Day 202- Marriage

Tom and I don’t have a song. We have a lot of songs. Our whole relationship has been full of important songs. How do I love thee, Thomas? Let me count the ways in a two-disc-twenty-song soundtrack.

Volume One: The Wonder Years
1. “The Gambler” Kenny Rogers

I’m not going to lie… it was not love at first sight. In fact, I think my sight may have been a bit too impaired for any kind of love (yours too, buddy). We met at Scorekeeper’s, a popular Michigan bar after being introduced by my dear friend Rebecca. We danced, we exchanged a few slurred words, and I went home thinking nothing of it. I’m still not sure if you chased me or if I chased you (although I’m pretty sure you were chasing me), but we both knew where to find each other that spring. Each Saturday night ended with “The Gambler” at Rick’s All American Cafe surrounded by our best friends in the happiest of moods.

2. “Anything but Mine” Kenny Chesney

Finally, after overcoming a few obstacles, we started dating. You told me that you had a job lined up in Seattle at the end of the summer, and I breathed a sigh of relief. We’d have a lovely summer together and then painlessly go our separate ways, right?

We spent many lazy afternoons together that first spring and summer with a Hot ‘N’ Ready pizza, a viewing of Napoleon Dynamite, and our favorite country music videos on GAC. We both loved “Anything but Mine,” and it was kind of our story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl share a wonderful summer. Boy leaves and both have fond memories as they move on with their lives. Right?

3. “Show Me the Way” by Styx

I started to realize that things were becoming a bit more serious than I intended when you invited me to go on vacation with your family. I debated back and forth and finally decided that I wouldn’t mind a week off from my two jobs and some North Carolina beach fun. I was definitely a bit apprehensive, since I had only met your family once or twice. Now I was signing up for a week with them and hours in the car.

Luckily, I was falling in love with them too. I suppose it’s easy to fall in love when you’re surrounded by the sun and sand and fresh seafood and game nights, but I think this would have happened anywhere. We’d wake up, eat breakfast, and head down to the beach for a day of swimming, tanning, and reading. Oh, how I love that trio! Your mom would pump country and classic rock music from the stereo in the beach house, and we would sing (shout?) Styx at the top of our lungs. Nights were spent grilling, playing Bingo and cards, and telling stories. I knew at that point that I was in trouble. I wasn’t supposed to like them so much. I wasn’t supposed to like you so much either.

4. “Bless the Broken Road” Rascal Flatts

As the summer came to a close, we actually started to talk about the future. I started to allow myself to realize that you would be in my future. We had lots more trip to Skeeps and Rick’s, lots more lazy afternoons, lots more Bell’s jalapeno poppers, and lots more GAC. I can’t remember who said it first, but we decided that “Bless the Broken Road” was our song. We also decided that we loved each other. Before you left, we went to our first concert together (Rascal Flatts, of course). As we listened to our song together on that warm summer night at the Jackson County Fair (boy, did we know how to pick romantic places), I decided that I hated Seattle. "And I thought I loved you then…"

5. Hail to the Victors

Oh… c’mon… this one should be self explanatory.

What I will say is that this song can be symbolic of a very important date in our relationship. November 19, 2005, was our first Michigan-Ohio State football game together. That and subsequent football seasons have taught us some important lessons that can be applied to marriage. We’ll have our ups and our downs, but we will always (eventually) come out on top. Also, Ohio is the worst state ever.

Your love for Michigan is just one of the many reasons that my family loves you too. Did I say MANY? Sometimes I’m pretty sure that if anything ever happened between us, they’d get you in the divorce. It’s a good thing we’ll be married forever! I was nervous for you to meet them because the stakes were much higher than with any other boy I had ever brought home. It actually really mattered to me what they thought of you. When I called them after we got back to Ann Arbor, and I dropped you off that first time, my parents eased all my fears. I asked them what they thought of you. Their answer? “What’s not to like?” You have no idea how major that compliment is.  They had literally not found a single thing that they did not like about you.  Wow. After the second time they met you, and you helped clean up all kinds of storm damage in the front yard in boots that were two sizes too small, my dad decided that you were “the one,” whether I liked it or not.

6. "All I Want for Christmas is You" Mariah Carey

Those first few months that you were in Seattle were hard on both of us, but we were so lucky to have them. It took being more than 2,000 miles away from you to make me realize that I wanted to be with you for good. Now, the only problem was that… well, you were 2,000 miles away.

The good news was that when we did see each other once a month, you sprung for amazing dates that were a far cry from the ramen noodle dinners and t.v. movies of yore (although we still did have our fair share of chicken fingers and hot pockets with the DVR mixed in on those visits). Memories of our dinner on top of the Space Needle in the revolving restaurant and those chilly moments on the observation deck will always keep me warm on the coldest of days.

