What are the three most memorable moments — good or bad, happy or sad — in your life? Go!
Marriage, and the birth of two girls born seven years and one day apart, October 1 and 2. What can I say, January is sexy time in our house.
I was married on March 17 by an Irish priest, a day of drunken revelry for many. My wife had hair down to her bum at the time. She just happened to be rooming with the Wig Master for the Asolo Theatre Company, and so had an expert to do her hair that day. It was dramatic, and beautiful, and extraordinary. All three adjectives fall short for how my wife looked that day. Like every bride I suppose, she looked exquisite and perfect. I will always remember her on that day.
What I will also remember is her stepping off the plane three months later to join me in London. I was finishing two months abroad as part of my graduate training. From London we would launch our month long honeymoon Eurailing.
After we got through customs she finally asked, “do you notice anything?”. I have never tested well, and failed this quiz like so many others. My wife had cut her bum-length hair to just above her shoulders, and I hadn’t noticed. I can only claim blind love. (?)
To compound matters, everyone of the ten other classmates with whom I studied with and roomed with, plus their significant others, all, immediately noticed the dramatic hair loss. Its a story still told by my wife.
Here’s another story told by my wife.
The birth of my first daughter. It was a Sunday when it all began. I usually work weekends and this was no exception. An old friend was in town visiting and so I scheduled a poker game for later that night. When my wife started having contractions in the early hours of Sunday morning it was clear work was not in the cards for me that day. However, I still held hopes of having the poker game that night. I also thought it was like having a day off. I could actually watch some football. I never get to watch the early games. Huzzah, I thought. I didn’t recognize what was actually happening. I was another test that I was failing.
Late in the afternoon it was time to go the hospital, baby wanted out. This was a big deal because we were living in Astoria, Queens at the time, so no car. I speed dialed a livery cab, because you can only hail Yellow Cabs, no calling. We painfully waited for the car to show up. When it arrived their were two people in the front seats. Odd since car pooling only happens during massive, eastern sea board wide, power outages. Turns out we had a new driver being broken in. The new kid got to cut her teeth on a woman writhing in pain from full back labor and a man in full hysterics. The traffic jam on the Upper East Side didn’t help. I stepped up my game at the hospital, testing a little better. Eventually our first little girl popped out.
Seven years and one day later our second little girl came. The contractions started at nine pm on October first. I started timing the contractions as we both joked that the second simply could not be born on the same day as our first. By eleven pm it was time to drop our eldest off at her cousins house and head to the hospital. We had moved to Seattle by this point so the only new driver was me. I followed the traffic laws so as not to stress my wife. We were told to park out back, but there wasn’t any parking to be found. I did find an excellent spot in the front however. I rang the bell to alert the nurses of our arrival and was immediately chastised for not going to the back. I chastised the nurse for chastising me while my wife was clearly in pain. “I didn’t follow directions! Put it on my fucking report card and get down here and open the door”. I didn’t say any of those things by the way. When the nurse came down a few painfully long minutes later she got half way to the door before stopping and turning around. My wife’s teary protest prompted my arm to bang on the glass sliding doors. The nurse popped back into view pushing a wheel chair.
There was yelling and pushing and demanding of an epidural. The whole I while I stayed calm and collected and most importantly, I was supportive.
I did it right for a change. There is more of course. A few other things I did right. Many and more “I’m sorry’s” in the catalogue of me learning to do it the right way. Folios of “I’m sorry’s” really.
I’ll “I’m sorry” my way into enlightenment, or into less “I’m sorry’s”.
I’m getting better. I’ve hardly said it at all this week.