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.
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.