This is one of my favorite days of the year, up there with the birthdays of our two children and that of my wife. All three are way cooler than the traditional holidays we all know to include some of the newer ones like 'Let's Get Dad a Pony Ride' which is thisclose to sweeping the nation.
Today is our 34th anniversary. I used to say 'my' instead of 'our' because I saw marriage as a 'you and me, kid' against the world dynamic, a notion about which Erich Fromm had far too few kind words. I was wrong and Erich is an ass.
My best man, Chris H, sometimes drops by this space and if this is one of those sometimes, thank you. It was Chris and I in "Old Smugglers" the night I met my wife, come to think of it; he was present for both take-off and landing. Sigrid may have a few words for you (along the lines of 'why didn't you stop me?')
Sigrid's maid of honor was Evelyn of RickandEvelyn who is now a part of a different double play combination but is still a good sport, I'm sure. And I think back to all those with whom I worked to include my boss who asked forlornly the day before the ceremony in the Rathaus 'do you really need the whole day to get married?' He contended for years afterwards he was joking. I assured him my response at the time was not intended as humorous, just anatomically challenging.
Sigrid remains married to me (I suspect) because she enjoys a challenge. And I am all of that, everyday and in every way. If I have any talent at all, and I think it's the most important one and you possess it by accident, I make her laugh. I am not handsome, tall, fast, smart, athletic, polybendable (wanted to see if you were still reading), I just am (at least most days). Sometimes good is good enough.
I was a junior enlisted man when we met, requiring approval by my Detachment Commander to wed. I still recall him reviewing the paperwork and offering 'so you're marrying a foreigner?' "No, sir," I responded with alacrity. "This is her country, she's marrying a foreigner."
Dewey W, wherever in this or the next world you may be, thank you for using your influence as the Captain's personnel clerk to distract him long enough to sign the permission, despite my being a wise-ass (but he started it). And that's why Dewey received a homemade cake from my wife once a month for all the months he had left in Germany.
Thank you to Sara, now Sara J on the Other Coast, and Rik D, then in Frankfurt and still in Berlin, and Roger W, now in Virginia with Dar, and Marge L, out of sight but not my mind, for enfolding the newly weds in the embrace of your friendship when all one of them knew was that she was going have her hands full with this knucklehead she found. And the knucklehead didn't know what he didn't know-and after all this time still hasn't found out.
Except...she's my first thought when I awaken and the last before I close my eyes. I know love must be a gift freely-given because I have all of hers and could have never possibly earned it myself. I had resigned myself to going through this life alone and she saved me from being someone not even I would have ever liked. She has made a lot out of very little so often during our lives together that she can consistently make something out of nothing as a matter of course.
I would wish for you, if I had such power, to find and keep your special someone to better appreciate my sentiments and circumstances today when I wish the love of my life Happy Anniversary and so many more to come.