On June 29th, 1997, I married Lisa Wheaton, my best friend and the sweetest woman in the world. We’ve had so much fun since then, and I love her so much more today than I had figured possible on that beautiful day fifteen years ago overlooking Mount Hood in Oregon.
For reasons that I still don’t fully understand, she decided that I was the one for her shortly after we met on the first day of our four years in Grinnell. I’m so, so, so glad that she did. It took her the whole first semester to win me over, since I was dating someone else at the time. But as her friend from high school predicted, that other girl didn’t have a chance. (Ladies, it turns out that “needing help with your calculus homework”—whether you actually need it or not—is still a pretty good way of getting yourself lodged in some guys’ minds.)
The day after the wedding we started a three-week honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, which seemed to kickstart our habit of enjoying our travels together. Since then we’ve traveled so many places: India, Australia, London, Paris, Barcelona, the Rockies, various places in Canada, and different parts of the US during our multiple baseball tours, just to name some of our longer trips. She’s a great travel companion and navigator, and it feels wrong to go places and do fun things without her.
After returning from our honeymoon, we started the long trip eastward into the unknown. From Oregon to Wyoming to Iowa and then finally to Boston, we did the Oregon Trail in reverse, picking up things from the different parts of our lives at each stop before settling in. We hated the moving experience so much that we didn’t do it again for another seven years, when we moved to the house where we live now. The day that we moved into our tiny apartment, our new landlord gave us some good advice: “Don’t ever sleep apart if you’re angry with each other,” which is advice that we’ve managed to follow all of this time. (Notice he didn’t say not to go to bed angry. That’s going to happen, but avoiding the other person doesn’t make the problem go away or let you feel better when you wake up next to a person who still loves you.)
You can learn a lot about another person and yourself over fifteen years. I’m so happy with what I’ve discovered about Lisa, and she’s helped me become the man that I always had in mind when I thought about myself as a “grown up.” She had the chance to change her mind about me so many times, especially when I was diagnosed with diabetes just two short years after we married and moved to New England. She took the “in sickness and in health” part of the vows seriously, and it made us stronger and more in love to struggle through those early days together. Fortunately, we also managed to make it through the “for richer and poorer” part unscathed, too.
So, Sweetheart, these fifteen years have been great! Sorry about not helping you understand Riemann sums before our calculus final. And thank you so much for always talking to me about The Iliad. Je t’aime de tout mon cœur.