Today call me feliz. I mean, it is Cinco de Mayo. Of course I’m happy. And I haven’t even ordered a pitcher of margaritas. Or chips and guacamole. Which is making me question my priorities, frankly; but patience is a virtue and ¡Dios mío! I need all of that stuff I can get.
So I’ll wait until I’ve finished this post to flag down the waitress and ask about Holiday Specials.
In the meantime? It’s May 5th, the anniversary of the first time I went to Happy Hour with a now-dear friend (let’s call her La Bonita). It’s also the day she decided to set up me with “this great guy” she knew (I’ll call him Guillermo).
Of course I rejected her offer, as did the “great guy” in question (fool). But La Bonita knew better (gracias) and 24 hours later she subjected the fool and me to an ambush blind-date at a local Mexican restaurant-slash-bar called Cisco’s.
The date was May 6th, 1994. And the rest, as they say, es la historia. Or maybe no one says that.
Today I’m celebrating the anniversary of the evening I unwittingly met my future husband by sharing a few truths I had not yet learned as of May 5th, 1994.
(That’s right, kids. There was a time when Mommy didn’t know everything.)
At Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour, seventeen years ago, I didn’t know…
…How to think beyond tomorrow. (Although I could call Citibank from a bar to increase my credit limit.)
…That I’d never again win a game of cards. (Really. I suck. Hard.)
…How to pretend to enjoy skiing until one day I did. (Mostly. Please bring the glove warmers.)
…That I’d show up to work with no make-up and wet hair just to spend the night with Guillermo the Fool. (Shhh.)
…How delicious asparagus and lobster could be. (How did I not know?)
…That Dave Matthews Band sounds better after a few glasses of wine. (1985 Mill Creek Merlot).
…How lovely the sunset looks from your own balcony (Duh.)
…That a gift can be as simple as a bag of Ruffles brought home from the grocery store. (Reduced fat!)
…How stressful it is to buy a house and a wedding simultaneously. (Not recommended. A lot.)
…That I’d gain three sisters and call two new people Mom and Dad. (Gardners + Christiansons = yeah. I never learned to like math. I do, however, adore my family.)
…How much I had to discover about compromise, sacrifice and joy. (As it turns out? Everything.)
…That I’d give birth 365 days after receiving the keys to our first house. And then again two years later. (Ouch.)
…How hard surrender is. And also beautiful. (But the hard part’s what knocks the wind out of you.)
…That I’d feel both desperate for and also unworthy of so much love. (Still.)
…How scared, lucky, mad, excited, frustrated, hopeful, despairing, and full of gratitude I could be. (Very.)
…That the minutes would drag but the years would fly. (It’s science. I’m pretty sure.)
…How to fold underwear but not sheets and which pillows are best for hugging and what meals make all four of us smile and when to push and where to pull and the scream of silence and the noise of laughter and how to operate the DVR so no one misses a favorite show and what room is best for reading together and how we spend our time apart and when we need space or intimacy and how to love and hate or forgive and forget and move past the bad while never letting go of the good and that most mountains are better to climb up than to die on.
Seventeen years ago today, I didn’t know that my greatest weaknesses and strengths, my biggest failures and successes, my deepest loves would grow outside of me.
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