What matters to me?
My mom taught me that to be happy was the key to life. Yes, she liked John Lennon a lot. So do I. Don’t you? What matters to me is being happy and what makes me happy is my family. I have a large family and I love them all, but there is a specific one that trumps them all. Her name is Anita and she’s my wife. I first met her on a boat at Lake Grapevine in Texas. There’s a story here that I feel compelled to share with everyone.
For those romantics who believe in love at first sight, I’m a walking talking testament that it exists. It’s hard to explain but the moment I saw her that first time, I knew I was going to marry her. No, it wasn’t lust. It was a much deeper feeling, one that words can’t describe. Let’s just say that I knew she was the one. Of course, I had some convincing to do. She wasn’t so sure. In fact, at one point, she even considered getting a restraining order against me.
Here’s what actually went down:
We met on a sunny afternoon on a boat that a friend of mine owned. There were several of us on this boat and we were out enjoying a beautiful sunny day. I spent the entire boat trip trying to muster up the courage to ask her out but there never seemed to be “the right moment”. We stopped at a local marina to take a break, grab some sodas and stretch our legs. By the way, she has some mighty fine legs. Anyways, I was standing by the ice cream color and she walked by me and said, “If you buy those bon-bons, I’ll eat them.” Well, that was my cue. I did and she did and later on we agreed to meet that evening for dinner with some friends.
Remember, I’m a hopeless romantic, so the next day, I sent her some yellow roses to her office thanking her for a wonderful afternoon. I got no response. I checked with the florist and he assured me that he put them in her hands. So the next day, I sent her some more yellow roses. This went on for another 4 or 5 days. I figure I sent her 5 dozen roses in the course of a week before I got the phone call. I remember that call like it was yesterday. “Joey, I got the flowers. Thank you. Will you stop sending me flowers?” Ahhh, nothing like an ice breaker to continue a conversation.
She invited me to lunch and later to her office to see all of the roses I had sent her. There were a lot of roses. She tried to let me down gently by telling me I was a nice guy and all but she wasn’t ready for a relationship. I smiled and said I understood but because of my tenacious (there’s that word again) attitude, I convinced her to come to dinner with me. She agreed and we had a great time.
I waited a few days before sending more flowers. This time I sent her two dozen red roses along with a note that the florist had ran out of yellow roses. I think this is about the time she mentioned something about a restraining order. My mind gets kind of foggy at this point because as they say, I was smitten. I guess I wore her down too. A few weeks went by and we took a trip to Maine for a friend’s wedding. When we returned, I asked her to marry me. She said yes.
Fast forward fourteen years and I can tell that my love for her has never diminished. I am as much in love with Anita today as I was that first time I saw her. She has blessed me with three sons and a happy home and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
I guess you could say that I’m a bulldog when it comes to determination. I don’t give up even when the odds are against me. I had instilled in me at an early that to succeed in life, you must lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. I live my life by that credo and it’s this same tenacity that I bring to any project I work on.
So there you have it. In fact, if you look to the left you will see what matters to me. Thank you Anita for a wonderful life.