Monday, October 19, 2009

Proper Anniversary Post

Note: I was supposed to post this on our actual anniversary, but was instead visiting landfills. The idea was to do it yearly to not only remember the fateful day, but to avoid ever having to actually write an anniversary post again. The fact that I'm late my actually be the best possible comment on what it's actually like to be stuck with me.

Some number of years ago, some number of people turned out to watch Amy put on a gorgeous dress and make an incredible mistake. Armed with the courage of an open bar, this is what I told them -

When Amy was in medical school she was assigned partners for each of her various rotations. And from talking to them it sounds like having Amy in your group was a mixed blessing. On the one hand she was likely to make you a pretty nametag that not only told people who you were, but used drawings of little animals to depict your inner self, and stickers with phrases like “You’re Super” and “Neato” to keep your spirits up when times got hard. Someone told me it was like going to work everyday with a cheerleader. The problem was that on most rotations the attending only gave out one A and it turned out that the cheerleader was as smart as she was happy, and anyone who uses the word “Yippe” in conversation is pretty damn happy. And so the next thing they knew her partners would look up and the smiley little blond girl would have taken the A. Her classmates came up with a name for this phenomenon, and that’s how Amy became known in some circles as the Little White Cloud. Some days it’s a puppy, some days it’s a little bird, but it always looks cute and harmless, right up until it rains on your head.

I met Amy when I was in fourth grade and spent the next eight years with the Little White Cloud, so I was intimately familiar with this phenomenon. At some point you just come to accept the fact that she seems to float along while the rest of us have to walk. In fact, after a while, in its own warped way, it almost seems fair. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that you can never really escape the Little White Cloud. The minute I met her I knew that Amy was one in a million. When I went away to school in a city of something like 16 million I figured I had at least a fighting chance of finding another one. But it turns out it’s not really a question of large numbers. As anyone who’s ever met her can attest, Amy is absolutely unique. And that’s when I discovered the second curse of the Little White Cloud: even when it’s gone, it casts an impossibly long shadow. When she’s around you’re desperate just to keep up, and when she’s gone you’re desperate for something that measures up. Either way, there is only one Little White Cloud.

When we actually started dating I fully expected one of two outcomes. Either she would eventually wake up and move on, or I would wake up and discover that it was all a dream and that I actually lived in a small cardboard box. So I’m not positive how we actually ended up here. What I can say is that for the past 8 and ¾ years she has not only tolerated my idiocy, but supported, encouraged, and made cute little nametags for it. What I’ve chosen to do with my life isn’t easy and it certainly doesn’t pay well, and if at any time she had ever asked me to stop, to give it up, I’d have done so in a heartbeat. It’s a testament to just how incredibly lucky I am that the only times she’s used the words "stop" or "give up", they were directly preceded by the word "never".

So the question I get asked most often, right after where are my grandchildren, is why it’s taken almost nine years to get here. Honestly, like most of the people who’ve crossed her path in the past, I think it’s because I’ve spent the last nine years trying to be her equal, when all she’s ever asked is that I be myself. Given that she’s such an incredibly brilliant person, I have no rational explanation for why she’s sitting next to me today, except to say that this must all be in my head. So if, as I’ve suspected all along, this is indeed too good to be true and tomorrow I do wake up in a box I will gladly look around my cardboard home and count myself lucky to have even dreamed of such a person, let alone to have imagined marrying her. I will simply walk down to the nearest liquor store, buy myself a malt liquor, and next the time I find myself staring up at a little white cloud I will raise my Colt 45 and say I knew you were too good to be true. But until then, and for the last time tonight, I will raise this glass and thank you all for making it seem so real. Cheers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

NY People

Amy and I are now in year 12 of what I consider the best first date ever. To celebrate we went to NY. In lieu of gifts we posed for pictures near a landfill. That's how you do it in year 12.

To be fair it was a lovingly crafted landfill, built by some of the most talented landfill technicians in the feature film business and some of Amy's pictures include the back of JF's head (you know, the director, I just don't want to bait the search engines), which is the kind of thing you don't get if you just go to your local landfill for your anniversary. In all I think Amy saw enough of the filmmaking process to grasp how unglamorous and surprisingly smelly it all is. I expect her to pay more attention to locations in my future scripts. 'Would it hurt to put this North Korean prison in Paris?'

Anyway, we got to ditch being parents for a few days and just trying being people again. NY People, which are like regular people but louder and more likely to whistle at each other. Turns out we're both still totally awesome at it. Especially me. I got several compliments on NY Kyle.

And then we came home.

The twins have become obsessed with this sing a long DVD. It was written, performed, and delivered to our car by Satan himself. It's twenty minutes long, it plays on a loop, and it's all I think about. I sing the songs in my sleep. I introduce myself to people as Tempo the Tiger. I can only do mathematical calculations if they're phrased in terms of the number of monkeys still jumping on the bed plus or minus the ones who've already bumped their heads. NY Kyle would never do these things.

Which is why he's dead now. Actually, the DVD just had him on life support. Stacey pulled his plug. Buried him unceremoniously, and, ironically, in a landfill.

I became fascinated with as she was planning her own trip to find NY Stacey. Basically, people offer up their couches and floors to strangers, and in turn sleep on the couches and floors of other strangers. This is basically the only way I've ever traveled, and there are no shortage of people with stories about me not getting off their couch to prove it. I can't even go to certain parts of Seattle because a fellow surfer somehow thought a closed bathroom door was a clear indication our hosts wife would NOT be naked on the other side. He was wrong, and I haven't been near UW since. Anyway, with such great experiences, how could I not sign up? So I did.

Stacey's response: Why? You have two kids who go to bed and get up at 7:30, a pregnant wife, and you're asking them to sleep on your dining room floor. Why would anyone want to stay with you? She's basically saying that my life has become so lame that someone in their 20's wouldn't even visit, FOR FREE. Your NY self just isn't going to survive something like that.

Of course Stacey has been walking around in a baseball cap for the last day because she did something to her eyebrows that she absolutely refuses to reveal, and she did just have a 20 minute argument with Amy over whether 'frot' was just a synonym for 'rot' only to have wikipedia reveal it actually refers to homosexual dry-humping. So I'm not going to declare my couch hopeless just yet. There's a Mormon boardgame lover out there somewhere in need of a place to crash.

I guess the important thing to remember from all this is, if a girl with no eyebrows offers you a frotten banana, you should run.

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