Nineteen years ago today, Pete and I went on our first date. We had Chinese food and then he walked me back to my dorm, where we had a short and friendly, but not romantic, goodbye. We each thought the other was nice and that we'd probably go out again. We certainly never guessed that we'd get married, have two children, buy and extensively renovate a house, or have retirement plans. We never ever guessed that we'd own a minivan or save money for the girls' eventual braces and even more eventual college. It never occurred to us that we'd one day spend hours and hours working on plans for the dream house we're planning to build next year. Nor did we think about Pete's 40th birthday in 2008 and mine the year after. And we never, ever, ever expected that we'd go through the hell of dealing with my father's terminal cancer while also dealing with Pete's mother's two strokes -- all within the space of three months and at the same time Elegant's ADHD and Graceful's Tourette Syndrome were diagnosed. Nope, none of that ever entered our minds.
Today is a normal weekday. We got the girls off to school and ourselves to work. We're meeting with a contractor later on to discuss a project for our kitchen. We'll go out for a lunch date after that. This evening it will be the usual routines of homework, dinner, reading, bedtime (an exhausting Olympic event when Elegant is involved).
So in honor of our 19 year mark, here are 19 of the many reasons why Pete is my most favoritist guy ever.
1. He never has and probably never will play golf.
2. His sense of adventure -- most often exhibited when he rides roller coasters that hurl you, spin you, and flip you. I want to throw up just looking at them. Pete, on the other hand, is up there and sometimes even in the front car. And he never pukes or craps his pants in fear.
3. His DNA helped create two pretty fabulous children.
4. The hilarious way he'll squirt whipped cream straight into the girls' mouths in addition to onto their ice cream sundaes.
5. His sense of humor and patience when he has to unclog the toilets for the 119th straight time after Graceful poops. That child's shit must surely be a mixture of lead, iron, and kryptonite.
6. His taste in music and the way it has improved my own taste in music.
7. His unbelievable fairness and the way he doesn't judge people.
8. The way he'll teach the girls something really cool and fun. This weekend, for example, Pete and the girls passed a table of free give-aways and Pete not only let the girls help themselves, he also taught the girls the meaning and proper usage of "swag."
9. His love for, and good relationships, with my extended family, in spite of our own particular brand of quirkiness.
10. He doesn't grunt and scratch himself like a Neanderthal. Yes he burps and farts, but I can live with that.
11. When hanging out with other guys, he doesn't make a competition out of every little activity. He's definitely a guy, but not super macho.
12. Those hazel eyes. Yes they're hidden behind Coke-bottle glasses, but I know they're there.
13. The way he didn't yell at me when I dented our brand new car. Okay, well, he didn't yell too much.
14. He's a good cook.
15. He keeps me real.
16. Those calves, which are just so buff from so much biking.
17. The way he rolls over in bed while sleeping, wraps his body around mine, and seems to sigh with happiness.
18. The way he understands and appreciates my odd sense of humor.
19. The fact that when the seventh Harry Potter book is delivered by amazon.com on July 21st, he'll single-parent the girls for the next 12 straight hours while I read feverishly and ignore everything else. Pete, you are going to do that again this time, right?
* According to Hallmark, the 19th wedding anniversary is a bronze anniversary.