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Mr. and Mrs. Baltzell

I keep hearing it in my head, like Chevy Chase in “Vacation,” after they jump the family truckster in the Arizona desert, “Fif-ty yards….”

“Twenty years…”

It’s a big deal.  I know it’s a big deal; but, somehow, this anniversary got here more quickly than I ever imagined it could.  A part of me can’t believe that I have been married to the same man for so long.  And, part of me knows that I couldn’t be married to anyone else.

Our marriage isn’t perfect.  No marriage is.  We have ups and downs.  We have stretches where we have so much to talk about and can’t wait to see each other.  There are other moments when I could smack is face as soon as look at him.  I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me.  We have never raised our hands to each other, though I am sure that I will never be allowed to forget the soft taco incident.

David will tell you that he learned to adapt, to just let me have my way.  He doesn’t challenge me often on the things that I want.  When he does put his foot down, it’s an impressive sight to see.  I know that I’ve changed, too.  Perhaps the biggest thing that I’ve learned, or that I’m still learning, is that I can only control myself.  I can exert my will and push to get my way all that I want.  Fortunately, I’m married to a man who indulges me often enough to make me feel important and fights me enough to let me know that we are equals.

I tease him often about his penchant for telling you how to take a watch apart and put it back together when I ask what time it is.  He’s learned to estimate the length of a project in “Dave Time” versus normal time (normal time, doubled, plus two hours.)  He has kept a journal every day of our married life, which I secretly hope to burn, sothat no one knows what a bitch I am.

Never once in our twenty years has David ever said an unkind thing about my hair, my weight, the various hobbies I start and abandon or my many shortcomings.  He is quick to cool off after an argument, quicker to say “sorry” and a more affectionate soul than I.  He kisses me like he means it.  His is a wonderful father, a hard worker and a good, good man.

Twenty years ago today, I spent the day with my family.  I was shooed out of my grandmother’s house, watched “Father of the Bride” with my cousins, and drove all over town with my cousin, Tom, looking for frosting so that my maid of honor could finish decorating the cake.  Everyone went home to get ready for the wedding, but nobody had remembered to arrange for me to get to the church.  I had to call my mother, to have someone get me.  As I got ready in my parents’ hotel room, I drank a beer.

I was the ice queen…blond and white and sparkly.  I was surrounded by four glorious redheads.  I had the most gorgeous bridesmaids around.  Dave got ready with his two buddies, and my brothers as groomsmen.

Dave and I were married in the same Methodist church that my mother was married in twenty-five years before.

Twenty years, two kids, a mortgage, two fuzzy-faced dogs.  We work hard, laugh often, and love.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We are looking forward to our kids moving on, to travelling, to the next phases of our life together.  That’s the best part…the together part.

Happy Anniversary David.  My heart is, and always will be, yours.

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