Dear Future Stella,
At this point in your life, your Dad and I will have been married for 28 years exactly (today is our anniversary). I will pause while you call/text/virtual hologram us a celebratory message. If, for some awkward reason, we are not still married please note the super-rich, super-hot guy I am currently married to. I am guessing his name is something sexy like Vincent (perhaps he is your ex?) and he rocks my world in so many ways your Dad never could. I doubt that is the case- I am one of those who never wins a raffle, let alone the life jackpot. Also, your dad is the closest I have come to winning it big (besides you) and everyone who knows the two of us would say that I have the better deal.
On our anniversary we usually exchange gifts according to the traditional Hallmark suggestions. The gifts start out small (year one is paper) but once you have put in enough time you can wind up with some pretty expensive stuff. In fact, I bet year 28 is epic because 28 years married is a big freaking deal so I would have to imagine that my present will be pretty sweet this year. Well, I just looked it up and year 28 is an orchid. A god damn flower-that-needs-a-little-water-but-hates-too-much-water-and-don’t-even-think-about-moving-it-a-quarter-of-an-inch-to-the-left-because-it-will-die kind of flower. Is that some kind of sick joke Hallmark? My marriage is hard enough to keep alive thank you very much. However, I am guessing 28 years of marriage is on a whole other level of hard so it might actually be refreshing to only have to manage the delicate life of a flower that spends its whole existence oscillating between the ICU and hospice with brief moments of assisted living. Well played Hallmark, well played. It has actually been really fun celebrating our anniversaries this way and you should try it with your significant other if you have one. OMG- do you have one? Ugh, I hope he or she is super awesome and I am smiling so big right now thinking of you in a sweet relationship. Being in love is the best and you are going to kill it as a partner because you are so damn nice and you thrive when you are showing or being shown affection. Anyway, here is a summary of our anniversaries thus far.
Year 1- Paper. Your Dad had just opened his own business and I was a brand new colorist in the midst of the recession so we were so broke. We decided to make paper airplanes and see who could fly theirs farther. I was extra creative and made multiple planes; one out of our wedding invitation and one of my planes even unfolded into a love letter. Your dad built a NASA-quality paper aircraft that beat the shit out of mine but had no sentimental value whatsoever. He took the task literally, which is basically the definition of a dude. He did, however, get us some sparkling to enjoy that we shared on our wedding day so that was nice.
Year 2- cotton. We are both HUGE football fans, Denver specifically. Our anniversary just happens to coincide with the beginning of football season so we felt it necessary to get new Bronco t-shirts (made out of cotton). This was clearly before iPhones or filters and I was clearly having a skin breakout issue so please ignore the general disgusting look I am displaying. In hindsight, I am shocked we made it beyond this day, based on my looks alone.
Year 3- Leather. We bought a new leather couch for our living room. You had just arrived a couple months prior to this and when you showed up we had to surrender our guest bedroom. To make up for it, we bought a great leather pull-out sofa for guests to sleep on. Later, Louis the Cat would declare that couch his personal litter box, officially making that pet the worst, most expensive pet that ever lived. That couch didn’t even see it through to year four. What I find interesting, is when I went to find a picture from our anniversary the only photos that were taken on Sept. 15, 2010 were these ones. Spoiler alert- there is no leather couch to be found.
Year 4- Flowers/Fruit. We both got each other flowers, and I am almost falling asleep typing it so I can only imagine how snore-worthy it was on that date. The boringness of it explains why the only photo taken that day was this one.
Year 5- wood. Besides the obvious gift, your Dad also gave me this. Again, he can’t help but be literal.
Year 6- candy. We each picked out the other one’s favorite sweets. Soooo predictable. This was my favorite anniversary to date though, because we took you back to Big Sur and showed you where we got married. That place is downright magical and romantic. My parents were married there, we were married there, and so if you don’t get married there then we can blame you for breaking the chain.
Year 7- copper. We purchased a set of copper mugs for making Moscow Mules. I weirdly don’t have a photo of this celebration and I really have no reason why. However, your dad researched every single copper cup on the market before deciding on the ones we got. Maybe I didn’t take any pictures because by the time we actually had any cups in our cupboards, I had seen roughly 38 different options and I was numb to the excitement.
Year 8- linens/lace. We are in desperate need of a bedroom makeover so we have decided to get new bedding for our anniversary. This is the most important room in the house because it is where we regularly consummate our marriage (not always though), and therefore it is unacceptable to have dated linens. We spent the majority of our anniversary today going from store to store to check out all the options available, which let me tell you, is beyond romantic. We still have not pulled the trigger on a set, and by “we” I mean your father. Those copper cups have nothing on this duvet search. Hopefully by the time you read this we have settled into our new bedroom situation, but at this rate I can’t guarantee it. Tonight we got you a babysitter, this time an English speaker for sure, but it could be one of those situations where the boyfriend sneaks in after you go to bed. Good for her, those sheets are getting replaced anyway. Your Dad is taking me to this restaurants that is a block away from our very first apartment in San Francisco. We spent our first anniversary as a couple there. It has been several different restaurants since we last dined there, so its not exactly the same, but the table we sat at is tucked behind a curtain in the back of the restaurant- and that still remains. I am pretty excited to revisit it.
Future Stella, I love your Dad. He is the only person who can have me in stitches with a single sentence and the whole time he is cracking jokes you can feel how intensely he is protecting the two of us. Its such an odd combination but I like knowing that if he needed to stop making inappropriate comments about the sales lady at West Elm under his breath (which he was doing today) to beat the shit out of someone who was threatening our family he would. He’s such an easy man to be with and he takes his job as your Dad so seriously and he just lets me be me, which is kinda crazy because Im as strange as they come. He cares so much what kind of cup I drink my Moscow mule out of and what kind of sheets I lay my head on at night and he shows up to everything for us that is important. His priorities are so clear and he doesn’t compromise our happiness for anything.
Not to be overshadowed by my love fest, your Gopa (my Grandpa) turned 80 over the weekend. Enough with these Virgo birthdays already! We drove to Oregon to celebrate with our family. Your Goma threw him the most lovely party at a local restaurant in their town. She was even feeling a bit under the weather but managed to pull off a fantastic event. Your Gopa is not blood related to you (he is my mother’s step-dad) and that really is a shame. He’s so smart and has such great genes that it’s too bad they are not running through you. However, I know more than anyone that your time spent with someone can impact you way more than genetics can. Your Gopa is almost completely blind and I can’t imagine how different that makes the world for him but he finds so many ways to connect with you. He’s a great listener and has a very unique perspective on things. He gives great advice and is very wise and something tells me his wisdom came prematurely. I love these pictures I captured of him having “these talks” with you.
- And finally, here I was at his birthday party. You were not invited.
Future Stella, I love you but tonight I love your father more. Current Stella, even though you don’t realize it, you are showing me a better way to love. You forgive instantly and when there is a conflict you listen first.