People sometimes ask what is my favorite age for The Sole Heir™. My answer is always the same: whatever age she is now. It’s been a treat to watch her grow and evolve. I miss the little girl all the time, but I always look forward to talking with the young woman she’s become, and I can’t wait to see what’s next with her.
Based on that it probably isn’t a great leap to deduce I’m not someone who dwells in the past. Hell, I barely dwell in the present. Any dwelling I do in either place stems in large part from an evening twelve years ago at Famous Dave’s, where I met the woman who was not yet even The Beloved Spousal Equivalent. Then she was just Corky.
Within a few months we’d gotten apartments in the same complex, hers fifty yards up the way from mine. (“The Annex.”) A couple of years later we moved into Castle Schadenfreude together. A few years after that we surprised everyone with a wedding right there in the
(Some took the lack of an invitation personal and made their displeasure known.)
The past twelve years have been, without question, the happiest time of my life. I’ve grown up a lot and learned a lot. The most important thing I learned was a successful relationship is based less on two people who want to please each other than it is on two people who do please each other; it comes naturally. The Beloved Spouse and I spend too much time in relatively close proximity—she’s retired and I work from home—to worry about who might be stepping on whose toes. All we can really do is be ourselves and hope the other person is good with it. Looks forward to it, even. So far, so good.
We don’t have grandiose plans or memories. This year we’re looking forward to going to writers’ conferences in New Orleans and Columbia, Maryland. A car trip to see my brother’s family in Colorado via Yellowstone. No plane trips. No cruises. No expensive dinners. Time spent doing things we like to do, with each other, but also things we’d probably do if the other person weren’t there.
Our best memories are like that, too. Lying in bed trading lines from Blazing Saddles. Easing elements of Deadwood, The Big Lebowski, and Get Shorty into everyday conversations. Penguins hockey games. Working on books together. Her showing me the cards she’s working on while I mention some unusual or entertaining occurrence in either the Pirates game or one of my own cards and dice affairs. Laughing as we fall asleep and as soon as we wake up. Expending no more effort at it than in tying a shoe.
In retrospect, I’m glad I was pushing 50 when we met. I needed the time to grow into someone who can properly appreciate her.
Happy anniversary to the Beloved Spouse.