The NFL uses instant replay to review close calls, but a coach who wants to challenge the call only has until the offense runs another play to challenge. So when the offense thinks they got away with something the refs missed, the quarterback always rushes up to the line as frantically as possible to snap the ball before the opposing team can issue a challenge.
So what does this have to do with my wedding anniversary today? That’s easy.
Leading up to my wedding day four years ago I had the greatest stretch of good luck I’ve ever had in my life. I started dating MJ in May 2004. The Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years that October. By January 2005 I was engaged. The next month, the Patriots won the Super Bowl. In August of that year we bought our first house (seemed like good luck at the time, oh well) and January 2006 was my wedding day.
But here’s the coup: I wasn’t just marrying anyone. I was marrying a girl who was ABSOLUTELY HOT! For an overweight, balding guy who made no money, I was pulling off quite the upset. And not only was she hot, she was independent and a successful businesswoman who made good money. Even my good friends who love me dearly couldn’t figure out how I was managing it. Several people asked me (in all seriousness) if I was bribing her somehow or if I was slipping some kind of mind control substance in her coffee everyday.
I would’ve been upset about these insulting questions if only I wasn’t wondering the same exact things myself.
So on January 13, 2006 (Friday the 13th I might add), I was not like most grooms. I wasn’t nervous about commitment or spending the rest of my life with just one woman. I gave no thought to how hard it was going to be living with a woman. And I certainly wasn’t preoccupied with standing up in front of everyone I know and professing my love for MJ (as you might have guessed, I kind of like attention!).
The only thing I was worried about was getting to the line of scrimmage (the altar) and hiking the ball (saying our vows to make it legally binding) before she called for an instant replay and realized how much better she could do.
But she didn’t back out. And when she appeared at the end of that church aisle, it was like someone punched me in the gut and sucked all the air out of my body. To this day I’ve never seen someone look so beautiful, and I’m not afraid to say I wasn’t able to hold back the tears as she made her way to me.
I remember my best man and best friend Craig leaned over and whispered “Wow. See that? She’s all yours.” And it hit me. She really was all mine. This gorgeous woman who could have anyone in the world is pledging her eternal love to me. ME!!! I felt like a kid who had misbehaved all year but through some glitch in Santa’s system, still got the toy he really wanted.
So here we are four years later.
I’d be lying if I said it was all smiles and good times. Truth be told, we haven’t enjoyed these last four years so much as survived them. Hell, it started the day after we were married when MJ got a speeding ticket on our way to North Adams. Then, later that night, we started a romantic fire in our suite. Only problem was the fireplace malfunctioned and the room filled up with smoke. And of course this was during the Patriots-Broncos playoff game. So we had half a dozen North Adams firefighters trudging through our honeymoon suite with the doors and windows open in 13-degree weather as the Patriots lost.
Then MJ was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and spent our first Valentine’s Day in the hospital. We got a dog only to have it run away and never come back. We tried twice for children and went through the agony of two miscarriages. Then the market crashed and we were upside down on the condo, right around the same time as MJ lost her job at Bank of America. All the while we were battling health problems, postpartum depression, regular depression and a million other things.
We’ve called each other every name in the book during fights, and sometimes we’ve even made up our own. She’s thrown a broom at me as well as cartons of yogurt. We’ve both sworn each other off for good 100 different times.
And yet, no one else on this Earth could make me as happy as MJ does.
Sometimes two people are just made for each other. I won’t say a “perfect fit” because there’s no such thing. But somehow MJ and I just work. We’re a little unorthodox but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And four years after I said “I do,” I still think she’s the hottest piece of ass anywhere around and I love her even more. She’s the best wife, mother and friend a jackass like myself could ever for. And I love that while we don’t always get along, we both know we’ll always make it and we can lean on each other when necessary.
Happy anniversary baby. I know I’m no prize, but I guarantee no one on this planet loves you as much as I do. What I lack in all other arenas I try to make up for by constantly showing you how much I care about you. Even if that manifests itself in copious amounts of groping.
So my best friend and my eternal love, here’s to a great start and an even better road ahead. And here’s what the happiest moment of my life felt like four years ago today: