Two Thousand Days & Counting.

This Sunday will mark my first anniversary with the Missus. We’ve lived together for almost three years now (two of those years in sin), and we’ve been a couple for over five years. Let’s go to the timeline for a second, shall we?

(Timeline is revised, heavily edited and inaccurate. Don’t bother trying to correct it; I remember things that way I want to remember them.)

Summer 1999 – I meet the future Missus. Being in a band at the time, I beg her to attend one of our backyard concerts. She shows up and takes the stage for a show-stopping rendition of Green Day’s “Basket Case”. Love blossoms, but she has a boyfriend. What to do?

Autumn 1999 – I begin to spend more time with the future Missus. Knowing that she has a boyfriend, I try to keep emotional distance. Doesn’t go too well. Go crazy and temporarily die. We begin exchanging letters at school.

Winter 1999 – The Missus attends another concert without her boyfriend present. Boyfriend loses it and IM’s me, posing as the Missus. I’m onto him, though, and a typical online slap-fight ensues. Boyfriend dumped, I instantly assume said role. Letter writing increases to three a day.

January 2000 – Following a splendid dinner and conversation at a Fazoli’s in Oshkosh, I drive the Missus to her house, where we share our first kiss in her snowy driveway. As soon as I get home, I go online to talk to her for the rest of the night. From this point forward, we’ve never gone a day without seeing each other.

(When we first met and started seeing each other, it was difficult to find places to be alone. Not because we were up to something, we just wanted to be able to talk to each other in private. I couldn’t afford to take her out to dinner seven nights a week, so we eventually resorted to driving out of town and parking on dead-end streets by cemetaries. I ended up spending more money on gasoline than I ever could on food. This was in the dead of a Wisconsin winter, mind you, so when you’re sitting in an idling vehicle, death is always eminent. We would often shut the old Buick off and freeze, unable to start it up again when it was time to go home. Other times, we would seek shelter from the cold in the band’s practice space, above Ben’s garage. We had to share this intimate space with Ben and Sherry, mind you, so that explains why we’re all so close now. I’ll go no further with this.)

February-July 2000 – We act like any typical High School couple. You know, matching spiked hair, work shirts covered with safety pins, jackets that look like disco balls. We were like Sid & Nancy, only we were smart, good-looking, talented, not hooked on junk and I didn’t eventually kill her. Okay, we were nothing like Sid & Nancy. Leave me alone. I graduated in June, leaving Celia behind to finish two more years of school.

July 2000 – July 2002 – While the Missus finishes up school, I work at the Larsen Co-Op and hold off on college. Mediocre At Best tours all over the state, releses an album and plays with some of our favorite bands at the time. Friends are made, bonds are strengthened, virginity is lost, and engagement rings are purchased.

July – October 2002 – The Missus graduates. I quit my job, take out a huge loan and we move to Sun Prairie. A cat is purchased. Wedding plans begin to get kicked around.

October 2002June 2004 – I attend (and eventually graduate) College. Celia gets a job so we don’t starve to death. The wedding plans begin to take shape, and a second cat is purchased. The adjustment of living with someone (along with financial burden) is a bit of a rough patch, but we get through it and emerge stronger.

June 2004 – Me and the Missus get married. The CDP is launched, and the rest of the story is all archived somewhere on this page. We get better jobs, move into a new apartment and collectively exhale.

To put it mildly, I’m a lucky guy. I’m going to get sappy now, so consider yourself warned.

How did I get so lucky as to find someone like you to share my days with? What deeds have I done to deserve someone like you? How can you be so strong as to protect me from myself and everything else? How can your heart be that big?

I don’t play the lottery, because I’ve already won. People like me don’t end up with people like the Missus unless they’re already rich or truly wonderful guys. I’m neither, but she sees more in me than I see in myself. She doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but she actually believes that I could be. This is remarkable, and I lay awake at night and shake my head in disbelief, unaware and amazed that people like her can exist in a world like this.

I’m a flawed human being. I’ve lied. I’ve sinned. I’ve made people that I care about cry. Yet, she forgives and continues to love me, although I know at times that she deserves so much better. She knows me better than I know myself. She’s heard every lame story that I’ve ever told, but each time, she nods and pretends as if she’s never heard it before. On those rare occasions when things become too much for her, all it takes is a kiss and a sympathetic ear to make her strong again. Her will power and clarity are almost superhuman.

I shudder to think about what I’d become without her around. I’d be nothing. My life wouldn’t be worth living. I would hate the person I’d become if she didn’t exist. She has made me someone that I hope to be proud of someday, and I hope that she will be proud of me someday as well. If I knew six years ago that someone like her was going to come into my life, brighten every one of my days and save me from everything that I was doing to sabotage myself, it wouldn’t be believable. It wouldn’t make sense, because I never did anything to deserve it.

