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Cornelius News

Surprise, Modern Dad forgot his wedding anniversary

But this makes up for it

 

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

It took me 16 years to forget my wedding anniversary. I don’t mean forget, as in I forgot until a day or two before and scrambled at the last minute. I mean I straight up forgot.

I awoke last month on the morning of our anniversary and walked downstairs to let the dog out. The Mother of Dragons and the Blonde Bomber were at a wedding in Utah, and Future Man and I were leaving later that day for a lacrosse tournament.

I picked up my phone with a text notification that said, “Happy Anniversary!” followed by a heart emoji. In the immediate moment after reading the text here is the thought that went through my mind:

“Anniversary? Of what?”

And then I closed the messaging app to look at the date and, yup, it was our anniversary and I completely whiffed on it.

Did I feel guilty? No. I called her and told her immediately because I thought it was funny and we laughed about it. After 16 years of marriage if you can’t laugh at each other’s shortcomings then I’m not sure how you made it to 16 years.

16 to life

We’ve actually been together for 20 years, which sounds a lot longer than 16, even though it isn’t. Maybe it’s because sentences are handed out in 20 to life and not 16 to life.

A lot has happened in 20 years. I’m not going to recount any of it for you because you don’t care. It’s our story and no one really cares about anyone’s story – they’re all different but kind of the same. Except for the beginnings – I always like hearing people’s beginnings.

In the beginning

Ours began with persistence and a tequila shot.

We met at a wedding at Barnsley Gardens in Northern Georgia in the summer of 2001. She was a bridesmaid and I was a groomsman. We were both 25 years old.

When I asked the groom about the available bridesmaids, I was told the prettiest one was religious, so I asked about the others. When the prettiest one approached me at the rehearsal dinner, in front of the cheese platter, I blew her off. I wanted drinks poured, I didn’t want to talk about church.

The next night, as I sat alone on the stairs at the reception, somewhat tired of the three-day party, the prettiest one handed me a tequila shot and asked me to dance.

She was persistent and I thought maybe she wasn’t as conservative as I was led to believe. I took the shot and headed to the dance floor.

Hours later at the hotel after party I threw both of us into the pool wearing matching bridesmaid dresses. We held a spitting-for-distance contest in the parking lot – the winner of which is still in dispute.

When my late night amorous pass was met with a stern rebuke, we stayed up all night talking.

The next morning we bid forever goodbyes and I drove to the airport for a flight to Virginia. I fell asleep at the gate and almost missed my plane, which turned into a 45-minute turbulent flight from hell that had people praying for survival at 20,000 feet.

That night, somewhat shaken up, tired, and sitting in my underwear in the Hampton Inn next to Virginia Beach’s Mt. Trashmore, I opened my laptop, dialed up AOL and tracked down her email address from a group thread about wedding transportation.

Lickety-spit

I clicked on Compose, pasted her email address under the subject line “Spitting” I wrote: “I want a rematch on the spitting contest! Hey, who knew that the Amish had email capabilities? Just wanted to let you know I had a great time.”

No, she wasn’t Amish, and yes, I’m an idiot. I stared at the screen for five minutes before pressing send. She waited an agonizing 22 hours to respond and her note back ended with, “Talk to you soon…”

Courtship details

I don’t know why I sent that email. She lived in Colorado and I lived in Charlotte, so there was zero chance I’d ever see her again. Until I found out a few weeks later that she was returning to Atlanta for the bride’s birthday party in July.

I drove down for the weekend and once again we stayed up most of the night and snuck out to go skinny dipping in the neighborhood pool. (Sorry kids if you’re embarrassed by this but we were once people, too. Deal with it).

Once again I left on Sunday assuming I’d never see her again, but that only lasted a few more weeks. She had a flight to Florida that connected in Charlotte and when she arrived she told the airline that she was pregnant and feeling ill and didn’t want to fly the second leg. They booked her on a flight the next day.

When I drove her to the airport the next afternoon we decided that I should come visit her in Colorado. A month later, in the middle of the night, we held hands and walked down a path on a deserted trail in Colorado. I knew it then but it took her a little while longer.

We emailed every day and talked on the phone – as long as our calling cards still had money on them. We flip flopped trips, hiking mountains in Colorado and North Carolina, floating down a river in Boulder and past the champagne view on Lake Lure.

We spent New Year’s Eve at the Pour House in Boston – where I informed her that I loved her for the first time by handing her a piece of paper with the words written on it. What can I say? I’m better in written form than spoken. Shortly after that she decided to move to Charlotte.

Exactly four years to the day after I sent that first email, we were married in a rose garden in Charlotte’s Independence Park by a friend who we ordained online.

We wrote our own vows. I had to rewrite mine the afternoon of our wedding after I asked my buddy Murph what he thought of them, and he replied, “Eh, Jonny. Is this it, or is there more?” My second draft was better but still not as good as hers.

Did I feel guilty? No. Right after we said, “I do,” I told her about it because I thought it was funny and we laughed about it. At the start of a marriage if you can’t laugh at each other’s shortcomings then I’m not sure how you’re going to make it to 16 years.

Happy (belated) anniversary Mother of Dragons.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.

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