Letters to Holly

Wednesday, June 10


Four years ago, within a span of two hours, Your Sister and I bought a house and married. This was only two weeks after I asked her to marry me. I picked up the ring from the jeweler's on Monday, May 23, and asked Your Parents' permission later that afternoon. Your Dad offered only this word of advice: "Never play Scrabble for points." Has he met Your Sister? She washes dishes for points.

The next day, we put in the bid for the house and heard back within 48 hours. Suddenly, we had acreage and plumbing and carpeting and realized we needed to get married before we could move in. Marriage became an immediate matter, not just an abstraction for the weeks between semesters.

Technically, she asked me to marry her. It was nonchalant. This was in my Mayberry apartment, right across the parking lot from hers. "I guess we need to marry now. How about it? Will you marry me?" I called a time-out and said we need to do this right. She didn't know I had the ring yet, and my preparation started the tears. I ran into the bedroom to get the ring, sat next to her on the couch, and delivered the most important sales pitch of my life. It hinged on a plain declaration. "You're the best woman I've ever met." The gist of it was that she's the kind of woman a man -- a wise man -- has to marry because he will never meet a woman one iota better. I still believe that. And I'm ridiculously in love with her. She tackled me as an acceptance.

The next day was her birthday. She said later that she was glad I wasn't proposing to her on her birthday because that would be lame. I confessed that was my plan. Oh well.

Two weeks later, we picked up the marriage license on my lunch break after lying to the boss about why I'd be late for work. Work was hosting a giant formal ceremony, and she would have exploded with anxiety if she knew we were marrying that same weekend. The next day, we signed the house paperwork (Warning: home ownership begins with a half hour of signatures.) and stood in front of the judge with four teachers as witnesses.

I went back to work and returned to town few hours later. I pulled into our new driveway, past our new mailbox, and met Your Sister at our new door. The neighbors came over to introduce themselves, and we all realized at the same time that we already knew each other. He drove school buses, and she was in my community-college Spanish classes. When Your Sister said we just got married, the neighbor wife grabbed her husband's arm and said, "We need to leave them alone. Bye!"

We ate Cornish hen on the floor where we'd later place our table, and we slept on the bedroom floor. Our first night as a married couple. The next day, we boxed up the apartments and began organizing the house for the move.

The next clear thing I recall is that the oven went kaput about two weeks later when the thermostat gave up the ghost. Oven quickly replaced; problem quickly solved. It was our first household emergency, and we already knew we could work around it. We had no doubt. That might be the firmament of our relationship: We have each other's back, and I know she can handle the unexpected and inconvenient. I think she knows that of me.

It doesn't feel like four years. Not at all. According to tradition, this is the "fruit/flowers" anniversary. Phooey to fruit. I'm thinking of buying her cupcakes.

+ + +

Her first teacher conference went well, and the parent acknowledged that blame lay squarely on the student. Today, she talks to the ass who pounded her door Monday. If he's not nice, I'll pound him.

Picture of the Day
As part of his USO tour of Baghdad, Steven Colbert shaved his head in front of the troops.

That's the chief of the multi-national force doing the honors. Obama appeared via video to formally order the four-star general to make with the shearing. You can watch it here.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama Orders Stephen's Haircut - Ray Odierno
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

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