My 29th Valentine’s Day with Joe has come and gone, and I’ve got the pretty little “Lovebirds” bracelet dangling from my wrist to prove it. I have to tell you, dear readers, that it is not for a lack of love and affection that has caused me to start, stop and erase this entry on my beloved at least ten times, but, rather a flood of emotions and memories that make the task nearly impossible. 2014 is our 30th year of “us” and our 25th year of marriage..I think , just maybe, this union will stick..in spite of ourselves.
How I would love to tell my children and grandchildren that we met at a church social, our eyes locking over a giant box of canned goods we were packing for an over-seas orphanage, or something like that. Instead, we were brought together by a delightfully slutty roommate who had a crush on the one member of the rugby team she had not thrown herself at, i.e., Joe. He was different she said, a nice guy who treated girls with respect. “Lolita” came to me with her dilemma and requested help on becoming a “good girl”..and what ensued was a bit of a twisted version of “My Fair Lady”..She raided my closet for clothes that were not tight jeans and black t-shirts, and I helped her tone down the make-up and fix her hair. She managed to lure him to her room one day, where she introduced him to me…and so as the universe would have it, our 30 years of devotion began..(more or less, you can’t count Spring Break..don’t judge).
So I married smart and sweet Joe who always made me laugh. A quiet man with physical strength like no one else I knew..excuse him, while he picks up your sofa or refrigerator, and tosses into the back of your moving van, no sweat. What I couldn’t see then was the man who would become a father and hog the diaper changing and bottle feedings…I remember more than one tug-of-war with the baby between us. I also couldn’t see then the foundation of honesty he would build his life on, a man of character who truly cannot tell a lie..not to save his life. A good man.
A perfect life. Oh, please, get frigging real. We have grown up together, and I am half Italian, with a flair for the dramatic. We have had our battles..fortunately for him I stopped throwing my hairbrush years ago. The Lovebirds bracelet did throw me for a second..never really thought of us as such..in 30 years I can’t think of a single time we were referred to as such. So, I did a little ornithological research this Valentine’s Day, and it turns out that the Lovebirds, while affectionate, are also intelligent and playful. They also must have adequate space to explore, climb and fly- or they may develop a desire to kill each other.
Happy Valentine’s Joe, my Lovebird.