Today Dom and I celebrate our fifteenth anniversary.  Last year for our anniversary I listed lyrics to my favorite “Dom Songs” that describe how and why I love him. Not that I couldn’t come up with a bah-jillion more songs to quote, but I decided this year’s post would share some of my favorite memories, so you can make fun of me later for all my silly sappiness.  I tried to keep them in chronological order, but I make no promises…except to him.  😉

  1. During our college days I used to stay sober (-ish?) at parties so I could drive Dom home safely.  This was back when he would only speak to me after he was well into his THIRD Bourbon-and-Coke of the evening.  If he had driven himself, I’d drive past his house later – which was a whole forty-five minutes out of the way – before I went home on the other side of the river, just to make sure his car was safely in his dad’s driveway.
  2. I memorized his license plate number in college.  I remember it to this day.  Every once in a while Stacey asks me to recite it and I fire it off like we’re still 21.  She giggles when I do that.
    (Yes, I stalked him.  But I mean, you already knew that, right???)
  3. In 1992 Dom sprained his ankle really badly in an intramural softball game – his leg bruised black all the way up to his knee.  As he hobbled around on crutches for the next week, he asked me to carry his backpack to class for him. [Swoon]  We got to the elevator just as the doors were about to shut, and I foolishly grabbed the metal of the door rather than the rubber pushy-thing that lets the door know not to close.  It was just me against the machine, using all my brute strength to try to keep that damn door from closing and making me look like a complete fool (‘cause obviously I needed help looking stupid, right?)  I just knew that door was going to close on my hand and I was going to be dead of mortal embarrassment before 9-1-1 ever arrived, but somehow, sheer dumb willpower forced it back open.  I know I broke a sweat trying to look calm and cool while struggling with that elevator door.  Dom just stood there, propped on his crutches, and smiled.
  4. That same year I graciously (ahem!!!) suffered a “D” on a writing assignment in a Business Communications class we shared, all because I had helped Dom write his paper and the professor gave him a “B” while citing on my paper that it “Looks too much like Dominic’s.”  Instead of protesting and risking Dom’s grade, I just decided that I didn’t like that professor very much.
  5. In 1993 we were “officially” dating and had enrolled in an English course together.  Turns out, this particular professor seemed to grade females easier.  Back atcha, babe!!
  6. As a teen and young adult I genuinely despised eating in front of other people.  I think it stemmed from having braces on my teeth when I went on my first date and being afraid of ignorantly smiling lettuce at the guy for the rest of the night.  At any rate, Dom knew I didn’t like eating in front of him when we began dating.  I remember one night we were eating pizza, and the cheese on mine wouldn’t tear, so as I pulled the crust away a big slice of pepperoni swung down and stuck to my chin RIGHT AS DOM LOOKED AT ME.  I probably turned three shades of red because he smiled and said, “Caught ya at a bad time, didn’t I?”
  7. When we were registering for wedding china and stemware I chose a simple and understated Noritake stemware called Turning Point.  I said it was because we had a turning point in our dating life.  Later, we had a turning point in our married life, and I love him all the more for it.  I now use that stemware almost daily (um, should I really admit that??) and it makes me smile to myself at its deeper meaning.
  8. We spent the first three years of marriage cooped up in a little apartment, stepping over laundry and each other.  And in that apartment we went to bed every night watching Apollo 13.  Even now when our home is a wavering wreck of what-the-hell-happened-here? we will look at each other and one of us will recite, “I can’t deal with cleaning up.  Let’s sell the house.”
  9. Dom never expected me to be a good cook.  But he used to frequently remind me of my pre-marriage promise to “cook meals ahead of time so he would have homemade lunches every day of the week.”  Yeah.  Like that happened!  But he loved me anyway.
  10. He never really wanted a dog, but he fell hard in love with Mason and, like me, suddenly couldn’t imagine life without that yellow furball.
  11. When the kids came along, Dom was right there in the diaper bin with me, and he could warm a bottle like nobody’s business.
  12. I gave him the “Amore Lighter” in college: a Zippo with an engraving that said – in Italian – “You have all my love forever.”  Years later I got pissed because he wouldn’t stop smoking and I broke the Amore Lighter.  (Welcome to my dark side, eh?  It is not without its regrets…)  This past Christmas Dom gave me an iPad:  he duplicated the phrase – again in Italian – on the back of the device.  And yes, I cried when I read it.
  13. Dom knows how much I love dogs, especially those with floppy ears and super-sized paws, and he knows those features cheer me up rather quickly.  On more than one occasion when I have been emotionally out-of-sorts, he has brought Mason to me – carrying the dog and placing ALL 80 POUNDS of him in my lap!
  14. As Eucharistic Ministers at our church, we now wear robes during the Masses at which we are scheduled to serve.  Our first “dressing out” was the night of the Easter Vigil this year.  We had argued for almost that entire day – over little, stupid things – and I was tempted to not speak to him for the rest of the evening.  As we stood in the church dressing room donning our robes, he glanced at himself in the mirror, looked over at me and said, “You actually look good in yours.”
    “Is that your way of apologizing for all the crap today???” I asked.
    “Yes.  Does it count?”
    It does. 🙂
  15. Just last week at Aaron’s 5th Grade Graduation and Awards Ceremony a slideshow  of photos from our son’s entire elementary experience was displayed with the opening line, “The Class of 2018.”  That factoid caught me unprepared emotionally, and I began to cry!  Dom turned to look at me, and I braced for The Look  – you know, the one that says, “Omigosh-are-you-REALLY-going-to-cry-over-this?!”  Without making eye contact I swiped at my eyes and said, “Shuddup!”  But he wasn’t teasing at all, nor did he speak.  He just leaned over and kissed me.

So I guess after fifteen years, he’s accustomed to my quirks by now.  Here’s to Happily Ever After, sweetie.  I love you more than life.