Later today--sixteen years ago--you will walk down the aisle and marry the man with whom you have chosen to share the rest of your life. Sixteen years later, I can tell you that you have chosen well <wink>.
We were imbeciles, he'd say of your college days, where life was more about which cafe to meet at for lunch than making that 8 o'clock O Chem class. But you--the indignant young woman just stepping into your independent adult life--always knew what you were doing. You knew when a relationship was unfair and uneven to walk away from it, and you knew a good melon when you thumped one. Oh, wait, that was his line.
Physical attraction is easy. Having chemistry takes time and real interaction. You were lucky to have had both. It helps that you knew you were able to fix his dorky haircut and refurbish his outdated wardrobe, because the more time you spent with him, the more you became aware that the steady yet gentle, calm and assured disposition he possessed was what you had been missing in your tubulent childhood. You were wise to take anchor.
Over the years, he will guide you toward a love for the fine arts. He will take you to ballets, symphonies, plays, concerts, and musicals. He will suggest that you read books that will blow your mind. He will play music that touches your soul. He will queue movies to watch together that allow you to exchange words without speaking to one another. He will even be able to--through passive diffusion--make you 'like' some sports over the years, and convince you to go throw some balls on a baseball field.
And then there's food. He will provide the opportunity for you to sample foods from all over the world, wines of all varieties, and restaurants from near to far. Ethnic dishes will become everyday vocabulary, and Friday nights will be dinner date nights, until, of course, kiddos enter your lives. One of your favorite foods from the good old days of college is pho--Vietnamese beef noodle soup--served with a plate of condiments of basil leaves, bean sprouts, jalapenos slices, and lime wedges. Since he knew well of your OCD issues and how you don't like citrus smells lingering on your fingertips, he will always squeeze your lime into the soup for you, even without your asking.
Over the years, you will do a thing or two for him as well. Before he met you, he was a clam. You were able to cleverly pry him loose so that he spilled his guts and talked. Of family, burdens, responsibilities; of passions, dreams, what-ifs; of sadness, distress, misery; of life, death, and everything in between. You will continue those conversations for years and years to come. You will also continue to show him how to express outward affection, shower your future children with hugs and kisses, and remind him to hold hands with you every now and then--just for that needed reassurance.
Life won't always be smooth sailing; there will be bumps in the roads. But you will always have each other. Even when you feel like you are being punished for wanting something--when it seems like there would be nothing else in the world you'd want more--I can assure you, that you will become a mommy, to not one, but two beautiful children. That you will be able to provide them the things you didn't have growing up. That they will be your pride and joy. Your Sun and Moon.
On this very important day, I know you have the jitters. You are worried about the ceremony, about your dress and your makeup, about repeating the vows correctly, about everything going 'right'. They really won't matter, because this entire day will be images only to be remembered by the photos in your wedding album. Trust me. Ten, fifteen years from now, all those things will become such trivial matters, of such minor importance. Of course, this is not meant to take away from the meaning of the celebration of your wedding day, but what is ultimately most important is all the new memories you will be creating together as a family from this day forward.
Soon, you will walk down that aisle, and say the words that make your voice shake--not because you are scared of all those promises--but because 150 people in the audience will be all-ears on you. But I'll let you in on a secret: the judge's voice will be shakier than yours, so you don't have to feel so self-conscious. In fact, self-consciousness will one day begin to fade as you ease more comfortably into yourself as a person, a woman, and a mother. It will never go away completely, but it will subside and you will find life much easier outside the confines of self-doubt and insecurity.
Being that I am sixteen years older than you, with more years of
So, Dear Bride-to-Be, like I said, you done yourself good. You have a good man waiting for you at the end of the aisle, who will become a wonderful husband and a dedicated father. One more added plus: his exceptional writing skills will one day inspire you to write, and evoke a passion you never knew you had. He has to be a great catch. After all, he squeezes your lime, yo!
Happy Wedding Day to you, and Happy Anniversary to me and the Hubs!