Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Mr. Wonderful

Mike turns 45 today, at 11:55 p.m. to be precise. I just wanted to take a few minutes to celebrate his life on the planet.

When I was in college, I saw a therapist for a few months, and one of the things she had me do was to make a list of what I most wanted in a man. (I think it was connected to some ambivalence over my ex-boyfriend.) The lengthy list included characteristics such as "likes to sing," "confident," "appreciative," "integrity," "good sense of humor," "spiritual," "loves to read," "likes the outdoors," "likes travel," etc. After we'd been together for a few years, I found that list again in a stack of college papers. Mike fit the description to a tee. I must have been sending a message out into the universe or God or something like that, and my prayers were answered.

I fell in love with Mike through his letters. After we first met, he had a university friend visit for several weeks, and since she had a crush on him, sensitive soul that he is, he decided it would be better to let her down easily and tell her about me later in the visit. (He lived in Osaka and I lived in Wakayama, about 50 miles away.) So for the first month, we wrote letters to each other. He charmed me through his romantic, funny, beautiful letters, which I will always treasure. After that first month apart, we became inseparable on the weekends. We were disgustingly sappy and affectionate...I'm sure we sickened everyone around us. We scandalized the prim Japanese by snogging (gotta love that British term) right out in the open in front of everyone...I distinctly remember making out on a major bridge in the middle of Osaka the first night we got together after that month apart. Shocking!!!

First early days in love--on a Wakayama beach--22 and 24 years old!

I feel exceptionally lucky to have found a life partner whose company I enjoy so much. When we left Japan, we traveled for 2-1/2 months through Asia, together 24 hours a day. With the exception of one tiny little spat (which lasted for about 1/2 hour), we never tired of one another's company. If a couple can travel in developing countries together and enjoy the experience, I'd say they're set for life! We slept in dilapidated hotel rooms, rode camels across the desolate Indian desert led by crazy guides who could have robbed us and left us for dead!, wined and dined in hole-in-the-wall restaurants and a few fancy spots, stayed on the beach in Java, Indonesia, and in the forest in Ubud, Bali, stayed in a lake palace hotel in India accessible only by boat, rode the train throughout Asia, and had fantastic adventures.

Initially, our mutual interests drew us together, and I appreciate the fact that we are so compatible in books, music, movies, theater, travel, and other activities. But beyond that, I am truly grateful to be married to Mike because he is so compassionate, kind, and loving. He is such a fun and playful dad. He would NEVER forget my birthday, Valentine's Day, or our anniversary. Although we don't have as much time for romance and soulful conversation as we did before having three children, I look forward to the days when we can focus more on each other once again. I look forward to growing old with Mike at my side, partners in life and in love. Happy birthday, my darling. Here's to another 45 (or more) wonderful years!!

Celebrating my birthday last October at a night out with friends


  1. How sweet...made me cry. You two definitely were made for each other. Happy Birthday Mike!

  2. Marie, Anonymous is me! Mom

  3. Marie, I haven't read your blog for some time now, but I'm so glad I did tonight because I was able to read a great love story! Much love to you both. Mark and Caley