The game plan tonight is to get her favorite carry out from restaurant It’s A Matter of Taste and eat in the formal dining room. I will have a bottle of Pinot Grigio chilled. And I will finish off dinner with cup cakes from a local bakery.
Then we will retreat to the basement to watch a movie and snuggle under blankets on a giant bean bag. That is how I plan to enjoy my 22nd wedding anniversary with my wife Abs.
But I can already tell you that it won’t happen that way. Something will foil our plans and we will end up eating spam sandwiches in the car while watching traffic go by on Grand River Road. That’s what happens when you get married and have children. Things are fun and hectic and the best laid plans are scrambled at the last minute.
Many of you know what I’m talking about. Kids get sick. Kids have activities. Adults make changes. There might be a flood in the house which happened to us. Or one of the kids might crack up the car which thankfully has not happened. In other words marriage is not a calm joy ride. Sometimes you want to pull your hair out. Sometimes you say dirty words. And the best laid plans change.
But there are other moments when you hold hands, say you love each other and fall asleep on the couch.
My wife’s name was Adrienne Bonner. But I called her Abs, not because she had a flat stomach. I said Adrienne Bonner is Sweet and came up with the name Abs. I became attracted to the girl because the first time I saw her she had on a cute skirt and I joked that she had long legs that went from “here to yar.”
Abs always denies the real way we met. She will tell you that friends set up a blind date. The real deal is I picked her up, but she has too much pride to admit she got picked up even by her future husband.
I was out that chilly November night with the men at a Royal Oak bar talking to women. I grew tired of the game, trying to impress strangers in front of horney men. So I left to grab a hot tea at Caribou Coffee. A very professional looking woman walked in with her short skirt and business jacket for a decaf coffee.
She made the mistake of sitting near me. I started up a conversation. I told her about my evening of trying to pick up women. She said she was not the pick up type. We had dinner that night and danced at another establishment in Royal Oak.
That sounds like a pick up to me. I walked her to her car and she extended her hand for a hand shake. I blew right through her arm and hugged her.
I was smitten.
I was sort of seeing someone at the time. So the next day I went to Pistol’s apartment, told her I think I met somebody special and said we could no longer go out. Pistol thanked me for my honesty and said I would be back.
I never returned.
I married Abs less than two year later and have two children. Celine, 21, is a senior at Stanford University and will be working in Chicago after she graduates next summer. Brandon, 18, is a freshman at Michigan State University.
They were the reasons plans always got changed. I planned a family vacation where we would drive to Yosemite National Park and Wyoming. I got too much blow back so we did a driving tour of Indianapolis, St. Louis, Memphis and Louisville.
There so many other plans that got gutted because of soccer, school plays, recitals and award ceremonies. That’s OK. We still had each other and that is all that counts.
I knew Abs loved me but I didn’t fully understand the levels until I got sick four years ago. I needed rehab in order to walk and talk again after suffering a stroke. The insurance company gave us a hard time scheduling rehab sessions.
She was in her office arguing with a woman on the phone. Then Abs said to the woman: “I know you can do this. And you know that I know you can do this. So what are we going to do?”
There was a small pause and Abs began to rattle off dates and times for my rehab sessions. She turned from wife to patient advocate.
My friends joke how could she stay with me for 22 years. Well I think they are joking. I tell them about my vat of mind altering drugs that convince her to stay. Besides when she gets snippy with me I tell her of my girl friend who lives on the east side Shaquita Jankens.
So tonight we will celebrate with dinner, wine, dessert and a movie in the basement. And of course I will slip her a few milligrams of the mind altering drugs. That’s the plan at least.
Marriage is a fun ride, but you never know what twists and turns are lurking in the distance.Find Terry Foster Podcast here: