Sunday, October 13, 2019

Happy 19th Anniversary, Eva and Ken

...otherwise known as Happy Thanksgiving.

It doesn't line up perfectly very often, but we did deliberately get married around Thanksgiving. It's our favourite time of the year: the summer sweats are over with and the colours are magnificent. It also coincides with Oktoberfest in our city, the second largest celebration of projectile vomiting in three quarter time on the planet, something we do everything in our power to avoid. In the year 2000, we avoided it by going on honeymoon to the Bonnie View Inn on Lake Kashagawigamog outside Haliburton.

And of course we give thanks to and for each other every day, but it's especially appropriate when the anniversary of our marriage rolls around every year, right around...Thanksgiving.

Eva just gave you a guest blog last month, when she turned 50. The thing that struck me most, reading her musings, is their relentless focus on the future.  This woman is just getting started. She has big plans and one of the things I most admire about her is that she goes out and makes them happen. Throw up an obstacle -- and gods know she's been thrown more than a few -- and she'll either smash them or pivot neatly on to a different path and take off running.

She's getting a start this week on that half-sleeve Durga tattoo she briefly referenced in that blog. Like all of her ink, this has meaning. It is, in fact, the culmination, the apotheosis of tattoos for her.

Durga means "the inaccessible" or "the invincible", both of which might be used to describe aspects of Eva herself. Durga, the goddess, was created to slay a demon that had defeated all previous attempts to slay him. Various and sundry gods bestowed her with weaponry and divine energies, and she emerged victorious -- and gracious as always. The demon who had defeated every god arrayed against him didn't even wind Durga.

The power of collective energy. That describes Eva, too.

She's defeated more than her share of demons. Something most of you don't know about Eva is that she's not supposed to be alive at this point. And I'm not even talking about the bariatric surgery, without which she might well be dead now or wish she were. When she said she never expected to make 50, she wasn't kidding.

She also never imagined herself getting married. Funny thing, that--we considered ourselves married on the third date, July 1, 1999...when I moved in with her. The ceremony fifteen months later was an informal formality.

I brought almost nothing material into the marriage. The whole of my possessions fit into the trunk of a cab. No thanks to a lost decade of decadence and despair, and a level of apathy I can hardly conceive of nowadays, most of what I would become was buried beyond most people's ability to see, let alone retrieve.

My heart was broken, my heart was broken
Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow
My heart was broken, my heart was broken
You saw it, 
You claimed it
You touched it, 
You saved it
--the Proclaimers, "Sunshine on Leith"

So that was the first thing Eva did for me: show me what love looks like. It's also the best thing, the most enduring thing, she's ever done for me. I've modelled my love on hers.

Nineteen years. It feels like a long time, but time is an illusion. Part of me is forever mortified that I clogged her toilet on our first date. Part of me is in the Chevy Cavalier she called 'Beastie', on our way to our honeymoon, pigging out on what are, to this day, the best McDonald's fries I've ever eaten (and I worked for McD's for five years, I've eaten a LOT of McDonald's fries). I'm reading Hyperion to her, chapter by chapter, over a period of about three months. We're out seeing John McDermott. Or John Pinette, or Lewis Black and Kathleen Madigan, or Bill Engvall, or Ron James. We're on a little baby cruise. Or we're just relaxing at home, with me unable to resist the urge to recite the pun I just found on Facebook and her finding ever more creative ways to call me an asshole.

We've managed to do a fair bit of living in nineteen years.

It's hard to find things to write that I haven't written before. But then, even as so much as changed and augmented around us, the core of who we are has always been the same. We are companions on life's journey, wherever our roads lead us, and we recognized that in each other pretty much instantly.

Nineteen, in the Baha'i faith, is a number of unity. And so we are united, Eva and I.

Happy anniversary, Eva-love. I love you.

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