So growing up, I had a choice of sorts: focus on girls or focus on my education. I chose the latter, and became the first in my immediate family to graduate from college when I walked across the stage in the Frank Erwin Center in 2005. Since then, I’ve stacked up a certain degree of professional accomplishment that has led me to believe that I made the right decision back in my pre-teen years. I also have Jenny Restrepo to thank for reinforcing to me that spending years of my life chasing women was a waste of my time (I’d have to re-learn that lesson years later, mind you).
I share this to lay the groundwork for a decision that I, along with the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, made yesterday. We got married. In the Travis County Courthouse. Besides the judge, only my good friend Terry Lickona was in the room. I wanted a man, a friend I could trust there. And someone who didn’t question my decision making. Girls our age imagine fancy weddings because that’s what they’ve spent many of their summer weekends attending since college. Guys my age question any guy who wants to settle down.
So yesterday at 4pm, I married the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known (without even talking about how she looks). That’s not husband talk either. I’ve thought that since our first date four months ago. Yes, four months ago. It was a business lunch that turned into a date about 10 minutes into the conversation. By our second date, I had started figuring out what steps were needed to make a proposal. After each date, I spent hours online researching the perfect ring. I traveled a lot for work during that time and spent even more time doing internal, introspective research to confirm the decision I made after our third date. I was going to marry this woman. I had to.
Now I’ve heard people say “you know when you know” but it’s hard to give any weight to such a statement until you’ve been in that position. After years and years and years of relationship after relationship, guesses, uncertainties, doubts, second chances, and mistakes aplenty, I finally reached a point to say “fuck it” and go back to focusing on myself. Then I met her, and the game changed. Cliché or not, this is what I felt and what I will tell our children one day. There’s no other explanation.
We’re complete opposites but have one thing in common. We both wanted to make this commitment to one another and didn’t want a long engagement or fancy wedding to prove it. You know when you know, we both understand now.
So we didn’t do all the invitations and bridesmaid dresses and location scouting and parent-pleasing. We just did what was best for us. We got married. We’ll have a ring ceremony on our one-year anniversary and worry about involving other people then. People can be disappointed about not being invited then.
Ultimately what I’m sharing here isn’t the story of how I met and why I married my wife (I have a million reasons there). No, what I wanted to share was something more important. Too many people spend too much time in life – their personal lives, their professional lives, their love lives – worrying about what other people want instead of listening to what they want for themselves. The second I knew getting married to this special woman is what I wanted to happen in my life, I said screw the rest and made it happen. I hope our children look back on this important day in the lives of their mom and dad and learn something that will positively shape their lives and decision-making.
[Quick word of clarification. My wife is not pregnant nor do we plan to be for several years. Thank you for your concern. lol]