Dear Shannon: This month marks fourteen years of marriage for us. Fourteen years is a long time, especially if you're a fruit fly. But you're not a fruit fly, and that's one of the reasons why I like you.
I remember the first time I saw you. It was relief at first sight. We'd been set up on a blind date, one couple among a group of five that was to spend the evening playing board games and tie dying shirts. Your apartment hosted, and the other nine of us met in your living room. You were still in the back, getting ready, mysterious-like. And I was like, "Ugh, she's going to look like a blobfish." Because I'm a pessimist. It's just how I am.
So I sat there, dreading having to small talk all evening with a blobfish, but then you strolled out to greet us all, and -- sweet relief! -- you weren't a blobfish. And you came over and introduced yourself in your casual blue jeans and slightly retro red top with 70s style flowers embroidered near the waistline, and I thought, "Not only is she cuter than a blobfish, she is also cuter than Jewel" (who I secretly wanted to marry at the time, or at least eat waffles with her).
You were really nice to me that evening. You didn't get mad when we played Taboo and we were partners and I kept saying the word at the top of the card that you're not supposed to say. I was so distracted by your shiny hair, which was even shinier and healthier than the guys' hair from Nelson. Then, later, when the other couples were visiting among themselves while we waited for the tie dyed shirts to dry, you let me monologue for a long time about the relative virtues of each Led Zeppelin album. Which was extra benevolent because I don't think you knew what Led Zeppelin was.
It was several weeks before we had a second date. You were pretty busy with work and dating twelve other guys and forgetting that I existed. But then, inexplicably, you emailed me to say hi, and then I emailed you back, like, 4 seconds later, and I asked if you wanted to barter for cows (not real cows, fake cows, it was a game). And you weren't thinking straight, because you said yes. It was super nice, the way you worked me into your Thursday night date slot. I wasn't quite Friday or Saturday material. Which is fair -- I'm still not really Friday or Saturday material, and that's probably why you make me go out in the backyard every Friday morning and don't let me back in the house until Sunday.
But back then, I remember I worked hard every Thursday night to prove I was more than a scrawny body, homely face, and middling intellect, even though I wasn't in reality much more than a scrawny body, homely face, and middling intellect. Eventually though, you unexplainably lowered your standards and promoted me to weekend dates. I did not disappoint: I took you on a drive to see fall foliage several weeks after all the leaves had fallen off the trees. I also bought us $3 tickets to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at a local high school.
I'm still grateful for the spectacular lapse of judgment you exhibited when you agreed to my marriage proposal. Probably it was because it was dark and you weren't 100% sure who was asking. Either way, it was my lucky day. Jewel is a blobfish compared to you. And that is the highest compliment this classy guy can pay.