Any Given Saturday

Most Saturdays the routine was the same. Get up early(8:30am, this was b.k. as in before kids) get gussied up, walk to work. Then I would wax, scrub, steam and tweeze the women of Southern California to near perfection, walk home to my apartment at about 4pm, fling myself on my couch and sleep until my boyfriend came over, beg for just twenty more minutes, get up, hang out with said boyfriend, maybe dinner, movie, hot monkey love.

This particular Saturday was much the same. After a grueling day at work up to my elbows in cha, I paid homage to my couch, face down, exhausted from the long day and late work night the day before. I was deep in sleep, a small strand of drool pooling on my pretty silk pillow when I heard my boyfriend's key in the door. We didn't live together but I had given him keys and all manner of personal stuff many moons ago.

I had probably looked fresh in the morning but now resembled more of a small, blond raccoon.
“Hi babe", I slurred, not really awake yet. I looked at him, smiled and turned to face into the couch and unceremoniously went back to sleep.

“Hey, wake up, I have something for you.” he said.

"Great, just put it on the table," I mumbled incoherently.

“No, come on, get up," he said as he tried to pull the pillow out from under my head.

"Noooo," I whined, "I'm sooo tired, just a half hour, pleeease?" I clamped a pillow over my head and grunted to send the message I was not entirely communicative yet.

"Come on, I made you something."

"That's nice honey, can I look at it later, really, very tired." I opened up my eyes a little further and noticed he looked weird, not weird like weird but unusual, something was different. I reluctantly sat up and eyed him skeptically, my eyes narrowing as I tried to put my finger on it. I huffed and pouted, the look on my face said fine, what, you wanted to show me something, okay already, on with it.

He sat beside me and produced one of those brown kraft envelopes from which he pulled a sheet of paper.

"I know how much you love crossword puzzles so I made you one," he offered as he proudly shoved the paper at me.

Oh, great I thought, he was bored at work and discovered one of those teacher programs that lets you make crossword puzzles. He really got me up for this, I thought annoyed. "This is nice honey," trying to hide the vexation in my voice, "I'll do it later," I said as I put it on the coffee table.

"No, come on, do it now."

"Oh, gawd honey," I whined, "I'm not even awake yet." I looked at the excitement on his face and realized he wasn't going to let me do it later.

"Fine," I said," give me a pencil".

So he did and I started doing the crossword puzzle. Hmmm, number one,

What Chris wears all the time _ _ _ _ _ sweaters?

Awwww, it was stuff about us. I filled it in, Chris wears GREEN sweaters. I started to warm as I filled in the answers to sweet inside jokes only the two of us knew.

Oh, oh, _ _ _ _ _ _?

Hotdog! Oh, oh, hotdog!*

After a few more of these, I looked at him, something was different, I saw him look at the crossword and then at me expectantly, he was sitting on my coffee table shifting around looking as nervous as man in line at airport security with a bunch of heroin up his bum. And he hadn't taken off his coat. I looked down at the crossword and scanned the rest of the clues, they were pretty easy so I mentally filled it all in while pretending to try and solve one clue. My ears started to buzz and I could hear my blood pumping through my body and that familiar feeling, that swell that marks the beginning of tears. The clue for the long answer across the middle read

The start of the best love story ever?


And with that he got down on one knee, produced a box with the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen and nervously asked me to be his wife. Why he was nervous I don't know, we had talked about it wistfully, knew it was going to happen eventually. Still, it must be different for a man to actually ask the question, put his heart in your hands. That's what the wedding ring really is, it's a big shiny pretty object to entice you to be gentle with his heart. And anyway, I knew it was coming one of these days and I still cried.

He put the ring on my finger and held me tight. We had already made a million promises to each other but this one cemented all the others.

"Let's go celebrate," he said.

"I have to shower and change," I said thinking of my couch-raggled hair, rumpled clothes and raccoon eyes. I looked at my hands, two days of work had ravaged them and no self-respecting newly fianceed girl could go out with this piece of art on my hand with ragged nails and chipped polish. So, the boyfriend who was now the fiance made himself a peanut butter sandwich to tide himself over while I did my girly ministrations. We went and had dinner and I not so subtly admired the way my ring cast prisms all around it when it caught the light. We ate good food and lightweights that we are, got all silly on one Mojito each and we went on like before, but different.

