A clinical psychologist recently told Sammy and me that she thinks we intuitively picked the best partners for ourselves, the ones that would compliment us and bring out the best in us. That sounds great. But that’s putting a lot of stock in the intuitive capacities of two 16-year-old's. Now, I love teenagers, and I think our society grossly underestimates them. But, I still think it’s a stretch to think that a 16-year-old Sammy and a 16-year-old Angie intuitively picked the best partners for themselves. Besides, through all that personality assessment I recently experienced, I learned that half the time I handle information intuitively and half the time I handle it with practical sense. So, a 16-year-old with half a capacity for intuition may not be held responsible for choosing the perfect life partner.
Whatever brought us together, here we are. Yesterday marked 15 years—15 years since we sat in a white Subaru Legacy in a Pizza Hut parking lot and Sammy asked me to be his girlfriend. And I said, “yes.” Our friends Mandy, Josh, and Jennifer were in a car beside us, and then we went to the mall to watch “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
15 of 31 years we’ve spent together. And he remembered! He arranged a babysitter; he brought me 15 red roses; he took me to that same Pizza Hut. It was relaxing, thoughtful, and perfect.
I got him a gift, too. The traditional gift for 15 years is crystal. I looked around, but I just couldn't see buying Sammy a crystal glass. He’d recently complained that his pens break all the time. And I found some pens made by Waterford—the infamous crystal company. I figured that was good enough—something practical and masculine with a name that means “crystal.”
I had a plate engraved for the pen box. Our cheesy saying that has seen us through the last 15 years has been, “Thank you for being you.” Now, at 15 years, I am certainly thankful that Sammy is Sammy. I’m still learning what it means for Sammy to be Sammy. But that didn't seem adequate this year. This year, I was aware that I could be thankful that Sammy was Sammy…and not be his wife, and not lead a family with him, and not share my life with him. This year, I was aware that Sammy chose 15 years ago to ask me to be his girlfriend, and he chose 8 years ago to ask me to be his wife, and he chose last month, and yesterday, and this morning to be part of “us.”
At this stage in our relationship, I am still exceedingly thankful to Sammy for being Sammy, but I am even more thankful to Sammy for choosing us. So, the engraved message on the box yesterday was, “Thank you for choosing us.” If the plate were big enough (and I could afford more engraving), then the entire message I would communicate to Sammy at this 15-year mark is, “Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for choosing us.”