04 October 2009

eight years and a fortunate first date

happy anniversary to the mister in my life. he who makes mornings fun and pancakes delicious and roadtrips educational and parenthood awesome and karaoke entertaining and skiing exciting and mountains thrilling and yard work bearable and foreign places incredible and living life all the more worthwhile. i still, 8 years later, feel lucky in love.

park city, utah circa 2001

one of the things i love about dan is that i feel like my whole complete self around him. yet still, i want to become my best self with him. he inspires me. ever evolving, ever encouraging, ever loving. which is no surprise to me. he had this affect on me from the very beginning.

dan took me to a vietnamese restaurant on our first date and i'd never felt so at ease. he was/is always laid back and spontaneous and fun. (which reminds me, my oldest sister had tried to talk me into wearing a skirt that night. at that point in my life, i only had church-going skirts. not the type to wear on a date. especially a first date with a handsome scruffy skier guy. i wanted to be casual in an unstoppably cute sort of way. is that too much to ask? i think i went with nice jeans and a turtleneck. i doubt i even took a purse. i did not have a cell phone, i did not have house keys, i was very back pocket back then. lipgloss and cash. oh, life was so simple when all i needed fit in one back pocket of a pair of favorite jeans. as he arrived at my door wearing flipflops and cords, i was relieved i'd gone with my gut feeling in the what-not-to-wear department. now that i think about it, i realize, it was a genuine start to a genuine relationship.)

we ordered something delisch and noodley. he worked his chopsticks like magic and did not once embarrass me about me using my fork. (i've acquired chopstick skills since then, thanks to him. we slurped up japanese ramen approximately once a week in california at this amazing ramen shop. dan loved it and i loved hearing him speak japanese. i still can't get over all the good food we ate while we were living there as poor law student + struggling graphic designer. what were we thinking to spend our paychecks so frivolously?! but i have no regrets. i agree with ms. virginia woolf when she wrote, one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. amen. among other things, dan has introduced me to sushi and gyoza and the art of grating ginger root and cooking with tofu. like he always says, what do you get when you combine one pound tofu and one pound pork? two pounds pork. but let me just say this, as i wrap up my foodie tangent, i am no sushi snob. i also love americanized asian cuisine. i even forgive them when they offer take-out in ordinary styrofoam and not in the preferred classic swingy origami boxes. yes, i have no qualms in ordering famed dishes such as lettuce wraps, orange chicken and honey walnut shrimp. mmmm. isn't chinese food the best?!)

on that first date together, i remember dan and his smile, his intelligence and humor and how i felt equally stunned with his brilliance as i was with his good looks. he was subtle and darling and boyish and awesome. to be honest, i felt he was way out of my league. yet i was suddenly feeling comfortable in my skin, more myself than usual, as first dates go. he was such a charmer, asking questions about me, finding out more about my personality. and there i was, just spilling my guts. random facts were jumping out of my mouth and dancing in the air. you see, i had always played the part of the interested interviewer on previous dates, asking all the right questions and showing the guy what a great listener i was... blah blah.

this was a brand new feeling. we were laughing and chatting like old friends. i clearly remember thinking, where has he been all my life? (shortly thereafter our days, our lives, our hearts tangled up and were inseparable from then on.) i saved the fortune from the cracked cookie that night. it slept in my pocket and i could not seem to rid myself of it. taking it out of my jeans, along with nickels and lint, setting it on the dryer while laundering them. later shoving it back in without giving it another thought. slyly safekeeping it without allowing myself to dramatize it's specialness. as if i was quietly loving him until i knew it was safe to shout it from the rooftops.

i love you, babe.
the syrup to my waffle.
the stamp to my envelope.
the tofu to my pork. xo.

• am smitten with this boatload of advice for a happy marriage.
• and i loved this anniversary gift idea. cute, cute.


gab said...

I still think you should've worn a skirt!!! (kidding...what did I know?) Happy anniversary, you two cute young things.

brooke said...

Great story. I love hearing about the first date. You two are perfect for each other and I love Dan's quote about the tofu and pork--so true.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary to the two of you. It brought back happy memories of my own first date with my Mister. (We went to a Mexican restaurant.)

crissy said...

Apparently its common to go someplace ethnic on the first date with the future spouse...we went italian for ours.

Happy Anniversary, hope you have a wonderful day.

Julia said...

Happy Happy Anniversary. :)

Hil said...

Happy anniversary to a great couple!

Allison said...

I love how you capture those amazingly important little details, the things that too easily get lost when they deserve all the glory for making something special.

Have a wonderful anniversary, and many more to come!

Tiffany said...

So sweet! Happy anniversary to both of you!

hannah :: sherbet blossom said...

sweet post. so fun to hear about your first date. our first date restaurant was unfortunately at the most vile chinese restaurant in rexburg, but your story still brought back great memories.

(we went to the restaurant again for our 7th anniversary in august and both were sick. i tried to talk my husband out of going, but he is sentimental. we pinky swore that we wouldn't try it again. we'll just drive by and reminisce.)

courtney said...

this is such a sweet story, marta.

out of curiousity, what did the fortune say?

ALFIE said...

congrats on a fabulous eight years of marriage!

it is my prayer that you continue to grow together and enjoy the journey!

Sarah said...

Happy Anniversary. Perfect post. PS - do you still have the fortune?

Petit Elefant said...

happy happy day. we've been married almost 12 years {!!!!!} and i still feel like a newlywed most of the time.

congratulations on finding your other half.


summer said...

oh how i love your stories! i could read them all the live long day. congratulations to you and your scruffy skier guy, marta! i hope your year number 8 is a fabulous one filled with plenty of good chinese food.

yes, do you still have the fortune? i do wonder what it said. 'quietly loving him until i knew it was safe to shout it from the rooftops' .. oh my! this is exactly how it was for me, but never have i thought about it as beautifully as you just worded it. bravo.

ps. virginia woolf quote.. brilliant. i so agree.

KJ said...

happy anniversary. I now suddenly wonder if I've ever really known happiness. but I don't wonder about tofu.

Susan said...

Happy Anniversay....love your story...can feel the love you have together! Wishing you many more happy anniversaries.

k said...

Ah, both these posts were heartfelt and beautiful. To you on another 8 years. Congrats!

holtkamp said...

congratulations dan and marta!

Joanna Goddard said...

happy anniversary! this is so sweet :) and thanks for the link love xoxo

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