Angels protect people. They look out for them, keep them from harm’s way and steer them in the right direction. I don’t believe in angels, but I believe in my wife. She does all those things and more. She keeps me happy and smart; she makes my dinner and folds my laundry. She opens jars when I’m too weak. She keeps my white socks looking their whitest, and she holds me when she knows I need her to. It makes no sense to me why she hangs around, because I could never offer her all of what she gives to me.

I’m not sharing all of this with you to appear sensitive and appreciative (I am, though). I just want to bring to light someone who has made my time thus far something that I never thought it could be. I’m quite simply a better man than I could have become on my own.

A year ago, we got married in the front yard of a haunted bed and breakfast in Minnesota. A psychic was conducting the ceremony, my bride-to-be was sewn into her black dress and I was doing all I could to distance myself from the goings on. Not because they made absolutely no sense to me (they did, actually), but because I couldn’t handle the raw honesty of the moment. This woman could buy me a bigger house every year for the rest of my life, and none of them would add up to the gift she gave me when she let me be her husband.

Happy Anniversary, Celia. You’re everything I’ve ever needed. Thank you so much.

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32 thoughts on “Two Thousand Days & Counting.

  1. I don’t know that either of us (especially the combination of the 2 of us) has ever been described as “adorable” before. Usually the words “hell spawn” get kicked around quite a bit, though.


  2. You’re going to kill me? Awwwwww.As for the new employment, it’s not a career, it’s just a job. If I want to stay there for a year, I’ll be able to move into the IT department and do something that I went to school for…but I don’t think I’ll make it that long. I’m still looking for a “real” job. But this place is ok for now…pays the bills and I’ve got enough left over to have some fun.


  3. Aaron, not to mention that you found a girl at your new work place!Ryan, you’ve just made Ben look really bad. Now I’m expecting a huge love letter from him. I got closer to him last night though, as last night was the first time we’ve cried in each other’s arms (this is only the 4th time I’ve seen Ben cry, but the first time I’ve seen him weep). I think I’ll let Ben tell you why.


  4. sherry, you broke ben’s star wars dvds, didn’t you? you’d better make up for that one!yea, i’m a jerk. i don’t care. congrats, though.


  5. I hope this doesn’t have anything to do with that pregnancy test.If Ben had as many faults as me, he would write this sort of stuff daily. What I do to make the Missus feel appreciated isn’t close to enough, but I’m getting there.


  6. I’m too scared to make a joke, because I’ll feel terrible if I’m right.Hope everything’s ok…


  7. That would explain the bawling.Okay, I’ll stop the jokes, because something bad obviously happened. I don’t want to be a jerk before we leave the country together.Maybe ALL broke up.


  8. Or maybe they found out that we now have Charter DVR service in our area and are just THAT jealous!Yeah, you heard me! DVR here we come, and for only 9.99 per month!


  9. I just realized that in that wedding picture there is absolutely no evidence that my eyes aren’t just black eyeball-less sockets. (And why would there be evidence? I DO have just black eyeball-less sockets)Sherry, I’m getting terribly anxious to hear what your news is…hurry up and stop working or whatever it is you’re doing so that you can post your damn news! Or else I’m going to have to make up some news to satisfy my curiosity….


  10. Hey, I have a land line! Oh wait… Yeah, I guess you’re correct.Tivo does work with broadband internet (wireless even). Though, last time I think I had to use a phoneline for initial set up the first time. You could do that at someone else’s house though, and after that use the broadband.Either way, the important thing is you’re getting a DVR.


  11. See, we were considering using someone elses’ phone line for the initial setup and going digital from there on out, but this DVR through Charter is only $10 a month! We’re going to go over the fine print this week, but it all looks pretty legit and sweet to me.I think Ben & Sherry killed someone.


  12. I’ll just tell you. Tiger is dying. He only has about two weeks left to live. There’s something wrong with his brain. The vet said that he might have had a stroke and fell off the stairs or into something, and that resulted in the gigantic bump on his head. The bump is gone, but he is still suffering from severe vertigo. He doesn’t eat or go to the bathroom, and Ben’s mom found Tiger laying in his litter box because he has a lot of problems getting around.The only treatment they can offer is steroids, which only last for like a week or so. Eventually, the steroids will stop being effective, and they’re just so expensive. So, Ben’s parents just decided to go with a last steroid shot, and that’s it. That’s why Ben and I are going to be a little late on Friday getting to your apartment- to see Tiger before we leave and to get an oil change for Ben’s car. So now you know…


  13. Wow, that’s a major downer. I sorta wish you were pregnant now….They should really just put Tiger to sleep, like they did to my parent’s kitty cat. It’s not fair to make them suffer when they can’t even get around at all. I love Tiger so much, I wish we would be around to say bye to him 😦


  14. Goodness, I completely forgot about the Tiger situation.I am sincerely sorry to hear about this. I completely understand and feel for how tore up Ben must be. We all love the little guy, but that’s Ben’s baby, right there.All I can say is enjoy your time with him, remember the time you spent with him, and know that he’ll be okay.If you have a good picture, send it my way. Again, I’m really sorry.


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