I'm not very romantic.
I like romance. But I'm not very good at it, and I'm certain Captain Reed would confirm this situation.
Most people assume that I planned our Valentine's Day wedding was a deeply thoughtful plan on my part. In truth, it was a happy accident.
I was looking for a Saturday in February. I don't even remember why we decided to do it in February. After convincing me that we were breaking up, Jeff proposed in October and we'd started moving into the house in January. It just so happened that one of the Saturdays in February was the 14th.
Turns out it was awesome. The 18 years that have followed that Saturday in 1998 have mostly been awesome. Like everyone else, we have experienced ups and down, twists and turns, huge losses and huge gains and days of mediocrity scattered in between.
The gains have included new friends and family members that I wouldn't give up for anything. If you're reading this, you're among those fine people. And I'm grateful for you.
So, please save this date in two year's time. I'm pretty sure we're going to try to replicate our wedding reception to celebrate with all the people we've collected between now and then. I'm not the only one who thinks it was a great time. Or that it seems like it was just yesterday that my bridesmaids and I were caught at the bar doing this:
That's one of my favorite pictures from among many taken that day. (Most of them by David Cowan, to give credit where credit is due.)
So plan now to be in Indianapolis trying not to get rib sauce on your fancy dress or suit or to over-indulge in cheesecake. We'll probably have a better vintage of champagne and Jeff might even share his fancy liquor.
But mostly it'll just be fun.