Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Heart Dave

* Warning: We interrupt our regularly scheduled semi-sarcastic blog for a heavy dose of schmaltz.

Yesterday, Dave and I celebrated the Fourth of July with about a million other people at the Taste of Chicago. If I had to guess, I would rank the most popular items as cheese pizza, Rainbow ice cream cone, cheesecake, fried dough and corn on a stick (don’t get me started on how an ear of corn costs a quarter at the supermarket but $2.50 when you put it on a stick). These are all vegetarian dishes, I might note, so you can see that Chicago is probably the healthiest city in the U.S.

But that was just a prelude to today, which is my favorite holiday of the whole year—more than Christmas, more than Valentine’s, more than Arbor Day. Today is the Fifth of July—it’s our wedding anniversary.

There’s comes a point in life when birthdays aren’t fun anymore—when you stop looking forward to getting older and start to dread getting old. But anniversaries are different—the more the better. We stack each one up with pride as a measure of success, as if to say, “We’ve got what it takes.” Falling in love is easy; staying in love through road trips, the assemblage of shelving from Ikea and Fantasy Baseball season, well forgive us for patting ourselves on the back.

Dave and I have been married for nine years, which feels like a blip and forever at the same time. I scarcely remember life before him, yet it seems like he’s only just arrived on the scene.

July 5, 1997, was a blue sky day. It had been rainy and overcast the entire week before, but on the Fifth, the clouds parted and the sun shone—not too hot, not too cool. Just right.

I remember getting dressed in the Bride’s Room with my mom and sister, and peeking out the window to watch the guests arrive.

I remember standing in the back of the church with my dad, suddenly shaking uncontrollably as we got ready to walk down the aisle.

I remember sitting next to Dave at the altar, looking out at our family and friends and seeing my brother Joey wipe the tears from his eyes. I knew that he knew what this day meant for me. (I returned the favor for him 4 years later.)

I remember watching a bead of sweat roll down the forehead of our priest to the tip of his nose. Fr. Bill was my best friend from high school and I loaned him my handkerchief.

I remember our first fight trying to cut the wedding cake, as we attempted to slice through the cardboard between layers.

I remember Dave’s friends getting him sick on shots of god-knows-what at the reception. And while it wasn’t the slightest bit funny then, it has given me the ultimate closing argument until death do us part. There is nothing I could possibly do that will ever top “You got vomit on my wedding dress.” ****

I remember smiling so much that my face hurt. Everyone should be that happy just once in their life.

That’s what we do on our anniversary. We wallow in memories, we gorge ourselves on sentiment. I know some people celebrate with flowers and gifts. This year, we’re supposed to give each other pottery or leather goods. I guess the dishes that we bought with our tax refund will have to suffice. (I should warn my parents: According the list of “modern” anniversary traditions, their upcoming 42nd should feature “improved real estate.” Isn’t it romantic?)

Others opt for weekend getaways to swank hotels or splurge on expensive dinners and champagne. We’re going out to eat tonight because we have a gift certificate.

But mostly we remember. We remember the day we got married. We remember the day we met. We remember our first date. We remember the day he proposed. We remember how when Dave would visit me in Chicago, I carried subway tokens for him in my mittens.

Sometimes I ask him, “How much do you love me and why?” The answer to the first part is easy—12 times Infinity plus 72. The answer to the second part is harder to define.

I don’t know why I love you, but I do. And I always will.


****(Dave feels a clarification is in order. "This makes me look bad. It sounds like I threw up on you." He didn't. He threw up on himself, and some of it rubbed off on me.)


Post a Comment

<< Home