Monday, November 30, 2009

On Being Thankful


This past week saw us celebrating Thanksgiving. Nothing unusual about that but the holiday does force us to stop and think of things that we are thankful for. Children, health, family, faith, warm house,balanced checkbook, clean clothes, full table... sounds pretty common. Not that there is anything wrong with common. Common is sometimes very, very good. As is the case with my Thankful List.

This past week also had another celebration that most people do not stop to do anything for. Heck, most years we don't even stop to do anything special. But that is what makes me add yet something else to my Thankful List. This past week Brian and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.

Ours is not one of those love stories that cause people to stop and take note. Heck, most people who watch us together might even wonder WHY. What did we see in each other all those years ago? Here is our story:

Brian and I met at work. We both had similar positions in different parts of the country. We worked in Marketing for Encylopaedia Britannica. Not sales, but we created sales opportunities and lead generating situations as well as planning educational and community building events in shopping centers. Spelling bees, Safety Cities, Story Times.. we would trade out high quality events for sales space in the malls. The hours were long, the travel was extensive and the position attracted 20 somethings who liked to get out of the office.

Brian had been promoted to a regional position, and I followed with my own promotion and took over part of his territory. My following meant that I had to move from Connecticut to Pittsburgh, PA. Brian was in Chicago. In my move I not only left behind my family and the area I had grown up in, but also the serious boyfriend that I had for 3 years. He was non-relocatable. Nor was he interested in a long distance relationship. It's safe, and simplest, to say that this  broke my heart. Brian was a nice voice on the phone who patched me back up and made me see that I wasn't broken. I had value.

He was in Chicago, I was in Pittsburgh and we often had dates at National Marketing meetings. Most of the time, however, was spent on the phone. After the first phone bill we had to decide if this was a long term relationship worthy of the expenditure. We had a few weekend dates, then he came to Connecticut for Christmas with my family. By then we knew that we got along, were compatible, were at the same point in our lives and, yes of course, we were in love. I moved to Chicago, got a job that didn't pay nearly as well but didn't require travel. He made room for me in the bathroom and gave me half the closet.

Our first official Date was November 16th, 1990. We were married the following November. He was 26, I was 28. We settled down to a very tumultuous first year, which was followed by several more without the drama before Bekah was born. And Brian got downsized for the first time. But not in that order.

The rest, as they say, is history. The 18 years since we have gone out once for our anniversary, to celebrate the completion of the first rocky year. I guess the following years were not rocky enough because we never did anything except exchange cards.

Up to this year. I can't blame a rough year, we didn't really have one. But this year, for some reason, Brian decided to break his no-gift streak and actually put thought into something for me. A three part gift signifying our life together. He is not experienced in gift giving, so if I tell you what it was you might not think it all that smooth. But to me, it was very sweet. Very thoughtful. Very loving. It made me very thankful.

Happy 18th, Brian.

4 comments:

  1. I love that you don't write about all sunshine and roses. It makes your last few sentences that much more real and wonderful. Happy anniversary to both of you.

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  2. *smiles at almost-sappy story* :)

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  3. What a nice story. If you had not moved to Chicago I would not have met you and what a great person I would have missed knowing. Congratulations on 18 years! Here's to at least 18 more!

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  4. And that is a great wedding picture. Such a beautiful bride.

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