The Mrs.

1,576,800 minutes


1,576,800 minutes.  1,576,800 moments so dear.  1,576,800 minutes–how do you measure, measure 3 years? In flowers planted, plantings killed, children conceived*, dogs adopted, miles driven, planes boarded, moments stolen, deployments endured, laughter shared, jokes created, basements finished, mountains climbed, rooms painted, blog posts published, rules broken, neighbors offended, friends made, friends alienated, funerals attended, weddings celebrated, kilometers sprinted, cities explored, gifts given, gifts received, children disciplined, children lauded, success realized, failures suffered, mortgages paid, cars repaired, vacations taken, vacations canceled, dreams materialized, dreams interrupted, shortcomings overlooked, taxes increased, taxes cut, sleep cycles shortened, admiration reciprocated, gaffes broadcast, secrets kept, skills showcased, cocktails shaken, toddies stirred, parties hosted, parties crashed, promises renewed?  In 1,576,800 minutes, how do you measure 3 years in the life?

Three years ago, Pretty Bride and I eloped after finding out I’d be deployed to either Iraq (again) or to Andrews AFB in January 2006.  She’d flown in from her PhD program in archeology at Penn State to see David Gray with me at the Fox Theatre.  Mr. Gray got sick, so instead of attending a concert, we called my pastor friend, Charlie, who ran a church 35 miles east of town to see if we could get hitched in his backyard.  Being a good man from Alabama who knew my penchant for spontaneity, he said “sure.”

We had 1 day before PB had to fly back to PA.  So, on 11/7/05, we got up, bought a dress (2 stores visited), picked and bought rings (8 stores visited), got my dog vaccinated, and headed east on I-20 by the planned time.  My cell rang, and Charlie asked if I had gotten the marriage certificate.

Me:  “I thought you had that.  I figured it came in your ‘preacher kit’.”
Charlie:  “Nope.  Wish it did.  You need to go to your county courthouse and get it.
Me:  “Oh shit.”
Charlie:  “What?”
Me:   “Dadgummit.  Time for a U-turn.”

We turned around, parked illegally, and sprinted into the Fulton County courthouse.  I was terrified I’d see someone I knew and told PB that if I suddenly dropped to the floor as if I’d dropped something, it was because I’d seen a colleague (I’d told my employer I’d been “held up by some events precipitated through the  National Guard” that day, which was sorta true, depending on your definition of “events precipitated”).  We got the piece of paper.  Folks in line for concealed weapons permits took longer to finish than we did.

Drove to Covington, GA and got hitched in my buddy’s backyard.  Stayed in tux and dress to freak out a couple friends with the news afterward and went to a kickass dinner.  Cried when I put her on the plane the next day but knew I’d see her Thanksgiving break.

By the time I was 30, I’d been invited to 49 weddings.  My 50th wedding was my least populated but my most enjoyable.  And, it was nice giving societal expectations a great big middle finger.


*both photos depict the days on which children were conceived.

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  1. Hey congrats! Nice tribute.

  2. Congratulations and happy anniversary to the both of you.

  3. avatgardener

    mushy magnanimous military man marries “master” mommy making more muskrats.


  4. avatgardener

    do you have stacks of notebooks with lists of things you’ve done and dates you done them? How many weddings, photos of conception dates, stores visited: disturbing collection of data amassed. I worry about you. Thank heavens you have a sane, smart pretty woman to keep you in line.
    A lot of things now make much more sense.

  5. you bastard! I still can’t believe I wasn’t there! Piss on you Wyatt!

  6. I’m with Figurehead. Lick my manure & Happy Anniversary!

  7. This rocks 87 ways from Sunday….and just so you know the previous record was something that rocked 84 ways from Sunday.


  8. That is so swwwweeeeet. Congratulations to you both. We all are so glad you both met and were married — not only to give us the lovely children you have…but also more importantly (well…to us who read your blog) all the stories that go along with marriage and those children. …Also I know what you mean about going to all those weddings. The Wife and I did that before we got married. That sucked…and since I’m hogging all this space, one more comment: David Gray?? Really? Isn’t he like the Kenny G of the 2000s? 😉

  9. Amazing as it may seem, my wife likes to boast that two of our boys were conceived on Air Force bases. I’ll share your story with her!

  10. YAY!!! Congrats!

  11. Happy Anniversary; hopefully some day I will be able to get married as well!

  12. Thanks, good blogger friends!
    AvatG, I sort of do…journals since 1984, so most of my life is on paper.

    Unfinished, You don’t like David Gray? Do you like to set fire to puppies?

    Duane, I don’t think it’s an “if” but rather a “when.” You might have to be patient, though.

  13. Happy anniversary! That’s very sweet. And a great way to look at it.

  14. Congratulations! Sweet post.

    But my irony meter pegged out. The same guy who called me out on my inadequate blog etiquette revels in “giving society expectations a great big middle finger” ??

    You can’t see it, but I’m waving my finger at you. My index finger. Tsk, tsk.

  15. um… dude! what is wrong with me? i totally typed a comment here yesterday.. i must have gone brain dead (probably distracted by something shiney.. or maybe a peanut..) and forgotten to hit submit..

    anyway, happy anniversary! and how awesome that you have pictures from the days both of your spawn were conceived! i only know some of the days of mine because we were trying to avoid… yeah. i’ve never actually tried to have a baby. we just have lots of sex.. and it just sort of.. happens.

  16. hm… wow. that comment was probably tmi. sorry about that.

    apparently i have internet tourettes today. i better go work on my nanowrimo for a while..

  17. Awwww tenderoni! Very sweet story of lovin’. Congrats on your anniversary!

  18. nnnnnnnnnJesse

    Congrats to you and pretty bride.

  19. Pingback: how i met yo mama | Father Muskrat

  20. Pingback: music and the art of behavior manipulation | Father Muskrat

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