Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birthday Boy


We celebrated my husbands birthday yesterday. It was a very nice, if hectic, kind of day. This morning I'm sitting here having a cuppa and thinking about how lucky a girl can get. I married my best friend. Much like a great friendship, we really have made a good life for ourselves. Not in terms of wealth and often not in terms of great health but there is no one I would rather spend time with. I know lots of married couples who may have been together a long time but really don't like each other very much.

Roger and I found each other a very long time ago. Back in the dark ages of the mid to late 70s, Roger was working in the Deli near my apartment. I would go there everyday for coffee and deli stuff. When Roger made a sandwich for me-there was a sandwich like the Carnegie Deli makes in Manhattan. One sandwich that takes two people to eat. He was in college and I was a married lady trying to make sense of my doomed marriage. By the time I did make sense of it and found that it sucked rocks, he was getting his Masters Degree and, while he still worked in the deli, I had moved to another part of town to lick my wounds. I would hear about him from people and knew that he was working in a laboratory and doing well for himself.

Time went by...jeopardy music......One day I stopped to get my coffee at another deli across from another apartment and who should I run into by my old friend Roger-now all growed up and manly and the new owner of a neat boat. I was thrilled to see him again because he was always so nice and such a gentleman.
Roger asked me to go out for a boat ride. We went on a lovely day and I didn't hear from him again for a little while. Then I heard from him a lot. We compared notes on failed romances and the general emptyness of our lives. Somewhere in those many conversations a bell went off. The name of that song was "what's wrong with becoming more than friends?" Also, would it ruin a perfectly wonderful friendship?

On one of the best afternoons of my life he picked me up and we went out on the boat. He had put a rose in a Michelob bottle and like a great engineer, he told me about how he felt and how he envisioned our future together. Over great sandwiches and beer I found myself seeing this friend take on a whole other persona. He went from good friend to the man I fell in love with. I thought to myself, "This is what it feels like to love a man who knows who he is. He was a man with a plan. I still think of that afternoon with a butterfly in the tummy.

In all my messed up life before that day, no one had ever been more clear, romantic, and reasonable. Now you wouldn't think that being reasonable would be romantic but I tell you that I held onto him like a life vest. For so long I had wondered why some people get the good life and some don't. When I listened to Roger describe our possible future I could feel myself let go and love. I knew then that no matter how long it takes, you'll most likely get the life you plan for when you stop trying so hard to live up to what other people say life should be. I had somehow stumbled into the best thing, the thing I had dreamed of. A man who knew what he wanted and knew his first priority was his family. He's what a man, and a husband, should be. His wonderful Mother and Father taught him right.

I am grateful everyday for the karmic influence that brought is back together in that deli. A chance meeting, there are many delicatessens in my area. To paraphrase a famous movie line, "Of all the delis in this town, why did he turn up in mine?" Thank God he did.
Happy Birthday Baby.

12 comments:

Kay said...

Oh, Dee that's wonderful. What a love story and a moving tribute. Happy birthday to Roger, and my you have many more years together.

Terry said...

Oh my, I am smiling and trying not to cry, this is so lovely and loving. You are a lucky woman and he is a lucky guy. You have given my day a rosy glow!

Rian said...

What a lovely, sweet story. You are both very fortunate to have found each other and I believe it was meant to be.

After 25 years I still enjoy being with my man. It's good when you are friends with each other and LIKE doing things together.

Exuberant Color said...

What a great story. Some of us didn't have such good luck. I wish you many more years together and Happy birthday to Roger.

Deb Geyer said...

Do you happen to have a Kleenex?!!

What a lovely story! :-)

AnnieO said...

Your best friend had the courage to speak his heart and mind, how could you be expected to let that pass you by? Congratulations on being lucky AND smart enough to latch onto someone wonderful. I married a "keeper" too, after a wrong first marriage. :)

The Calico Cat said...

Such a wonderful story!

Debra said...

It's a good thing that even though you were not so sure of what you wanted that Roger was sure as rain who and what he wanted. Nothing like a decisive man to turn a girl's head! Lucky in love!

Bless you both!

Janet said...

That is probably one of the best "how we met" stories I've ever read! I just had goosebumps reading it. I'm so happy that you and Roger met and decided to be more than friends because it sounds like you have a wonderful life together.

Even though I'm really late, Happy Birthday, Roger!!

judy from northport said...

What a lucky woman you are!
And what a smart woman, to recognize something wonderful when it's right in front of you...

Libby said...

What a wonderful story! I am a firm believer in choosing your best friend for your mate.

Happy belated Birthday to Roger *s*

Darcie said...

What a story!!! A true love story.

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Roger!