Tomorrow is the Procrastination Princess’s 28th Birthday, here is an early shoutout to my bride! Every year on my bride’s birthday and our anniversary I will write her a letter, telling her just how much she means to me. Well, this year I figured i’d let you readers into the celebration and give her my thoughts right here, a blogger of the people. If you don’t like the personal stuff, tough shit folks, plenty of internet streets for you to wander through.We have been through a lot together, mostly good but in a few instances, some tough times. I knew I loved her from the moment we met for dinner on our second date. So, as I have done before on this blog, I will get personal and let you in on my love story, if you don’t care, go read one of our other phenomenal blogs that we have already written. If you are in the mood for a story of rejection, acceptance, understanding and most of all love, then strap in readers, time to head down into the Tunnel of Love (BRUCEEEEEEEE)
Let me start from the beginning, the wife and I matched on tinder and this is where our modern day love story began to unfold. These were the very beginning days of Tinder, the first official summer where everyone had it downloaded on their phone, I swiped right on my future bride, as I tell her, I swiped her right off her feet. What a pun, what a delivery, what a blogger. In reality, she stood me up on our first date, can you believe that shit? The opportunity to date a degenerate, alcoholic, struggling student who had a seasonal jobs at an Italian deli and as a golf cart washer. You sure you want to pass up that opportunity sweetheart? Well, she did, we were supposed to meet at a wine bar in my hometown and I got a phone call about twenty minutes before I was supposed to meet her and she said that she fell asleep, doesn’t get more BS filled than that. I have come to discover that my bride loves to sleep more than anything in this universe so there is a chance of this story being valid but I am sticking with the stood-up story, it makes for a better comeback story.
About a month or so went by and she liked a picture I posted on Instagram, I was looking like a young Sly Stallone so I don’t blame her. I took this as a sign that she couldn’t live without me, she responded back to my message and still I could not convince her to meet me or go on a date. You got to remember, this was at a time where random meet-ups with people you met on a swiping service were not as common as it is today, we are talking 2014 people, not the wild west internet streets that we live in now. I stayed the course and refused to give up my pursuit of this young lady, at this point I was just trying to get her to go on a date with me so I could ghost her afterwards and give her a taste of her own medicine. We were texting back and forth one night and she had a few doses of liquid courage and she called me, I was laying on the living room couch at my mother’s house and we talked for a few hours and I got her to agree to meet me the next night. I was coaching baseball at the time and my team was playing in the championship game to qualify for the World Series, I told her it was an important game but I would be done by around 7:00 and I could pick her up around 8:00pm she agreed and we decided we would go sit out at the drive-ins and catch a double feature. I love the cinema, my wife, despises watching movies, perhaps she agreed so that there would be a better chance of her being miserable and making it easier to hate me, who knows.
Well, I went to my game, we played one of the best 16-17 year old baseball teams that I had ever seen, a team from Ontario,Canada. My guys battled so hard and lost the game 2-0, I was down in the dumps, we played nearly 50 games and put a lot of work in that summer and they were the best bunch of guys to be around. I was sitting in the parking lot with my two assistant coaches and I said to one of them that I was going to blow off the date, I am in a bad mood. My assistant coach, Kyle, who is also one of my best friend’s in the World, looked at me and said “So, you’re going to go home and cry about it, we had a great season, enjoy your night and go meet this girl”. This is the most intelligent and well-thought out statement that moron has ever uttered, love ya buddy. Without Kyle, my bride and I would have never met, that’s a fact, our back and forth, will they or won’t they, Sam and Diane tap-dance was on the edge of not happening. I conceded that he was right and I went to my Mom’s house, showered, got changed and drove up the highway in my Grandfather’s brand new GMC Terrain to pick up this girl who I had never met.
I pulled up to her house and I got a text that said, “don’t come to the door, I will be right out”. There I waited, adjusting the collar on my black button down shirt that had about four buttons undone with my Italian horn and crucifix hanging out, the hair was slicked back and I had my best Springsteen mix loaded in the CD player. Can you say boogie woogie woogie, because I looked ELECTRIC. She strolled out of her parent’s house and I turned my head and felt an immediate combination of shit in my pants, butterflies in my stomach and a lump in my throat, she looked gorgeous. She reminded me of a young Diane Keaton, like in Godfather 2 perhaps, I looked at myself in the mirror and then back at her and being blown away, she was beautiful. I will admit, the ride to the drive-in was a blur, I can’t remember what we talked about, how much or how little was said but I knew that she was gorgeous, she has this black outfit on and she had her hair done perfectly, I remember thinking she had really pretty eyes.
The movies that night at the drive-ins were “Lucy” starring Scar Jo and one of the purge movies, I can’t remember which one and honestly it’s not important. We had a nice night at the drive-ins, we talked about some stuff and we shared our first kiss. I didn’t know where this was going to go but I knew I had to take a chance, I was head over heels. I went home, deleted my tinder and I texted her and asked if she would be willing to go out to dinner the next night, she immediately agreed. I was thrilled. Where would I bring this girl who I was trying to impress for dinner, you know it, I know it, the gold standard of chain restaurants, the Outback Steakhouse.
We sat down at one of those small two person booths and looked over the menu. This was in my drinking days so Jack Daniels on the rocks was ordered and now it was time for me to judge exactly what she was going to order. She got a corona and a steak, now that’s being real, no trying to hide behind a glass of water and salad. We finished dinner and we drove around, this time in my beat-up Ford truck, the first vehicle I ever owned. We talked for hours and she showed the type of person that I still see to this day. Caring, honest, funny when she’s not trying to be, beautiful, sexy, and the ability to light-up a room. I fell in love with her that night, on our second date, I said, this is the girl I am going to marry.
I fell way harder than she did but after a month or so, we were clearly into each other, we were both still in college and she went to school four hours away, what were we going to do? She thought I was just going to treat her like guys had before and not be committed to the relationship, I told her i would visit, she didn’t believe me. I promised I would and she ultimately agreed to give long-distance a chance, we were going to officially become a couple and make it work. I went to school and work during the day, at night I bellied up to my favorite bar and drank and ate alone, missing her. Not all bad things come from being an alcoholic and frequent bar patron. My bartenders (husband and wife team) became good friends, invited them to my wedding, some of the nicest people I have ever met. We made the distance work, she graduated, we moved in together, I graduated and then I proposed, we got married and moved south to start our life together. The rest of our story is still being played out but now that you heard our story, I just want to say thank you to the girl of my dreams:
Happy Birthday! The big 28, officially in your late twenties, no questioning that. Everyday when I wake up and every night when I go to bed, I thank God for one thing, that is you. I know I have thanked you before but I want to thank you again. You stuck by me when I was struggling with alcohol, when I was trying to get sober, when most people would have headed for the hills you grabbed my hand and you were my rock, you have made me try to be a better man everyday and you are my motivation and inspiration. Growing up, all I saw were shitty marriages and as a kid, I said to myself that someday, I hope to find a wife who I can have the type of marriage that I would see in old sitcoms or some of my friends parents had, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find a wife as beautiful, caring and perfect as you are for me. You deserve the best everyday, but especially on your birthday, I hope that I live up to what you thought a husband should be, if I haven’t , then I plan on spending the rest of my life trying to be your ideal partner. You have an ability to make everyone around you have a good time, to be happy, to be enjoying themselves, you do it for me everyday of my life. We are only as good as the company we keep, well, let me tell you, I am in good graces with someone in heaven because when you entered my life, I knew I would never find any better company than you. I love you now more than ever. All my love, forever & always.