The Final Wedding Anniversary

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Here's to seven semi-happy years, and two shitty ones.
Here’s to seven semi-happy years, and two shitty ones.

Don’t roll your eyes.

I’m not gonna do what everyone thinks I’m gonna do.

Today does feel heavy, though. And not just because of what’s going on inside my brain.

I have a friend and co-worker who has been walking this walk with me. His divorce hearing is today.

He’s a very good man. The kind of person I want to be. And with all due respect Married People, if this can happen to him, then none of us are safe. Ever.

My divorce hearing is one week from today.

So this is it. My final legally wedded anniversary. And taking a look back feels like the right thing to do.

Delayed Embarrassment

Ever been drunk and thought something was a good idea that wasn’t?

Yeah, me too. One of those times was at my wedding reception.

There’s a movie called Frequency. It’s neither great nor shitty. But my wife and I liked it.

We watched it a few times. And there’s a cute scene where Dennis Quaid comes home from the fire station to his wife in the kitchen. Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” is on the radio.

They dance in the kitchen while Quaid serenades her.

We’re caught in a trap.

I can’t walk out.

Because I love you too much baby.

I think maybe that scene represented how we thought our marriage would be. A collection of priceless moments just like that.

Because I was often drunk, high and stupid when I was in my early 20s, I didn’t know what the song “Suspicious Minds” was about.

In fact, I didn’t even know that song was called “Suspicious Minds” until that very day. Nine years ago.

I seriously used to smoke a lot of marijuana.

I remember telling the deejay: “I want to dance with my wife to the Elvis song where he sings ‘Because I love you too much baby.’ I don’t know the name of it.”

“Ahh, Suspicious Minds,” he said, without warning me that it was a song about mistrust in relationships. I should write him a negative review on Yelp.

But I think he may have covered for me, because when he got on the mic, he told the crowd exactly what I’d told him.

But for all the attendees that maybe didn’t hear that or catch its meaning, they saw me and my wife dancing on our wedding day to “Suspicious Minds.”

They must have thought we were retarded. And doomed.

I feel embarrassment every time I recall that moment.

That was a good day, though.

It was 2004.

My SUPER-conservative short and round grandmother who is almost certainly in the top 1% of People Jesus Loves was old-lady dancing to Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba.”

A bunch of guys in their early 20s are jumping around like idiots. And my sweet grandmother who says things like “Heavens to Betsy!” was on the dance floor doing this.

Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy.

And my great uncle Jim. My grandfather’s brother. He owned a furniture store in a small Ohio town most of his adult life. One time, he was shot and mugged outside of his store. He survived and always carried a loaded gun in his briefcase after that.

He developed Parkinson’s Disease over the past decade. His hands shook a lot when I’d see him at family get-togethers.

At my wedding reception, he was dancing his ass off to whatever Usher song was popular then.

Uncle Jim died this year and I didn’t go to his funeral because I didn’t want to talk about my marriage.

Our First Wedding

In my post about being invited to The Bruno Mars Wedding, I told the story of how I was just minding my own business one summer when my future ex wife called me out of nowhere and made me believe I was living a Hollywood-style fairy tale.

During her visit to Illinois, my stepmom’s youngest sister got married. My future ex wife went with me. It was the first time she had met any of my family.

Our first couple photo was taken at the wedding. It was a cute one. I still have it somewhere.

My defining memory of that day is that she wore a dress she made herself. She’s crafty like that. Black and white patterned. The front section crisscrossed across her chest.

She looked very pretty.

The downside was, if she leaned forward a certain way, one of her bra-covered breasts would peek out more than she was comfortable with. The front side of the crisscross would stick out and reveal a little too much.

I invented a sign-language symbol to let her know when this was happening. The Boob Symbol.

I probably didn’t actually invent it. But whatever.

Using my two pointer fingers and thumbs, I would make a circle, and then I would hold it in front of where my left boob would be if I had man boobs. My dad caught on and did it once, too. She was embarrassed. I thought it was hilarious.

We drank beer. Danced. Laughed. Had a great time.

There will come a day, I hope, where that’s the stuff I remember.

The good times. Because there were some.

My Final Anniversary Gift

And he’s the gift that keeps on giving.

My five-year-old son. My anniversary dinner date tonight.

He brings me joy. In my worst moments, he can do or say something that makes everything else in life seem unimportant.

I don’t know what we’ll have for dinner. Probably pepperoni pizza. It’s his favorite.

And he’ll probably watch one of his favorite shows and ignore me. And that’s okay.

I won’t ignore him. I’ll just watch him. All 44 inches of him, of which he’s so proud.

“You know how tall I am, dad? I’m 44!” he told me yesterday.

And I’ll concentrate on feeling grateful for all of the blessings in my life.

My health.

My home.

My job.

My family.

My friends.

My fancy new Jeep.


But mostly I’ll be feeling grateful for my son.

Because he, without question, has made this entire nine-year exercise totally worth it.

He’s the perfect gift.

So, thank you, sweetheart. Happy anniversary to you, too.

See you at the hearing.

14 thoughts on “The Final Wedding Anniversary”

  1. Aww – way to go. I’m now sitting at work tearing up. Today is also my wedding anniversary. Your divorce is a little further along than mine currently is – but not by far. Thanks for sharing this piece today. I wish you the very best today.

    1. I’m not sure whether to say “thank you” or “I’m sorry.”


      I mean both. Very much.

      I wish you the best, too. Here’s to all the good times that lie ahead.

  2. It’s kinda true what they say about amazing things coming out of shitty situations. Your marriage–>shitty situation—->your son—->AMAZING GIFT. I’m glad you count your blessings. Keep lookin’ up, dude.

    1. I whine a lot. But I’m not all the way gone. Not just yet.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting very much. Thank you.

    1. Things those three have in common:

      1. They all begin with the letter B.
      2. They’re all devoid of intellectual substance.

      I only respect you more for not knowing them. 🙂

  3. I think there will come a time when you can remember the good stuff. I’m finally there more days than not. It’s a good feeling, a little sad and a little wistful and a little sweet. However, just like the bad stuff, time has softened its intensity so even the good memories are a bit faded and frayed around the edges. I like them that way. They’re safe and familiar and just part of the background.

    Thinking of you in the coming weeks…

    1. Even your comments are full of fantastic writing.
      Thank you for giving even one iota of energy to my life. It’s really nice to read things like that. You’re either just back to school or starting very soon. Hope you’re blessed with a great group of kids this year.

      1. Been back a week (thus the lack of posting!) Great group of kids. Now just got to get my feet used to heels and my stomach used to a set lunch time:)

        Somewhat related, I always giggle when I think about my new students googling me. Bet they get quite a shock!

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