He took me to a Knicks game and said bring binoculars. We were in the third row, but I didn’t think anything of it. It was a really cold January night as we exited the Garden and he suggested we walk home. I looked at him like he was nuts, but he insisted. As we hit Fifth Avenue he suggested it was a good night to go up to the top of the Empire State Building. We had always said it was something we should do – our apartment was around the corner so we wondered if we could see it from up there. I was tired and cold, maybe a little grumpy and yet somehow he convinced me. There was no one else there and the guard tried to dissuade us – you can’t see anything tonight, too cloudy! But Scott persisted. At this point I figured it was easier to just go up. And yet, I still didn’t think anything of it. We got off on a dark empty floor. I turned right off the elevator, insisting that this would be the way to look. He said, from the other side of the huge observation deck, it’s the other way. But I was sure I was right. I wasn’t. So I went to his side… and started looking for it. There sure were a lot of rooftops that looked the same from way up there. Ours was a short old building only five stories tall which helped me scan for it. I thought I found it, but it was sparkling with light so that seemed weird and I lost sight of it. Then I started to get a strange feeling in my gut, and looked at him… But he seemed nonplussed. So I looked out again… and found a sign of strung lights – indeed on our building’s roof. MARRY ME. And he stood there straight-faced as I looked at him, and said… what? What- he replied. Nothing… Hmm, maybe not for me. I’ll never forget the awkwardness that felt like hours. Then he dropped to his knee and offered a ring. That’s the guy I was lucky enough to marry twenty years ago today.
Time passes so quickly. Kids are born, we have smile lines and gray hair – and yet, many moments of magic persist. That night and September 7th, 1996 was the just the beginning of countless extraordinary and beautifully ordinary moments full of surprise, laughter, strange weather, and joy that we have shared. For that I am endlessly grateful.
We intended to write a list of what we think has been the glue in our marriage together, but we got busy doing nothing much at the beach instead. So here is my list, with which I think he will concur… the twenty things (and yes, there are more, like taking the garbage out of course…) that have helped us make it to today. A day where we will make breakfast, send our four kids off to school, hang out, walk our dogs, have lunch and cherish our time together for another beautiful anniversary.
Swim in the sea
Take care of each other
Look in each other’s eyes
Independently engage in the world, and return to share
Give thoughtful surprises
Compliment each other
Show kindness and respect
Celebrate the big and little things
Laugh freely and often
Do something extraordinary every once in a while
Rub each other’s feet
Enjoy family together
Love with an open heart