On February 24th, your mommy and daddy celebrated their four-year wedding anniversary. I told your father that it feels like we've been married a lot longer than that (but in a good way, of course). You'll probably hear me tell this story to you a lot as you grow up, but here is the story of your mommy and daddy:
In 2004, I began teaching English at Graham High School in Alamance County. I recently came back from a three year teaching stint in Japan and was starting a new life in North Carolina after all that time. It was not the easiest transition for me. I was a new teacher in a new town, and I was all alone. I taught next door to your Aunt Jeanine with whom I quickly became good friends. She taught history at the same school, and when she discovered that I was single, she decided to let tell your daddy about me. I think she even asked him, "So, what do you think of Asian women?"
After Aunt Jeanine described me to your father, they came up with a plan to have him show up at the school during my planning period so that he could check me out. Completely oblivious to the plan, I showed no interest in your father. I was simply too stressed and too busy to even notice that he was checking me out. He showed up once more, on Jeanine's birthday, under the guise of bringing her a birthday gift. She was conveniently nowhere to be found, so he left the gift with me to give to her. It was a birthday bag full of Tastey Cakes. (I thought that was weird.) Still, your father did not ask me out... and still, your mother had no clue that he was even interested.
In December of 2004, I was hanging out with my best friend, Angela, and she told me that I really needed to make friends in my area. I told her about your father and how he could potentially be a new friend for me. She dared me to call him and ask him out. At first I was resistant, but then she bet me two dollars to do it... so I decided to call your father up and ask him out. He accepted.
Our first "date" was at your Aunt Jeanine's house. We went over to help her put Christmas lights on her tree. While there, your cousin Jake put on a play that he wrote himself. I don't remember the plot except that it involved a lot of beating up your father. At one point, your father bent over to pick something up off the floor and bumped his head on a closet door knob. Later, we all went to downtown Graham to watch the Christmas fireworks. During the fireworks, your father suggested that we go and grab a bite to eat at Panera's. On the way to our cars, he slipped and tripped on a curb covered with leaves. (I started to think that he was a klutz.)
At Panera's, we each ordered a sandwich combo. I was starving and scarfed down my food. Your father, on the other hand, barely ate his food. Despite this awkwardness, we a nice conversation about 80s movies and other things. I convinced him watch Enemy Mines which he later regretted. At one point during the meal, your daddy took a bite of his sandwich, made a face, and proceeded to wipe his tongue with a napkin. Yes, his tongue, not his mouth. Then, he excused himself to the bathroom. I thought that was bizarre.
At the end of the night, I thought that your daddy was a nice man, but I had no interest in being his girlfriend. There was just no spark. A week later, your daddy called me to see if I was interested in going to the North Carolina Museum of Art to see an exhibit. I reluctantly agreed to go. I could tell that your daddy liked me, but I just didn't like him in the same way. I decided to make the date start early that day, at 11:00 a.m., so that I skip out early and still have my weekend to myself.
When your daddy showed up, he handed me some stapled pieces of paper. It was a report that he had written, giving me a movie review of Enemy Mines. He had watched the movie and wanted to impress me with the report, posing as a student. It was very sweet. We made our way to the museum and spent a lovely day together. At the end of the day, I didn't want our date to end, so I invited your daddy to my apartment, and we talked and talked and talked. This time, he wasn't nervous or acting like a klutz. He was actually quite charming. He didn't leave my apartment until close to midnight that night. After he left, I decided to give him a chance.
Four years later, we are happily married, and I couldn't imagine my life without him. We celebrated our anniversary with a quiet night at home. Daddy made me a delicious pork stir fry with broccoli, and mommy prepared fruit for a chocolate fondue dessert. Over dinner and dessert, we talked about some of our favorite memories of being a couple. In a way, you were there to share that special day with us. As my present to daddy, I gave him a picture frame that said, "Family... All because two people fell in love." I am grateful that we fell in love, and I am grateful that you will be a special part of our little family.