When she married me 16 years ago, I was a rather uncouth specimen. I had the weathered and creased red neck of a roofer, as well as the coarse and permanently dirty hands to match. When I leaned over to ‘Kiss the bride,’ I also delivered a dose of the perspiration that had accumulated on my face in that hot church building in Waukegan, IL. And though a honeymoon in southern Wisconsin is perhaps not the stuff of dreams, she made the best of it, and still remembers it with fondness. Though I obviously married out of my league, she doesn’t seem to notice.
In the years since, I’ve become a bit more groomed, refined, and sedate. The wardrobe has been improved a bit, and I’m less likely to cause embarrassment in public (or at least to sweat on anyone). But when we went out for a celebratory lunch yesterday, I needed to remember to keep my hands under the table, since they are starting to look like they did when we first got married. Sixteen years after the fact, we’ve taken the big step of buying a house. So I’ve drug the tools out of their dusty repose and dug into a place of our own. What’s even better than busying myself with the work is watching her bring a whole new set of skills to bear– turns out she has some untapped abilities in design and re-imagining interior spaces. The teamwork that we’ve so enjoyed over the years has sprouted into a new direction, with her imagining what is possible and me trying to make it so. Love blooms anew.