I’m sure some of our friends and family thought we were crazy. Hell, I’m not convinced we weren’t to some degree. But we were in love, and that counts for more than everything else put together. Our alarms went off sometime before 6am, and we got ready in the disgusting bachelor pad I had infested for the past couple of years. In the den, there was a brand-new flat-screen TV sitting atop my old wood-paneled television– which I had taken from the playroom of my parents’ house when I moved out. It was a tremendous monument to my man-boy ingenuity. Over seven different gaming consoles, controllers, and games littered the floor between the TV tower and the coffee table. The coffee table itself was a centrally located catch-all for pocket dumping as well as empty cans, glasses, and bottles. Assorted tchotchkes assailed the eyes and stale cigarette smoke seemed to permeate the lot of it. I’m not proud of the way I was so comfortable living, but that was where we lived the morning we got married.
We rushed to the courthouse before I had to be at work. When I finally arrived at my place of employment, it was with the bravado and ear to ear grin of a cartoon. Maybe that’s just how I remember it, but details are surprisingly hard to find. Perhaps drunk on bliss, I struggle to recall specifics. I can tell you that we had our first meal at Loco’s on Riverside Drive, but I can’t tell you what my wife ordered. I can’t even tell you what I ordered. What I can tell you, however, is that despite lacking the fluff and pomp of even the most meager ceremonies, we have accumulated an abundance of new memories. I cherish them every bit as much as a gentile march down a church aisle or a crowded dance floor bouncing to the sounds of The Gap Band.
I proposed with a Lord of the Rings toy ring, that came as an accessory with a Frodo Baggins action figure. I’m not some crazy “Tolkienhead,” but it was literally the only ring I had on hand– and, boy, I was ready to get the show on the road! I would have loved to have proposed atop some famous landmark with a rock that could take your eye out. I wish I could have given her a lavish destination wedding in some Spanish town, rich with history and classic beauty. Unfortunately, even after ten years, that isn’t close to anything I can give her yet. But maybe I am doing something right. The way I see it, bad days happen whether you’re with someone or not. For me, it’s been about having someone that brings out my best and is worth fighting for… And fighting with sometimes. I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but never say I haven’t acknowledged it. I might very well be the luckiest person you know.