3-2-1, blast off

My lovely and talented wife, who blogs over at The Family Math, and I have now been married for three years, as of today.

How strange.

When Misty and I first met, she was 19 and a summer intern at my job. I was 31 and firmly entrenched as the top reporter on a three-person news desk. No, it doesn’t sound like much, but I was the best reporter my hometown paper had seen in a long time. The bad part was that I knew it. I was cocky. Arrogant, even. I was also the first person to professionally edit Misty’s work.

She took my editing marks to heart and began producing copy that didn’t set the world on fire — but at least it didn’t burn your eyes to read it. In truth, she’s always been mega-talented. I tell anyone who will listen that she’s really the talented one in the family. She thinks I say that because I’m being disingenously modest, but the truth is that I believe it.

When I first tried to date Misty, she’d been “warned off” about me by a co-worker (or three). It didn’t help that I was dating two and possibly three women at the time. You could trust my stories in print, but you couldn’t trust much else, honestly. Well, that’s not true. You could trust me to do whatever I thought benefitted me. Despite her immense physical attraction to my studly self, Misty turned my advances down. She went so far as to tell me that she couldn’t date me because she couldn’t see marrying me.

Ouch.

We stayed in touch over the next few years. There were phone calls and AIM (anyone else remember AIM???) chats and e-mails. There were also arguments and assorted aggravations on each side. I was living with another woman, watching that relationship crumble (as all the others had before it), when Misty decided to give me a chance.

I don’t know what changed her mind. But whatever happened, I’m glad it did. I’m not sure I would be here, writing these words, if Misty hadn’t finally taken a chance on me. We went on one date, and another, and then another. We were driving across the state on a regular basis to see one another (although, to be honest, she drove more than me).

We ended up working for Boone Newspapers — if that isn’t the asshole of the newspaper world, it’s certainly the taint — and soon we were engaged. I wasn’t done making mistakes — and I made a whopper. But it was a mistake that led me to a huge emotional breakthrough — a breakthrough that allowed me to begin being honest with people, and to live my life in a way it should have always been lived.

(For the record, my mistake came back to bite me in the ass. I was able to *begin* learning a lesson that day. I’m still learning it. But thankfully my wife is patient and kind. And mostly a saint.)

Misty and I moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the University of Alabama football team suddenly turned itself around. Sure, other people credit Nick Saban for Alabama winning two national championships in two out of the last three years. However, I think it’s more likely that Misty’s awesomeness just rubbed off on the Crimson Tide.

And, of course, I’m not too shabby myself. Double awesome = double championships. Just sayin’.

But I digress. Now, where was I? Wonder of all wonders — we got married. March 21, 2009. Crazy. It was lovely to be surrounded by friends and family who loved us and wished us well. It was wonderful to start a life with a woman I respected and cared for so deeply. That respect and care have lasted, and will last, for the rest of my life.

(A quick aside about the wedding date: 3-21. Misty picked it because it sounds sort of like a countdown. And also because I would be less likely to forget the anniversary if the date was easily memorable. She’s been right so far.)

After living for nearly two months in a one-bedroom apartment (along with two dogs and a cat!), we purchased a home. It’s not in the best neighborhood. But it’s ours. We’re comfortable there. We got pregnant. Some of you may have heard we had a baby. It’s true. Our kiddo is the best in the world. And one of the reasons he’s so perfect is because he is the personification of my love for and with my wife.

We are still in the learning stage of our marriage. We still have to remind ourselves to communicate — and to communicate clearly. We squabble sometimes about money or how to spend our free time. But I’ve never doubted that she loves me — and I hope she can say the same. But one thing is for certain, as I look at this woman who once told me that she could never see marrying me:

I won.

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