On Saturday, Doug and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary.
Indulge me while I reminisce… and perhaps get a little schmaltzy.
Our three years of on and off dating (mostly off and mostly my fault.. okay, all my fault)
nearly drove him away from me
but he hung in there
and finally surprised me
by proposing to me while we were on a White House tour.
I had relatives in town and asked a friend, Teresa, who worked for Vice President Bush
to take us on a tour, and I invited Doug to join us.
Just as we headed toward the press briefing room, my aunt said, “Oh I’m out of film!”
Teresa said, “Laurie, you and Doug go ahead and I’ll take your family back to get some film. You can tell Doug about the pressroom and we’ll catch up with you in a few minutes.”
We walked ahead and entered the briefing room.
Just Doug and me.
This is odd, I thought, but I dutifully stepped up to my tour guide role.
“This is where Helen Thomas sits. This is where Sam Donaldson sits…” I said pointing to their different seats.
Doug interrupted me and said, “I don’t really care about all that.” Then he took my hand, and led me to President Reagan’s podium in the front of the briefing room.
Then he pulled out a beautiful diamond ring and said,
“My favorite line from Les Miserables is ‘to love another person is to see the face of God.’
I see the face of God in you.”
How could I resist?
He slipped the ring on my finger and I was so overjoyed I couldn’t stop my hand from shaking.
I don’t know if I was shaking because of the stunning ring, the surprise, the historic setting
or just Doug wanting me to be his wife.
It was probably a combination of all of them.
The White House guards returned to the room
and I showed them the sparkling ring on my shaky hand
and they hugged and congratulated me.
Teresa and my family then came in and confessed
the camera and film ruse was just a ploy to give us a few minutes alone.
It was the perfect place for him to propose
because next to the U.S. Capitol, it’s my favorite building in Washington, D.C.
In honor of our 23rd anniversary, here are 23 reasons why I can’t help but love my sweet husband…
1. He gets me. A simple statement but a huge blessing.
2. When I delivered Sara, the hospital nurses at GW Hospital treated Doug like a King. They brought him a delicious breakfast. Then, they induced labor. Doug quietly pushed the tray aside and never said a word about how he lost his appetite after seeing what labor does to a woman. That is true love.
3. After Sara was born, Doug bundled her up in what he called his “torpedo” wrap, and took her to her first pediatrician appointment. I knew then he would always be my equal partner in the parenting department.
4. I’ve never wondered whether he loves me. Never.
5. He cracks me up.
6. He’s the best therapist/counselor in the world because he knows how to listen and helps me stay real.
7. When Annie was little, she woke up almost every night and came into our room. I thought we needed to train her to stay in her own bed. Doug said, “Pretty soon she won’t want to come in here so let’s enjoy it while she does.” He was right. And having her snuggle with us is one of our favorite memories.
8. He’s a great gift giver. When I started consulting after quitting my full-time job, he hired a friend to design business cards and stationery to get me inspired and to let me know he believed in me. That gift helped me believe in me!
9. He puts up with my crazy ideas like when I sold all our dining room furniture on Craigslist and transformed the dining room into my office.
10. He gives me the Washington Post Magazine every Sunday and lets me immerse myself in the crossword puzzle even though he says I get so hyper-focused on it that I shut him out.
11. He appreciates the fact that I need girl time, a lot of it.
12. He plans memories.
13. He told me he wishes he could write like Victor Hugo and me. He put me in the same class as Victor Hugo, his favorite author. Now, there’s a love-smitten man.
14. He is my biggest fan. I had five speaking engagements on the same topic (the food drive I blogged about last week). He attended every one of them and acted as interested in the last one as he did the first.
15. When I went through chemotherapy, he showed up at every treatment and nearly every doctor appointment even when I had someone else there with me. He had to make sure I was okay.
16. He gave me 32 Neupogen injections and never even winced.
17. Even when I was bald, bloated and had lost all sense of myself, he loved me. In fact, I think he might have even loved me more.
17. He is the most optimistic, cheerful person I know.
18. We are a great team.
19. He always has a plan, and it always include me.
20. He lives to make me happy. Really, he does.
21. He sends me flowers for my birthday, anniversary, and Valentines every year. He even sends flowers to Sara and Annie on their birthdays and on Valentines Day, even if they’re in London for study abroad.
22. He is a genuinely good man in every way.
23. He is the most loveable human being I know. I still can’t believe he chose me to be his wife and that 23 years after our wedding day he still loves me. I mean, he really, really loves me. Is there anything in the world more wonderful for a woman than to know than that she is truly, deeply loved?
As Jean Valjean said in our favorite play, “Remember to love each other always. There’s scarcely anything else in life but that.”
Happy Anniversary Doug.