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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flying Time

You probably didn’t notice last week I missed a post. I have both a good excuse and a good reason.

The excuse is that I had surgery on Tuesday, which rendered me temporarily unable to lift my laptop and therefore unable to do any computer stuff that required a keyboard.

The reason, however, is that my wife and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last week. So please forgive me if I get a little maudlin and introspective for today.

Eight years ago, I had it all. I had a very lucrative engineering position doing work I found enjoyable with a boss that went out of his way to shield me from the Dilbert Zone meetings and falderal that keeps engineers from doing anything useful in a given week. I had a good paycheck, no debt (I paid my student loans and car loans off early), an obscenely cheap apartment, and culinary tastes that trended toward Kraft macaroni and meatloaf. That meant I had a lot of disposable income to throw around, and I did. I accumulated action figures, video games, and indulged in high-barrier-to-entry hobbies like playing the banjo, target shooting and paintballing.

With my obscenely cheap apartment, I had no need of roommates, so I didn’t have to clean unless the mess made me angry. Which is how I found out why they called it spring cleaning. If you’re only going to vacuum once a year, do it when the weather’s warm enough to open the windows.

My weekend evenings consisted of watching DVDs of movies on a large television while eating chicken wings with homemade sauce (which I will pit against any restaurant that claims to serve “buffalo wings” that is not located within twenty miles of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.).

I was living the dream. Why wasn’t I happy?

Seven years ago, I found out why. Thanks to the power of the internet , I met a lovely young woman who knew all about Ents and loved the movie UHF. She made me the happiest I’d even been in my life.

Six years ago, I asked her to marry me, and she made me the happiest man on the face of the earth.

Five years ago, we’d accumulated some ridiculous wedding planning stories, and still managed to have a wedding that was perfect for us: Guests come, see us get married, walk ten yards to the reception hall, eat some truly excellent hors douevres, talk a little, laugh a little, have some cake, and leave by five PM.

Party reptiles we are not.

We honeymooned in Nashville, where I got to play an actual honest to goodness Gibson banjo (which would have cost over four grand if I’d damaged it with my new and unfamiliar wedding ring) and we ate at the Waffle House every day.

Four years ago, we learned that my job was moving about twenty miles north, which meant that my wife and I had to find a new, not so obscenely cheap apartment closer to work. We moved everything ourselves; furniture and all; on the nastiest, coldest, rainiest day of the winter. Down two flights of stairs, and up three. We filled a 16 foot Budget truck three times.

Three years ago, we were blessed with our first child. A daughter, as strong willed and full of life as one would expect given my wife’s and my respective family histories. She was, and remains, one of the most delightful children ever conceived. I’d say I’m proud of her except I don’t want to insult her via gross understatement.

Two years ago, I got laid off from my lucrative engineering job, leaving me free to help tend to my pregnant wife when I wasn’t beating the pavement trying to find someone who would hire me.

One year ago, I had a new job, a new mortgage payment, and also a bouncing baby boy. As a father, it was nice to have an heir to the family name. As a geek, I was thrilled to have a tank for our guild. Because good lord, that boy is a tank.
This year, our anniversary was less eventful, which is a blessing of its own when you’ve had a decade like we’ve just had. I look forward to many more uneventful days with my family. The family I couldn’t have even imagined eight years ago, in the life that I didn’t even know I wanted eight years ago.

Eight years ago, I had it all. Today, I have everything.

I’d say that’s more than a fair trade.