The hardest time was that month between the Ohio State game and Christmas Eve. I missed you constantly, and I didn’t know how I would make it that long without seeing you. All I wanted for Christmas was you (CHEESE), and I told you just to fly home early to see me in lieu of a present. You couldn’t do it. One night when I was crying on the phone and telling you that I was going to book a flight to see you the next day, you confessed to me that you had planned a surprise visit. That has become a theme, hasn’t it? You are always too excited to keep surprises a secret, and I always know ahead of time. Gotta love you. What’s important is that you put the thought in “it’s the thought that counts.”

When you came home for the “surprise” that weekend, I played along for the sake of everyone else you had brought in on the “surpise” with you. However, you had told me not to expect a proposal because you didn’t want me to be disappointed when it hadn’t happened by the end of the visit, and you wanted the weekend together to be enough. It turns out that the failed first surprise helped to set up my first real surprise. That Saturday night, after baking Christmas cookies and singing Mariah Carey and other carols all day, you took me to the English Inn. We had an amazing dinner (I order Chicken a’la Oscar… I never order chicken… but it was delightful), took a picture on the staircase, and headed out. You asked me to take a walk out back with you, and I refused. There was ice on the ground, I was wearing heels, and I knew the beautiful flowers we had seen out back that summer were not still there. You kept insisting, so—annoyed!—I finally followed you. You liked it, you put a ring on it, and I will never be the same.

7. “Midnight Train to Georgia” Gladys Knight and the Pips

I have listened to this song on repeat my whole life. They lyrics took on a new meaning for me when I finally decided to move to Seattle to be close to you. “I’d rather live in his world than live without him in mine.” I never forgave Seattle for stealing you away from me, but we ended up making lifelong friends there. It is also where we had our first apartment, the beginning of our life together, and our first real grown up jobs.

When I left after my very first visit, I sobbed all the way through security. In a cruel twist of fate, I had been selected for a random search. The poor TSA lady took one look at me and asked, “Did you leave someone special behind?” At that moment, I fully realized that I had. “Why yes, yes I did.” Seattle will always be a special place for us to visit, but I have thanked God every day since that move that I’ll never have to leave there without you again.

8. “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” RENT

This is the first show we ever saw together, and it’s definitely my favorite. This song is in my top five favorites of all time, and I wanted to use it for the first dance at our wedding. You liked it, but you thought it would be weird. I still think it would have been awesome.

9. “She’s Everything” Brad Paisley

If you hadn’t married me, you probably would have married Brad.  Your silly man crushes make me laugh. This is the song that you wanted to dance to for our first dance. I thought it would make me seem self-centered since it’s all about the lady. I wanted something more about us. You pouted a little bit. I pouted a little bit…

10. “Cross My Heart” George Strait

… then we compromised. We danced the first dance of the rest of our lives to good old fashioned country. We danced a lot more dances that night, the best night of my life, and we’ve dance many since. Some of the happiest moments of my life have been spent as a dancing fool with you as a dancing fool at my side.

Volume Two: Love and Marriage

1. “Canned Heat” Jamiroquai

While our wedding was the best day of my life, our honeymoon added quite a few days to the list for consideration. We were back to days on the beach, cocktails, afternoon tea and cookies, swimming in the ocean, afternoon Yahtzee tournaments (which I dominated), tasty and romantic dinners, naming other honeymooning couples (ahem... child bride... ahem) and yes, dancing. I thoroughly enjoyed our dancing workouts each afternoon to the “Greatest Hits” cd that our dj made from the wedding, especially all that “Canned Heat.”

2. Shipoopi (the Family Guy version)

It is no secret that you love Family Guy, and I have come to enjoy it over the years too. While the show is great, the best part of it all is watching you giggle, sometimes until tears roll down your cheeks. One episode that is particularly near and dear to my heart is the one where Peter Griffin is drafted to the New England Patriots and does a full-on musical touchdown celebration. His rendition of “Shipoopi” from the Music Man was wonderful enough to warrant multiple viewings, and our first and only nickname for each other was born. I love you, Shipoopi!

3. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” The Darkness

I will never be able to hear this song without thinking of you listening to it over and over. And over. And over. And over. And over… and over. You listened to it on the way to football Saturdays at Rocksport in West Seattle. You listened to it for hours on the drive back to Michigan. You pull it up on YouTube. You sing it with your friends. No soundtrack of your life would possibly be complete without including this. You’re lucky that you’re so dang cute when you sing along.  I too believe in a thing called love.

4. “We’ve Only Just Begun” The Carpenters

Buying our first house together has been such an adventure. I will never forget how you told me we could paint every square inch of the house and get it done that first weekend. I trusted you, and I believed you.  Whoops. I’ll never forget the hours and hours and days and days we spent painting after that. My dad told me that he pictured us frolicking around the house to “We’ve Only Just Begun” as we D’d our DIY. We had a good laugh about that, downloaded the song to my iPod, and frolicked away.

