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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Has it really been that long?

Has it really been that long?  Can it be that my wife and I have been married for 11 years?  It seems like only yesterday I was proposing to her in our tiny 1 room basement apartment in Toronto.  I can still hear the clicking of high heels and the stomping of little feet on the ceiling above us.  We had a Jewish Orthodox family (complete with a Rabbi) living upstairs.

Two kids fell in love one sunny afternoon
I had been planning the proposal for a while.  I had gone ring shopping after classes when possible.  I was still attending University at the time and was living off of a starving student's budget.  This meant working ridiculous hours at a Second Cup coffee shop, drinking limitless cups of the stuff and scarfing down day old baked goods that were destined for the trash, just so I didn't have to buy groceries.  Every dollar went towards the ring.  Eventually I settled on Birks.  The ring was perfect.  The sales person was awesome and I was approved for financing.  Yep.  I was growing up.

Sometimes we get a little weird
I was not uber-creative with my proposal.  I didn't have a choir sing to her nor did I have a plane sky write my undying affection for her either.  I was a traditionalist.  So I stuck with a traditional method.  Leaving my classes for the day, I stopped at a small florist on Bloor Street and purchased two dozen long stem red roses.  I then hopped on the TTC (subway for all the non-Torontonians out there) and took the longest ride of my life.  45 minutes of heart pounding, palm sweating, stomach churning terror.  "What if she says No?  Holy Shit!  What if she says no?  I can't take the ring back can I? What'll I tell that nice sales guy?  What'll I tell my friends that I've been bragging to?  What'll I do with all these flowers?  Give 'em to the homeless guy on the way home?"  I kinda didn't have a plan 'B'.  Crap.  I'm sure people riding the subway thought I was clearly nuts.    I mean, here's this dude riding by himself; flowers in hand, talking passionately to himself (rocking back and forth) and occasionally looking around wildly for someone...anyone to offer some advice. Mind you, that's not that uncommon to see in a city like Toronto.  Hooray for mental illness?

I got off the bus and walked the remaining few blocks to our tiny closet apartment and just stood staring at the door.  I knew she was in there.  All  I needed to do was turn the handle.  But my hands wouldn't move.  I just stood there....breathing.  The window was open in the basement and the soft light was glowing from inside.  I could smell dinner cooking and hear the radio playing quietly as she sung along.  I thought to myself "This is where I want to be.  Right here...with her."  I turned the handle and walked in to her warm smile.

She asked me what the flowers were for.  I rambled off some inconsequential line or two hoping that my shaking hands didn't give away my intentions.  I told her to look how gorgeous the bunch was (having hidden the ring box inside the bushel).  I remember her opening the paper packaging to look inside and her eyes becoming wild with alarm.  "What is that?" she asked.  "" 

I got down on one knee and looked up into her smiling/crying eyes and asked her to be my wife.

Has it really been that long?  We have had tremendous challenges and tremendous successes in our 11 years of marriage.  We have been blessed with 2 beautiful, if not fiercely independent children, a strong sense of family and a grounded outlook on life and love.  I am a better man today then I was 11 years ago because I have a wonderful woman in my life.  I'm so very lucky to have her as my wife.....and she likes to remind me of that fact every time she gets the chance!
Pretty lucky dude I am
Happy Anniversary Darling.

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