Today is our anniversary, well, actually it's his. We have two. The first one is our Vegas wedding where it was just the two of us, holding hands waiting for our turn at the Little Chapel of the Flowers. The second, our family wedding in Wisconsin, has become my anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Gene. I love you babe. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You mellow out all my less than stellar qualities and you bring out the very best in me. You tell me I'm beautiful/hottie/rockin' milf/heinyrific/bootytastic/fp nearly every day and you tell me you love me at least twice each day.
You are supportive of every silly idea, notion or secret longing of mine. I waited so long to find you and finding you, my partner in crime, is the biggest reason why I believe in fate. You coming into my life was serendipitous, everyday magic.
I can walk into a room full of women and know without a doubt that there isn't one woman in there who is treated better than I am. You respect me, you protect me. You tease me, you let me have my way much more than is truly equitable.
You are my soft place to land and my favorite person to nerd out with. Me, the one who's usually pretty good with words can't even begin to capture how much you mean to me. I hope we make it, I know that sounds pessimistic but lots of good couples lose it, whatever the 'it' was that made it work. I never went into this marriage thing with the hubris that we were any better or more special or somehow smarter than all the other people who faced the precipice of matrimony and jumped off. I know we're not bullet proof, I only hope we will grow together, resting firmly on this foundation we've laid. I love you and I look forward to rolling over in bed and seeing your handsome wrinkled face when we're old and smell weird.

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Gypsy said... June 1, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

That was so lovely. Happy anniversary!

Mrs. Booms said... June 1, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

Awesome. Happy anniversary to you guys!

I think nerding out with the one you love is the BEST thing ever.

Unknown said... June 1, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

A belated congratulations! Happy Anniversary!

Mongolian Girl said... June 1, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

Oh. Hey. Wow. I love this post. Happy Anniversary you two!
Ours was just yesterda (5/31). Not too shabby, us silly girls ending up with some stellar fate.

Megan said... June 1, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

Very sweet. Happy anniversary!

GirlGriot said... June 1, 2009 at 9:08 PM  

So excellent. Happy anniversary (part I)!!

abce said... June 1, 2009 at 9:56 PM  

Happy anniversary Chris and Mr. Chris! This was a lovely entry.

Rassles said... June 1, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

You are so fucking cute, it's not even funny. Congrats on finding it and keeping it.

Arizaphale said... June 2, 2009 at 12:30 AM  

Excellent! What a great proposal too!
Happy Anniversary.

greenbeanfx said... June 2, 2009 at 1:51 AM  

awww..happy anniversary! Tell Gene bean I said hola! Been uber busy with, family, my wedding album, more work...blah blah. I haven't swung by in awhile! The kids may not think I'm their uncle anymore =(
i'll have to make an appointment with the Genester to swing by.

A Free Man said... June 2, 2009 at 5:08 AM  

Beautiful, well better than the average anniversary post. Congrats to the two of you!

Well Read Hostess said... June 2, 2009 at 6:28 AM  

I want to marry you BOTH.

(although, "up to your elbows in cha??" California chicks have cavernous cha!)

Le Meems said... June 3, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

That is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful story.

God bless him and his crossword puzzle :)

Blues said... June 3, 2009 at 12:19 PM  

Thanks so much for the pictures! That was awesome.

Happy Anniversary. Sweetest post ever.

SSG said... June 3, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

this is lovely. i just want to squeeze you guys! you guys spread the love and the hope!

Gwen said... June 3, 2009 at 7:34 PM  

Happy belated anniversary! I know 3 people that have an anniversary on June 1st. You, Ty's Daddy, and my sister-in-law. Seems a popular day to wed! This is such a beautiful post. Your writing just takes my breath away.

Nikki B. said... June 4, 2009 at 7:00 AM  

AMAZING story. AMAZING proposal!


We got hitched at Little Chapel of the Flowers, too...alone, just he and I...oh, and the limo driver as our witness!!

OneZenMom said... June 4, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

That is such a sweet, fun story. :)

Captain Steve said... June 15, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

That is an excellently dorky way to propose. Nerding out is a great way to be in love.

Ranting Raconteure said... September 24, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

I love this story. From the crossword puzzle to the anniversary shout out to your hubby. Fucking fantastic.

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