Three years ago today I had my first real date with Matt. I say “real date” because there were a couple of false starts, but I’ll reserve that for another blog post.
We sat at a community table at the Tasting Kitchen, the perfect little corner spot so we could sit with our knees touching, and ordered up oysters, an arugula salad, a cheese plate, a 32 oz. bone-in rib eye steak, an array of desserts and of course, two bottles of red wine. (Matt claims that the moment I ordered that steak, like any good Iowa girl should, he knew we’d spend our lives together. I just had to agree first.) He definitely knew the way to my heart was through my belly, and there was a kindness in his eyes and a sureness in his demeanor that instantly put me at ease.
I had another date later that week but went to the bathroom and cancelled it halfway through dinner.
“Out of all the guys, you’re my favorite,” my girlfriend Nicole drunkenly slurred to Matt on a particularly fun Jameson-fueled night at Chez Jay a couple of weeks later. Matt laughed, thank God. Later that night, I’m pretty sure I told Nicole I was going to marry him and she said “Jesus, I know… But not yet, okay?”
There was the moving in and learning that odd dance of living together.
The fumbling and missteps of one sink, no washer/dryer, “Why’d you get half and half and not heavy cream?”
And the moments where he was Patrick Swayze and I was motherfuckin’ Baby and things felt exciting and scary and nesting was fun.
There was the meeting the families coupled with a bit of culture shock, a whole lotta wine and often laughter.
There was an English bulldog named Rosy that softened us like warm butter.
And a almost a year ago, a wedding under an oak tree where began with Van Morrison and ended our vows with “Foreva Eva.”
So Mr. Aporta, what I’m trying to say is, Thank you.
Thank you for loving me so unselfishly. The beautiful parts, the dark ones, the in between.
Thank you for believing in me beyond what I could even see for myself.
Thank you for bending, not breaking, and always being down to do the dirty work a strong relationship needs.
My wish for us:
Let’s always stop to enjoy the view. Choose blue skies, fresh air and good people. And let’s keep laughing. Even if it’s at my expense.
“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because the remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.”
- Elena Brower
“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.”
- Chinese Proverb