Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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I met my wife on an airplane flying between Los Angeles and Dallas. She leaned over and said "do you want a light?", and then turned on the airline reading light over my seat, which enabled me to better read J.G. Ballard's "Empire of the Sun". Soon we were talking things to do in Dallas--museums, clubs, and the like. I think that the first moment I knew we would have a spark was when she told me she had just been to see the Wim Wenders film "Wings of Desire". Rather than give some detailed explication of Teutonic cinema, she looked me in the eye, smiled, and said "I was so bored". I like direct, assertive, kind people. As the plane landed, she gave me her phone number. On my next business trip out, not even a week later, I phoned.

We went on our first date to Torung, a Hollywood "dive" Thai restaurant, where we ordered a kind of calamari Pad Thai and talked about everything and nothing. We spent a lot of that evening driving aimlessly. I lamented the lack of a proper Edgar Rice Burroughs memorial when we wandered through the San Fernando Valley town of Tarzana. Our second date was an evening at Henry Jaglom's film "Falling in Love".

Twenty months later, we married, in a Presbyterian church in her native Kansas City, down green-carpeted aisles with understated floral arrangements, on a May day when the rain clouds brought a certain gravitas to the ceremony that the processional, Purcell's Trumpet Tune, could not quite manage. We headed out for a honeymoon in Nassau, flagging jitneys, eating conch. I lost my wedding ring snorkeling at the Holiday Inn Pirate Cove beach, but it was covered by a warranty. In marriage, one should savor as much warranty and guarantee and replacement as possible.

Many people find marriage more difficult as one goes on, but in our relationship, I'd have to say the first year of adjustment was by far the most difficult. Now, years later, it's not really difficult at all. The 12th of May was our 13th anniversary; sadly, I found myself in an airplane away from home on a work assignment, and we'll celebrate this weekend. We've now spent over 100,000 hours in the matrimonial state, but we can still talk about everything and nothing for hours on end.

Before I met my future wife, I labored under the impression that I was not to marry. But impressions do not define life; living does. Marry we did, and I'm very glad. The "traditional" gift for the 13th anniversary is lace. Each year of any good intertwined relationship can weave two people together, in patterns which never cease to surprise or to delight. Those first whispers of infatuated love are like a fireworks display, but a deeper love is like a planetarium show, in which the constellations weave in and out.

We don't live in Camelot, or in a Harlequin romance. We fight our own demons in our own ways. But I'm very glad when I return home at midnight, to our own home, in which we find such comfort. I'd weave this lace all over again.
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