Fourteen Visits

We met at TGI Fridays, over 13 years ago. Talked a few weeks after 9/11 when every American was reaching out to strangers as I did, stranded for over a week in Italy because they wouldn’t let me fly home.

We ended up in a group around a late lunch and then there were only the two of us, three hours later. I had to go home to feed my cat, so we shook hands and exchanged phone numbers.

He called me the next night to go to a movie. He opened the car door for me, took my hand and never let go. Sunday it’ll be 12 years of marriage. We’re apart by miles but still together.

We eloped because I didn’t want my divorced parents in the same room together with a small party of friends. A Navy Captain married us and there were eight, including us, at the wedding and the reception, a luncheon we hosted for the Captain and “Admiral” (his wife) and several friends.

We stick together and are still in touch with the “Admiral” whose husband passed a few years ago and we flew to Annapolis for his burial. Their sons are my brothers and I’m “sis.”

I’m also “sis” with my husband’s younger brother, who took a long time to like me. But this is about my husband.

Our first weekend together, I was taking care of several neighborhood friends pets. Feeding birds, cats, walking dogs. He did 14 visits with me then asked “what’s next?” I was exhausted. He took me to Pane e Tulipane (he hates movies with subtitles) and I fell asleep on his shoulder. I still haven’t seen that film.

And Tweety and Moccasin, Coppertop and Dave and Gus and everyone welcomed him to the family. The next month I was walking a dog in the neighborhood, he joined me and we found him a house a thousand feet from mine. We married a year later. He tried to come over for dinner, desperately allergic to cats. He bought a gas mask and wore it for ten minutes, sounding like Darth Vader. Luke, I am your father.

We went out to dinner and married a year later. The cat went to live with the Corgi he loved, for several years, dog of very nice neighbors. He’s gone, along with the others, and we got a dog a year into our marriage who is getting old. She’s very healthy but I don’t want to see her go.

My husband wrote me from afar that he needed to be desperate for me to love and marry me. That took all of three weeks. It was another year before he took me to the family interrogation and married me.

This guy went with me on 14 pet visits in one weekend. Do you think he was just playing hard to get??? Happy anniversary Jim, from your wife Dee

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