Tuesday, November 13

Da Do Run Run

We met just before his 19th birthday. For those of you who are using your fingers to count up the intervening years, please remove the socks from your feet as you'll be needing all ten toes as well. And then you'll have to use a finger from someone else's hand. That's how you'll arrive at the number....

Are you there yet?

Did you guess?

Have you got it?

21 years ago.

I met him 21 years ago in college. We were both on the Speech and Debate squad. He, a debater and me a dramatic interpreter. (Did you have to reach hard to guess that?)

I remember distinctly the first time I saw him.

He. Was. Beautiful.

Long blond locks, clear blue eyes, winning smile which includes a dimple. I fell immediately in love...

with his debate partner.

While that's not totally true (I was not in love) the first time I spent much time at all with him was when his friend Steve wanted to come by my apartment. The two of them came over and spent some time with me. I don't really remember specifics about that night but I do remember thinking that this other guy with Steve was proving to be much more interesting than Steve. He made an impression. Although I ended that first meeting by kissing Steve goodnight (He likes to tell people this story of how we met) it would be the last kiss for Steve from me.

Because I was smitten.

He and I started hanging out together. Seeing movies, writing speeches, studying (ha! ha!), talking for hours. Oh, and kissing. It wasn't long at all before I was in love. Madly, deeply, wildly.

With him.

So I took him home.

I knew it was gonna stick when I introduced him to my family. My sisters adored him, my parents approved of him, and my brothers LIKED him. I shall say that last again and add the emphasis so you won't miss the subtlety. My brothers LIKED him. That's really when I knew he was a keeper.

So I married him.

And I have kept him all these years. I don't plan on releasing him anytime soon either, so you can forget about asking.

Four states, twelve houses, seven cars, four educational institutions, two continents, THREE children, and a wealth of shared experiences later, I am still madly, deeply, wildly, HELPLESSLY in love with him.

The word husband, in Dutch, is man. Spoken with the softer 'a' like in lawn, and not as round as the sound in the Jamaican mon, it is a great english-dutch transition word. I love it's sound. And I love to say it.

Mijn man.

Tomorrow is his birthday (you can do the math and arrive at the number) and in spite of his reticence about reaching this milestone, I want to use this venue to shout out from my bloggy rooftop a hearty gefeliciteerd to mijn man.

Happy Birthday, babe.

You still make my heart stand still.


  1. I love the Dutch translation. Somehow more lovely than "husband". Happy Birthday Man!

  2. Gelukkig verjaardag! (I know I'm using the wrong phrasing, but bear with me - I'm still not good at writing Dutch).

    Anyway, you know what I mean to say. Hope hubby's birthday is wonderul.

  3. Happy B-day to your husband!

    Beautiful, beautiful post.

  4. Awwwwww..... you got yourself a younger man! Brava. He's sweet and smart (to have nabbed you).

    Happy Birthday.

  5. Aw. This post is so sweet! Strictly speaking you should call him your echtgenoot, but that's just an ugly word.

  6. I enjoyed hearing of how you met--and your great love for your hubby! Just made my heart happy to hear the story.

    Please extend the happiest wishes for his birthday tomorrow!

    And thank you for sharing the story of your meeting--pretty special fellow for a very special gal :-))

  7. gelukkige verjaardag voor je man! what a great story told with so much love

    @ desert songbird: you are correct!
    @anneke: I like echtgenoot as well...it holds "genieten" "echt" and "genoot" as someone who shares things with you

  8. What a great post! Hope he has a great birthday tomorrow!

    I like the fact that the Dutch congratulate family members as well on their loved-one's birthday!

    So I'll say it a little bit early:

    Gefeliciteerd met je man op zijn verjaardag! :-)

  9. Congratulations to you all! Especially to you for finding such a catch. (You know, I'm kinda fonda your hubby!!) Hope he has a fantastic fun day!

  10. What a sweetie you are. Happy birthday to your old man.

    BTW, did you have to put the voice of Shawn Cassidy into my head?

  11. What fun - happy b-day to your special, beautiful man! He sounds lovely :)

  12. Aw, Jenn! What a sweet post. He sounds wonderful. But then again, I can't imagine you'd be married to someone less than that! Happy Birthday to your husband.

  13. P.S. There's a goodie on my blog for you.

  14. Hope you get a chance to get out and celebrate together!

    PS I added your blog to my A-list. Having fun reading about your life in The Netherlands and wishing I was there too! Can't wait to read more. Loving the stories about your preschooler too as I also have a 3 1/2 year old son.

  15. Awwwwwww,

    Gelukkig Verjaadag!

    Superest Happiest Birthday-est to your younger man. I loved this, by the way, though it leaves me dying for a few more DETAILS!

  16. @ Goofball: my mum usually says 'vechtgenoot' for fun, so maybe that's where the associations come from. :)

    (echtgenoot basically means the person with which your are bound "in de echt" ie. in marriage.)

  17. So lovely! Happy birthday to your husband!

  18. Happy B'day to your Hubby! And what a lovely present he received from you with this entry.

    Sweet story.

  19. aw - lovely!! happy, happy birthday to him!

  20. Happy Birthday to your one and only... Just happens to be my man's too!