I am so thankful to have someone that I can share these experiences with. Even though we have put a ton of sweat equity into this house, and even though I have ruined some of my favorite comfy lounge pants with paint/yard stuffs/bleach, and even though sometimes I get to the point where I wish we would just save up and hire someone, I take a great deal of pride in what we have built together and accomplished. We have worked hard to make this house our home and also to get our dream jobs, to raise our first amazing child (holler, General!), to further our educations, and to keep our marriage strong. If this is what the first three years are like, I'd like to order sixty more!

5. “Take a Chance on Me”  ABBA

No Saturday/Sunday morning breakfast would be complete without a rousing Ferri sing-a-long, and no Ferri sing-a-long would be complete without ABBA.  I sure do enjoy our sing-a-longs. Thank you for indulging me in my ABBA obsession on a weekly basis. I think you may actually be developing a little fascination yourself. I am so proud.

6. “In the Ayer/Low” by Flo Rida

These songs remind me of many fantastic times spent together with our little boy. Does that make me a bad mother? What I do know is that you are an amazing “father,” and I can’t wait to see you with children of your own. Yes, I said your own, since you always talk about “your” children in the future. I’m hoping that over the next year or two I will finally convince you once and for all that I get to be the mother of these kids. We’ll see. Anyway… I love watching you with him. I know he’s just a dog. I get that. But still… I love the way you take care of him without being asked. I love the way you are gentle and lovey dovey with him when you think I’m not looking. I love the way that he makes you a gleeful little boy. I love when the three of us dance together in the kitchen to Flo Rida, especially when General jumps up in the air during the “ayer ayer” part. Our little family fulfills me more than you could ever know, and I know that it will only get better once we start adding to it.

7. “Don’t Stop Believing” Journey

Where do I even begin? I think all I really have to say is that this is just needed to complete this list. I’m sure you can think of a million reasons why, so we’ll leave it at that.

8. “Your Love is My Drug/California Gurls/Bulletproof”

These are the songs of the moment, and I know that there will be many more songs, and many more moments. Every time a catchy new song comes out, we rush home to listen to it together. On repeat. And then there’s the dancing… I like these silly moments, and as long as there is terrible/terribly catchy pop music, I know that they will last. Someday we will be the embarrassing parents/grandparents/great grandparents shaking their groove things on a dance floor to current music somewhere, and I’m totally okay with that. In fact, I’m thrilled.

9. “You are the Best Thing” Ray LaMontagne

I love this song, and I love you, and I love this song because of you. The lyrics ring so true to me because they are about you. It talks about coming home after a long day to the one you love, and all of a sudden everything is better. It talks about an easy, natural love. “The way you move me it’s crazy/ It’s like you see right through me/ And you make it easier/ You please me and you don’t even have to try.” When you come home from work, General sprints to the door. He jumps up and down because he is so very excited to see you, and his tail wags so furiously that his entire body moves. I feel the same way.

10. “Save Me From Myself” Christina Aguilera

Christina says it better than I ever could. Thank you for loving me for who I am, as I am, and thank you for loving me in spite of myself.

It's not so easy loving me
It gets so complicated
All the things you've gotta be
Everything's changing
But you're the truth
I'm amazed by all your patience
Everything I put you through

When I'm about to fall
Somehow you're always waiting
with your open arms to catch me
You're gonna save me from myself
from myself, yes
You're gonna save me from myself

My love is tainted by your touch
Some guys have shown me aces
But you've got that royal flush
I know it's crazy everyday
Well tomorrow may be shaky

But you never turn away

Don't ask me why I'm cryin
'Cause when I start to crumble
You know how to keep me smilin
You always save me from myself
from myself, myself
You're gonna save me from myself

I know it's hard, it's hard
But you've broken all my walls
You've been my strength, so strong
And don't ask me why I love you
It's obvious your tenderness
Is what I need to make me
a better woman to myself
to myself, myself
You're gonna save me from myself

I have had the time of my life creating this soundtrack with you. I can’t wait to see what the future volumes have in store. I have always wanted to be one half of a perfect couple. However, we are far from perfect. The important thing is that we are perfect for each other. Sometimes when I catch myself acting like a fool, I wonder why in the world someone would choose me. But you did. And you’re every bit the silly little fool that I am. And you love me.  And I love you. That’s my perfect.

Happy third anniversary, Shipoopi!  "I love you more today than yesterday... but not as much as tomorrow."

Thank you, marriage, you made my day.


Ashley and Nate said…
Awww so many things you wrote made me laugh out loud... like when you wrote about The Victors, because Ohio really is the worst state ever!

Some parts made me a little teary eyed too. So sweet!
Lisa said…
I definitely cried. Love you very much and I'm so glad you found your Shipoopi or whatever:)

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