Today is my ninth wedding anniversary.
It was really romantic to get married right before Christmas, but it sure has made for unromantic anniversaries. We are always so busy with holiday this and that on the 21st that we are never able to do anything celebratory. We're always broke from buying Christmas presents. And we're always too sugared out to enjoy a re-creation of the wedding cake or other special treat. We pretty much don't do anything for our anniversary and we're both okay with that. We always say "we'll just do something in June for the six month anniversary" and then we always forget in June, and so it goes.
But it is a special day. And so I wish to mark it by sharing on my blog an unusual story about the extraordinary man I married.
It was April of 2007 and we were driving along Highway 101, the glorious and celebrated west coast highway, south of Bandon, Oregon. As we motored along through the misty mossy pine trees we spotted a sign that said "Eggs." We love fresh farm eggs, so we stopped. The sign led us down a dirt side road and then into a private drive. Coming up and around the curve of the driveway, we found ourselves approaching a ramshackle single-wide mobile home surrounded by rusting outbuildings and old cars. There were chickens running amok and glimpses of farm cats streaking from here to there. We knocked on the door of the trailer and an old man came out. He had long, grizzled grey hair and he was missing a tooth or two. He wore an old, ripped tshirt that was too tight and a pair of very short, tight jogging shorts that bordered on shockingly indecent. Despite his derelict appearance he was very amiable and his eggs were priced correctly so we bought. During the course of the transaction the Badger reached down and scooped up one of the farm cats and stroked it behind the ears. The cat sat peacefully in his arms until it was time for us to go. The Badger loves cats and misses having one, so that experience was a highlight for him.
So, it had been a good day. We had discovered that Bandon has the prettiest beaches on the south Oregon coast and we also now knew of a good place to buy fresh eggs not too far from home. We decided we would come back as soon as we could. We waited eagerly for another opportunity to take a trip to Bandon. It took a few weeks, but we finally got down there. And at the end of another glorious day of romping among the Bandon sea stacks we packed up our sandy kids and headed over to the egg guy's place. As we pulled in his drive we saw him sitting out on one of the old cars with a woman who looked like a suitable companion. We didn't think he would remember us. We were wrong.
The Badger got out of the car and approached the man. Suddenly the man looked surprised and turned to the woman next to him. "THAT'S the guy who picked up Yaow! That's him! He's the man who picked up Yaow!" When we looked puzzled, he explained. "Yaow never lets noone touch him. He's the meanest cat I've ever had and he claws everybody. And that guy just picked him up and Yaow didn't do nothing. He just sat there and let him pet him. I thought for sure Yaow was gonna attack him. And he didn't! He just sat there!" And so on, and on and on. He kept saying again and again to the woman, "That's the guy who picked up Yaow!" and treating the Badger like he was the Dalai Lama. We bought our eggs and drove away giggling. All the way home the Badger kept saying, in his best superhero voice, "Yes, I am the man who picked up Yaow!" and we would snort and giggle some more.
The Badger wears many titles-- husband, father, son, brother, airplane captain-- but I think his favorite is "The Man Who Picked Up Yaow."
It's obvious from that incident that I married someone remarkable in ways seen only to feline eyes. But I doubt that even Yaow could love him as much as I do.