Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twenty years ago this day…

One of our first photos together.
Look how long your hair is! 
Hell, you HAD hair then!
I was excited because I had a first date with someone named David Cadle.  I had met him a couple of weeks prior at an Arkansas Tech football game.  I was trying (failing) to teach my friend, Candace, the basics of football.  I wasn’t making any headway so we left the game for a bit and walked to a little taco place outside the stadium.  Dustin, who we already knew, and David, who Candace knew too, was seated eating.  We all began talking.  He eventually called and asked me out.  On October 11, 1991 we went to a movie.  Although I wanted to go out with him, I didn’t really want to go that particular night.  My friend, Kristi, turned 16 the day before and we all were to celebrate that night.  I didn’t want to miss a moment of cruising around town with the girls.  But I went on the date.  And the rest, as they say, is history….
On this anniversary of our first date, I’m writing an open letter to David, if you’ll indulge me.
Dear David,
“Twenty freakin’ years?!?!”  Can you believe it?  I’d be lying if I’ve said the years have flown by.  I’m not sure if it feels like twenty, but it certainly doesn’t feel like we just met yesterday, does it?
Us - circa 1995.
In the beginning I’m not sure why I went out with you, or more to the point, why I kept going out with you.  I think there was always something about you that I couldn’t put my finger on – that I didn’t understand.  But I wanted to try.  You seemed to be a young man who was totally underestimated by people, parents and the world.  I thought I’d try to see you in a different light.  Perhaps I was someone who people overestimated.  For that reason, I thought we might balance out each other in a “yin yang” sort of way.  Also, you had a really cool truck.  I still love that black Ranger.
I’d determined we would be married long, LONG – years even – before you did.  I just had to be patient while you got your life together.  I knew you would – always.  You had mischief to cause and beers to drink, like any young man.  Three words – Walk.for.Jesus.
We’ve been making a life together for nearly 14 years now.  I’m not sure when it stopped feeling like “playing house” to me and just felt like life.  Now we’re two kids, three dogs, two cars and a mortgage into life together.  Things are predictable and familiar.  Certainly that leads to boredom sometimes, for me especially, but it’s also safe and comfortable.
We both rely heavily on humor as a defensive mechanism and to defuse volatile situations.  We speak in a language of movie quotes and song lyrics that no one else can quite translate.  We, OK me, has never encountered a situation that sarcasm won’t make better. 
Birthday/Anniversary 2004.  Remember this?  Double Whammy!
Not only did I have 4 or 5 Champagne Cocktails too many,
Only when we paid the bill did we realize they were $14 each...
I have never been angrier with any person on earth than you.  There are times when we have nothing in common but the chasm that exists between us.  You know the instances I mean.  There have been times that if my white-hot enraged glare would cause you to either a) burst into flames, or b) melt like the “Wicked Witch of the West,” I give a wry smile, chuckle at your pain and walk away satisfied.  Happily those times are few. 
Some things, I’ve learned, which we’ll never, ever be on the same page…
1.       Acetaminophen is Tylenol and Ibuprofen is Motrin.  Even though I buy store brand and call them by the brand names, I’m not trying to trick you.  EVERYONE knows Tylenol is acetaminophen…..
2.       2 Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and 2 Benedryl is 2 Tylenol PM.  It’s not a murderous cocktail I’ve concocted to hasten your death.  No matter how many times I show you the ingredient labels, you don’t believe me.
3.        I know you did it as a child, but sleeping with the windows open is only a good idea in theory.  The cost benefit does not correlate for people with allergies. 
4.       Church starts at 10:45 am.  It has forever and always, even when you were a child.  There’s no need to ask every Sunday. 
5.       We will never have white bread in the house.  I love it too, but….
6.       You’re just saying you like them because they make you feel nostalgic, but your mother’s eggs are quite possibly the worst breakfast item I’ve even had to make myself choke down.  They’re horrible and you know it.
7.       I’m not going to fill up my car when the gauge is at ½ tank.  I’m just not going to. 
8.       It’s so maddening and inconsiderate to put the TV on something you HAVE to see and then go to bed 10 minutes later.  Now I can't get caught up on something else.
9.       You CANNOT create a scenario under which I will want to go camping!
10.   My way is the best and thus the ONLY way to fold towels. 

I could go on and on…

Through the years we’ve come together, fallen apart and have broken each other’s hearts in the process.  In truth, if I could put these 20 years on a scale the positive side would far out-weigh the negative.  Here’s to 20 more! 

You are my life,
my love and
my true north.

Yours always,

Because we've never been ones for sugary love songs, I think this fits us best!


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