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Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday 20 years ago. Restaurants tables were few and far between February 13, 1993, but my date and I managed to snag one after a short wait.

It was our first date. Who in the world has their first date on Valentine's Day weekend? All those other couples were looking dreamy-eyed at each other over candles and cassoulet, while he and I had typical first-date conversations: who's your favorite author, where did you grow up, how did you get sober? (I guess most folks don't share last-drunk stories on a first date. But since we met in AA, we probably did.)

He's my husband now, so I guess it all worked out. Heh.

We were in our 40s then. He'll be 70 later this year. Time flies when you're having fun.

Of course it's not all fun. I pout and throw things and threaten to run away when life gets to be too much for me. His style is to retreat and grow silent. But those times are few and far between, and as the years have passed, they have grown fewer and farther.

Or at least I like to think so.

He still surprises me, and we're both pretty astonished – given our relationship histories – that we're still together 20 years later. The first couple years were touch-and-go. The third and fourth years we did the long-distance thing between Ohio and West Virginia. And then, we sealed the deal. I sold my house, quit my job and in 1997 moved to the Middle of Nowhere.

Because we are who we are, we didn't get married until 2006, but we lived happily in sin all those years.

He likes to eat and I like to cook, so that works out. We both like to read, but he prefers books and I'd rather use the Nook. He's learned to love walking and I've moved way left of the salad fork. (As both of you know!) Politics is now one of our common, shared interests. He'll never embrace technology and gadgets the way I do, and I'll never appreciate classical music the way he does.

We complement each other nicely, though. In the next 20 years, I'd like for him to learn to cook and he'd like for me to divest myself of some yarn. I've serious doubts about either of those things happening. But it's something to work toward.



Unknown said…
Congratulations Debbi!!! This was beautifully written with lots of love for your wonderful husband. I'm very glad you both are in my life! Barbra
Congratulations to you both! Staying together happily takes work, lovely work, but work!

Mindy said…
What a wonderful description of your life together. Good job on making it work!
Audrey Humaciu said…
Congratulations. (btw, my parents had their first date on Valentine's Day too - a blind date no less)
Diandra said…

This morning, I slipped a card into Richard's bag that along the lines of "Having things in common makes a relationship agreeable, but it is the differences that make life interesting" (with a picture of ducks and cats).

(Richard and I are so different, we keep joking that no match-making site would have put us together. Luckily we are similar in all ways that matter.)

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