March 28th, 2004. On a cloudy, windy, but surprisingly mild early spring late afternoon in Chicago, I took the brown line towards downtown and walked to Navy Pier. I was on my way to a blind-ish date with a girl. Blind-ish in that we had exchanged emails and pictures via Match.com, but we had never met in person.
A little context: I had just returned earlier that month from a 2 month stint in Europe traveling around, largely by myself. As I spent my days in museums and my evenings socializing in pubs and restaurants, I realized on that trip for the first time in my life that I was an extrovert. When I got back home, I decided to sign up for Match.com, without any real idea of why other than that I wanted to meet new people. I was having a very easy time talking to complete strangers in pubs in London, Paris, Munich, Prague, Barcelona, Nice, etc…why couldn’t I do the same at home?
In any case, that date would be my first Match.com date. It would also be my last Match.com date. That date was with Meg Stuart.
We met at Navy Pier, walked to PJ Clarke’s, and had a nice relaxing dinner and got to know each other a little. We laughed a lot. At the end of the date, we split a cab home and continued the good conversation. As we neared her destination, we agreed to talk again soon. When she got out, I didn’t try to kiss her. It would take 3 more dates before I would work up the nerve to ask her if I could kiss her. And I kinda missed a bit on that first one.
Wow, what a whirlwind. I really can’t believe it’s been ten years since that day. It would be impossible to sum up my relationship with Meg since that day in a single blog post. The easiest way to put it is that I can’t imagine my life without her.
These 10 years have been filled with so many great memories, and even more moments of laughter. Here are just a few of the many memories that I’ve thought about the last few days in my mind as this milestone approached. In no particular order…
Countless good times on our rooftop in Chicago…lots of long walks through the various neighborhoods of Chicago…some great hikes in Colorado…and hey, you’re a great drinking buddy. I wish I could say you’re a great lifting buddy, but you put me to shame in that department.
Movies: you’ve really indulged me here. You know how crazy I am when it comes to movies. We’ve enjoyed so many together. We don’t just watch them…we talk about them after. To some extent, they become a part of our lives. You’ve watched the Godfather movies (or at least Parts I and II) several times with me, which is great of you. I’ve only made you watch the Star Wars movies with me once…which is great of me. We established a Thanksgiving Day tradition of having the entire LOTR trilogy (the EXTENDED versions!) playing in the background throughout the day as we prepped our Thanksgiving dinner, ate, and relaxed after…napped, and ate leftovers (it’s like 12 hours long!). Life Aquatic. Chariots of Fire. Die Hard is our favorite Christmas movie! Some our first dates were at the movies. The first one we watched together was Ladykillers…we shared one of our first big laughs in the theater lobby laughing to ourselves about mouthbreathers/bored theater employees. Kill Bill Part 2…I spilled our popcorn all over you halfway through the movie. All the Apatow movies…you still do a mean Seth Rogen laughing impersonation.
Music: You got me into a lot of stuff…Sigur Ros, Calexico, Iron & Wine…and a lot more over the years. I got you into Led Zeppelin…so I win.
Travel: Camping in Lost Lake in Colorado and City of Rocks in Idaho. Our first trip together to Vegas…where you first enjoyed craps and developed your dice-rolling approach that led to you being nicknamed “Randy Johnson”. Several trips to California…San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco…trips to wine country. We’ve taken multiple roadtrips to Gulfport and Wagoner and managed to keep each other entertained through vast stretches of boring nothingness (just kidding, you mostly just sleep the whole time). Trips to NYC to visit friends. Hawaii! Our honeymoon in Mexico was great (“froooot on the streeeeet” and “hey guys…check this out!”) and we’re taking another trip to Mexico soon with Elsa.
And speaking of Elsa, we come to where we are now and our future. You’re an amazing wife and a great mother. Thank you for everything you do for me every day. I can’t wait for the next ten years.