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.

What matters to me is my wife.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.