Today's our 22nd year of marriage... and we're still happy.
Every year since 19 is a magical miracle to me. My parents split up at 19 years and I'm repeatedly astounded that I lived past that apocalypse in my own lifetime to see the beginning of the marital millenium where lion and lamb still sleep in the same bed.
We went to our favorite little French nook—an unlikely candidate for the best French cuisine this side of the Eiffel Tower given that "La Petite France" is located in a strip mall parking lot in the vanilla suburb of Evanston.
Still, this petit restaurant has superb cooking: the kind of champagne that makes the nose tingle but doesn't leave one too loopy, wine that tastes like $30 bucks a bottle not $3 buck Chuck from Trader Joe's, and the best creme brulee (which means that the ochre glaze layer cracks decisively when it encounters a spoon). Ahhhh.
The maitre d' came by to see if we were enjoying our steak au poivre, butternut squash potage and the most supple baguette you'd ever dream of letting melt in your mouth. This older gentleman (in his late 60s, I'd wager, with a twinkle in his eye) stopped his friendly banter when I mentioned that we were celebrating our 22nd anniversary. His mouth became serious and he asked for my ringed finger.
I lifted my hand. He took it in his.
Then with a voice so tender and mysteriously on key, he sang to my finger while holding my hand. He sang about love and today and yesterday and the wonder of still having your bride by your side and the power of a gold band to remind you of that day when she was beautiful and young and your hopes were big and alive, and yet for all that, today is more precious because of all the years gone by, and to cherish each one... He then looked at us and said in his most Jean Paul Sartre, existential voice: Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has still not come. All we have is today, together.
My eyes filled up and I tried in vain to protect my mascara from a race down my cheeks.
His eyes were full too. "I sang this song to my wife of fifty years the month before she died of cancer. That's why I have tears in my eyes too. Have a wonderful anniversary."
And we did. It would have been a sin not to.
So here's to Jon, the one I love talking to more than anyone else in my life. I love his blue-green eyes... and noticed tonight how much they remind me of when we first met.