Today is my husband’s birthday. I can’t tell you how irritating it is that the bastard will always be younger than I am (and that he reminds me of it often). Rude.
Monday night the little girls and I were running our birthday errands. We tracked down the gifts we wanted to give him and ended up at Target sifting through greeting cards. I’m rather verbose so the little girls each get him a card and I always get one from me too. As we were looking through them, and I was trying to avoid cards I’ve bought him before (or that were gag-worthy), my eyes fell upon this one…
Vegas. Sigh. Vegas has long been our “happy place.” Both my husband and I love to go. He plays poker, I shop, we sit by the pool, spend ridiculous amounts of money on dinner and shows, and we’re able to actually relax. We haven’t been in awhile but it’s the first place we think of when planning a quick vacation. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and hot.
I met my husband six years ago next weekend. I’d met him previously, but I hadn’t really met him. It was the wedding of my friend Eh’s sister and I was there alone. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was about that…I was so tired of attending weddings alone. The groomsmen were hassling me, I was dressed to the nines, and there was nobody at the wedding in which I had any interest. I was thinking I’d have cocktails, eat dinner, dance for just a bit, and then I’d head home. My Tivo had a lot more to offer…or so I thought.
As the cocktail hour was coming to a close, the family was taking their last pictures on the roof of the downtown skyscraper, and other guests were making there way down to the ballroom for dinner. The only people I knew well were the family so my plan was to head, as any smart single girl without a date would, to the bar. I got off the elevator, and the only person in the lobby of the ballroom, was my husband. Looking ridiculously dapper, hanging out and waiting for other guests to come down.
I said “hey!” so relieved to see a familiar face, “I need a glass of wine!” He didn’t remember who I was but seemed pleased to have company and I needed to waste time until the family came down to the reception. Or, more accurately, I needed safe harbor from the unruly groomsmen. And safe harbor he provided. He woo’d me all night. Bought me drinks, complimented my shoes, spent time sucking up to Eh’s nephews, danced with me, came along to the bar after the reception, and when one of those unruly groomsmen said incredulously “who is this guy…your husband?” he put his arm around me, laughed, and walked me past him to the bar for another drink.
That was a Saturday, our first date was the next Monday, and we haven’t been apart for more than a couple of days since. Here’s the thing. Things haven’t been so great all of these six years. That’s a ginormous understatement. But Vegas…Vegas always provided magic for us. Even in our worst of times, when we were both sure we wouldn’t make it, we could still be reminded of how much we truly liked each other when we were in Vegas. The last time we were there was one of our only visits in which we were really happy here at home too.
When I saw the card on the rack in Target something came to me. The truth is…now…that my “happy place” is anywhere my husband is. You could drop us anywhere and we’d be laughing, finding new places to enjoy spending time, making new friends, and finding ways to be successful in our work. Instead of writing a book’s worth in his birthday card (like usual), I told him just that.
And I’ve gotta say…it’s a lovely thing to realize that you’re happy place is exactly where/who you are.
TODAY: What if I celebrate my husband’s birthday by telling him how happy I am that he’s here?