It’s interesting where and when you find yourself having a “moment” with your significant other. Sometimes it happens in the most unorthodox of places: like a tattoo shop.
Truth is, from time to time (and when my Catholic guilt allows) – J and I can get a reckless bone in our bodies. Like last Friday for example…served as a weekend long reminder that tequila and I are no longer friends…and neither John nor I can “hang” like we used to (though that doesn’t seem to stop us from trying). As our friend Sondra likes to put it: “Don’t you threaten me with a good time!”
March 24th marked one whole year of being engaged. Milestones are important to me for so many reasons – it’s a moment when I get to hit the “pause” button and acknowledge those occasional feelings of nostalgia I so vividly feel…lord knows I thrive off of them. Anniversaries like these freeze me in my tracks and allow me to put down mental markers and really appreciate all the growth I’ve undergone. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to know myself and accept certain things as truths… “Kathy-isms” you might even call them. One definite Kathy-ism is my insatiable need to commemorate all the “moments” that years later are still engrained in my heart and in my mind. Allow me to tell you a story:
Once upon a time, waaaay back when John and I first started dating – I remember an evening driving back from base – to what was then, “John’s apartment”. We hadn’t done anything spectacular that afternoon, other than pick up a few groceries to make dinner later on that evening – but there was an unspoken bond that already existed between the two of us even then. Have you ever had those moments with the person you love, where no words are spoken, perhaps not even a glance is exchanged – yet there’s this unexplainable and overwhelming sense of peace and fulfillment that you could live off for days? Oh, those were the good ol’ days. As we made the short 3-mile drive back to his apartment, John grabbed my hand and for lack of better words, began serenading me to a song I’d never heard before. The lyrics were dark, yet romantic, deep and hopeful…and hearing it from his lips for my ears, and my ears alone to hear…well, it sort of made me melt. In that moment, it became “our song”.
From that point on, “til kingdom come” became our “I love you” but on steroids. It was our go-to phrase when we really want to drive a point home, and it’s the white flag we raised when a fight had gone on too long. My husband (hehe – that still makes me giggle) is something of a one-upper (though he denies it vigorously every time I point it out) – As I excitedly suggested we “go for margaritas or a romantic dinner” the hubs inserted “after we go get matching tattoos” to the beginning of my statement.
Shell-shock would have been an understatement to describe my initial reaction to his suggestion (did I mention the Catholic guilt?) – on top of having every possible “what if” scenario run through my mind. But at the end of the day despite every horror story I’d heard, judgments I’m sure would be cast, and unsolicited opinions I was bound to hear – if marrying this man and promising him my love, loyalty and affection until kingdom come wasn’t good enough…than surely our faith in each other would be.
Turns out, our joint tattoo adventure ended up being somewhat of a romantic day. We’d both picked “high-pain” spots to place our tattoos (there’s an analogy somewhere in there waiting to be made) – and as I tried to zone out the pain by humming tunes to old songs my dad sang growing up – John was right there next to me, squeezing my hand, videotaping it on his phone, and assuring me that I was doing a wonderful job. The tattoo artist said this would be great practice for when “the babies” came along. I rewarded myself with the most fattening and unhealthy buttery and cream filled coffee I could find at the hipster coffee shop around the corner while I happily gave up the hot seat and watched as John took the stage.
This was John’s fourth tattoo (and it’s only a matter of time until #5 comes along) – but he swore this was by far the most painful one to date…though by his lack of body movement and robotic expression was incredibly misleading. We were sore for days (who knew?!) and went through a terrible itching phase while the tattoos healed…but here we are – two months later…married and officially “inked”.
^^ this man, he’s such a goof.
So there you go kids. Another “milestone” to add to the Kathy and John memory jar. I think I’ll call this one: remember the time we were young, and wild, and free?
ps: for those of you interested in watching the quick video John shot on his phone clearly demonstrating how brave I was on that sunny March “tattoo” excursion day (haha) - you can see it here. I don’t know what it is about this video – but it just makes me smile. Maybe it has something to do with how sweet and gentle this man can be and the clear look of terror on my face. Oh the memories…