with a stack of bills – mortgage, utilities, car payments, credit cards, medical, kids’ medical, club soccer, guitar lessons, taekwondo lessons, more soccer, volleyball, back-to-school shopping, replacement cell phones – and figure out how they’re going to pay them all, month after month, without tearing the other person to shreds in frustration.
Just for fun, lay one of them off so they have to push up the marriage to make sure the entire family has medical coverage, then a few years in, lay off the other one. Oh, and then add in a few surgeries on either side for both of them.
Will you accept this rose now?
Remarkably, Kathie has. And does. And will. And all in spite of being married to a curmudgeon, albeit one who’s lightening up with age. Because it’s most often the laughter and the tears that override “the right reasons” and “the qualities I’m looking for” once you get past the first couple of giddy months.
Not that it’s all been Coolidge-level drab.
There have been many trips to Disneyland, multiple trips to San Diego and an unforgettable trip to Europe (paid for by someone who we later learned allegedly was running a Ponzi scheme, so thank you to all his investors for all the fun we had in Rome without knowing any better.)
The only thing that can make sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Florence, drinking a carafe of white wine and watching the world go by is to do so with the woman you love on the other side of the table. Or Olivia Wilde. I mean, let’s be real. But short of that … the woman you love.
Nine years ago today, we merged two families into one … me, her, her two kids and my one … it wasn’t without difficulty or squabbles (my now-newly-minted high school freshman used to say “brothers … you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them, so you might was well live with them”) and we’ve come out the other side with young adults who rely on each other and even, every once in a while, talk to us.
There have been good times and bad times and going half-mad times, to quote Mr. Buffett … but I wouldn’t trade a day of it for the world.
Except maybe for June 13, 2007. Okay, that day I might trade if Olivia Wilde was involved. Not sure what happened that day, but I think I’m safe on this one.