Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We Are Proof

37 years ago tonight I took her out on a date. Our first date. The first of hundreds. She was a cute little blonde girl. She still is. She had been dating this guy that wasn't really working out too well. That's another story. My mistake is that I told her previous boyfriend that I would never date her because "she is too immature." That was on a Sunday night. On Wednesday night she slapped me. She slapped me right in church. And she told me that was for calling her immature. I figure she had just proven my point. However, I do like me some spunk. So the next night, Thursday, I invited her out on a date for Saturday night. April 14, 1973.

She said yes.

For her "Yes" she got a bad movie and greasy pizza. I mean seriously greasy. I chose the place because ... well ... because I was her youth pastor. It wasn't a paying gig and I was just a teenager myself so no serious laws were being violated. This particular pizza restaurant did not serve alcohol and I thought, as her youth pastor turned date, that might be a good selling point toward getting her to hang out with me for a while. Turned out not only didn't they serve booze, they also didn't serve good pizza. They did serve grease. Enough to run down the sleeve of her white blouse. Somehow she decided the evening was not an entire waste and neither of us ever dated anybody else ever again. (Unless she's lying to me. And I don't think she's got lying in her.)

While the date ended life together was just beginning. During those 37 years we have produced 3 children (who themselves have produced for us approximately 2.4 grandchildren,) we have shared 4 dogs, way too many fish, a couple of renegade birds, more rented apartments than I can count, 2 purchased houses, and among others, a bright orange Pinto that almost killed me. (It was a wedding gift from her parents. I'm pretty sure it was their attempt at getting their little girl back.) We have served 6 churches, discipled hundreds if not thousands of kids, learned to argue and make-up, and murdered a couple of hamsters.

I take her to better pizza places now too.

I love her more today than I ever have in our lives. We are proof to anybody who is interested in asking that a man and a woman really can love each other even if they are fighting. We are proof that both of us can be wrong at the same time. We are proof that a beautiful girl and an ugly guy can have great looking kids. We are proof that the smarter spouse should balance the check book and the dumber spouse should mow the lawn. We are proof that gentle touch is better than anything to a hurting heart. We are proof that a morning person does not have to murder a night person. We are proof that the guy can be the better driver even though the girl has never had a ticket (though this one is still being hotly contested.) We are proof that passion is best expressed through selfless caring than in any other form. We are proof that best friends can get married and make it work. We are proof that an act of violence may be a great way to begin a relationship.

We are going to find out that we are proof of things that we don't even know we are proof of yet. 37 years isn't long enough to have it all figured it out. But it is long enough to know that neither of us would trade our worst day together for our best day apart.

We even plan on going to space together to celebrate our 50th year of marriage in just 18 more years!