Bragging on my Husband

Last night, the family went to see this man play the Sandlot Baseball All-Star Showcase at a real stadium:

We kind of had to—he’s ours.

Obviously:  Who else but a Wesson would play catcher in an old fencing mask?


Have to say, though, he looks good in uniform:

Pretty darn good:

It was a good game, even though the (blue) Turtles were trounced by the (orange) Crushers and Janie ate a blue-iced cupcake that showered everything within a two-foot radius with  teal speckles  and a very sleepy Sunny stuck herself to my shirt by her chocolate frosting goatee.

The entry fee for the game was canned goods for a local food bank and I heard that they collected over eight hundred pounds-worth from the family and friends who came out to watch them play and eat hotdogs and oddly-colored desserts and smush bugs and dance to the music and cheer on the players* and fall asleep on their Mommies until it was time to go home.

We had a great time.

You done good, honey—we’re proud of you!

___________________

* “You can do it, Daddy!  Just hit the ball !”

The High(lander) Points of Courtship

I’ve already told the story of my wedding veil flambé, and our Canadian Honeymoon Chicken, so this year, I’m going to reminisce about what brought my husband and I together.

We both agree it was a miracle it ever happened.*

A miracle, fencing, and movies.

I joined the college fencing club because I’d broken up with my boyfriend of two years and wanted a) a reason to spend as much time as possible away from the dorm; b)  a way to work out some aggression; and c) a legitimate reason to carry a weapon.

My not-yet-husband was the student coach and I became captain of the women’s team—which would be more impressive if I hadn’t been the only woman on the team that first year.**  But that’s how we met and over the next few months, we became friends.

A three-day weekend was coming up, and he asked me if I was staying, and I said I was.  He asked me if I had plans, and I shrugged and said “Reading a good book.”

He said, “That’s right, you can’t drink yet.”  But he didn’t offer an alternative, and I wasn’t about to in case he was just making conversation, so we went our separate ways.

And then I thought about it . . . and called him. This was the first time I had ever called someone of the male persuasion with the intent of wrangling myself a date.  I reminded him of who I was and told him that I’d finished my book.

“Congratulations,” he said, not helping at all.***

So I gathered together my bravery and said, “So now I need something to do.  Any suggestions?”  If he said, another book, I’d give up.

There was a long pause.^  “Have you seen Highlander?

“No.”

“Want to?  My folks have a VCR.”

So he picked me up at the dorm and we went to the rental place.  Highlander was out, but they did have Terminator and Living Daylights.

We stayed up all night in his parents’ living room—they were away for the weekend—watching movies and talking and then he took me back to the dorm early in the morning.  Our first kiss happened around then, though neither of us remember for sure—we were still playing it casual, I think.

Obviously, it didn’t stay that way for long.

You wouldn’t think Terminator was a good first date movie—or James Bond, either, for that matter—but it worked for us.  Really, really well.  A rom-com probably would have set up expectations we were too nervous^^ to handle.

And we eventually did see Highlander, which became our movie in that spiritual, quote it at every opportunity, name our wedding-present-cat Macleod kind of  way.   Movies are still a big part of our relationship—for last year’s anniversary, we saw Bridesmaids.  This year, we’re seeing The Avengers.  

Still avoiding the rom-coms after all these years.  Which only goes to show that it’s a good thing we found each other.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.  Want to go for twenty?

________________

*And he’s an atheist now.  When atheists speak of miracles, they mean it.

**But I did beat an ROTC Marine my senior year—he had the reach but was too much of a gentleman to hit my more  obvious target areas, though I believe I may have cured him of that once we reached three out of five.

***Sometimes when he tells this story, he claims that he was desperately trying to think of something clever and suave to say.  Other times he says he was wondering why on earth this crazy chick had called him up to tell him about her reading speed.

^During which, again depending on his retelling, the purpose of my call dawned on him and/or he realized he didn’t have enough money to take me to the only movie theater in town and/or he didn’t want it to look too much like a date in case the purpose of my call was actually simple boredom.  Like we both say, a miracle.

^^Or clueless, depending on who’s telling the story.

Eighteen Years Ago Today . . .

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the day I set my veil on fire.

Having agreed in front of all our family and friends that We Did at the beautiful Kumler Chapel on the Western Campus of Miami University, my blushing groom and I arrived at our reception at the  Hueston Woods State Park Lodge, where our guests and Irish-American-Calypso folk band* (with bagpipe) awaited.

The only problem with the reception was the photographer’s assistant, a former high school teacher of mine who was so determined to arrange perfect tableaux of the bride and groom having fun with various friends and relatives that she ignored the possibility that we might prefer to have some actual fun.  She also wouldn’t let me take off my veil, in case something “happened to it.”**

 Right before we cut the cake, I was talking to one of Mom’s dearest friends in front of the main table and a passerby kicked over one of the flower urns flanking the main table, sending a flood of greenish water toward my white satin dress, which had already survived an attack by two (out of four) makeup-wielding bridesmaids, a walk over a lawn with a leaking sprinkler system, a barrage of previously-thrown birdseed mixed with dirt from my youngest cousins, because that was the “funnest part,”*** and chicken a l’orange with all the fixin’s.

So I backed out of the way.  Into a lit candelabra.

Mom’s friend yanked off my veil and put out the flames before they reached my hair.^  My dress was untouched.

And when the photographer’s assistant insisted, despite my protests, that I put on my burnt veil for the cake cutting and she’d hide the damage somehow, my new husband glared at her and said, “She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.” 

I love you, too, honey.  Very muchly.   

Not every man would take his wife to see The Bridesmaids for their anniversary, and not every wife should would have asked.

I’m so glad we found each other.

____

*Fannigan’s Isle:  Rick Fannin and Tom Scheidt.  They can play anything, and play it well.

**My foreshadowing practice is paying off, yes?

***If I’d been a four-year old kid who’d just been forced to sit through an Espiscopalian-Catholic joint ceremony, Mass included, I would have thrown dirt at the bride, too, until my mother caught on and skinned me alive.

^Thank you again, Mrs. Pedersen.  I always liked babysitting your kids best.

(photo courtesy of the granat project on Flickr)

Daylight Savings Time, Hives, and the Broken Camel

I tried to plan for Daylight Savings.  I really did.  Light Saturday dinner, early bedtimes, open window shades so the sunlight could do its reprogramming trick, and alarms set to the usual Sunday time.

But my husband’s  immune system had other ideas.

He noticed small patches of raised skin in the early afternoon — itchy, but not too bad, so he wrote it off as winter-dry skin reacting to the chlorine from the kids’ morning swimming lessons.

Then it started to spread.

The kids were just coming out of the bathtub around eight when his face started to swell.  He drove himself to the emergency room, while I settled the kids and got them into bed.  I went down to tell my MIL what was going on, and  she volunteered to keep an eye on the kids.

The emergency room was packed and once the staff confirmed that my husband could breathe, he waited for about two hours, feeling a little silly for overreacting.  He hadn’t been— it turned out to be an extremely bad case of hives that might have turned even nastier during the night.*

They put him on a Benadryl-steroid drip while we played a few rounds of “What on earth caused this?”

After dismissing undue stress (“Bring it.”), STDs (“Who has the time?”), lupus (“Umm, no.”) and dissecting everything he’d eaten that was different from the usual (“Dill pickles?  Barbecue sauce?  Soft serve?”), we remembered that he’d had my car washed that afternoon.  The cleaning stuff they’d used on the interior seemed to be the likely culprit—a theory that had the added benefit of making this hypochondriac both guilty and itchy.

Afterward, my husband was too loopy to drive.  I was deemed the marginally safer driver, jazzed on diet Pepsi and worry as I was, so we left his car there.  We arrived home around one a.m.  Being, as I said, a bit over-caffeinated, I didn’t shut my eyes until at least an hour later.

Guess what else happened at two a.m.?  Americans won’t have to guess:  one whole hour of blessed sleep went poof.

As much as I tried to get up three hours later to teach Sunday School,** it wasn’t going to happen.  Even if I had managed it, my husband—feeling much better and looking it—teaches an early morning Sunday class, and we were down a car. I made a couple of phone calls to the church and my co-teacher, and fell back asleep until the kids woke up.   An hour later.

When my husband returned, we all jumped into my car.  We stopped at the pharmacy to drop off his prescription, then drove to the hospital for his car.   He took Janie to go pick up his meds and Sunny and I went grocery shopping.  Which is when I figured out that I hadn’t had breakfast yet.

In case you wondered, they aren’t kidding about shopping hungry.

But we made it back without breaking the bank or our nutritional standards, such as they are.  My husband, while sporting some pink patches, is looking good.  And the kids appear to be so over whatever loss of sleep they might have had.

Me?  I’m gonna go nap now.

___

*And that’s as much as I want to think about that, thanks.

**Stop laughing.