Twenty Years (and one day)

Married couple laughing by the sea

May 15, 1999, Beavertail Lighthouse, Jamestown, Rhode Island: The newlyweds laughing during a photoshot on the rocks by the sea (while all of their wedding guests drink all of the booze before they got back. Luckily the staff stashed a single bottle of Gewurtztraminer for them!)

Bride on a boat
Ann on the Aurora wearing a jacket over her dress

Yesterday was our 20th Wedding Anniversary. I meant to write something then, but work was busy and then Ann and I were out all evening at dinner and then at trivia. The day was a gorgeous day, far nicer than yesterday was (and yesterday was not bad, just a bit chilly and some on and off spitting rain.) Our wedding was held in Jamestown at the New American Baptist church, presided over by a Unitarian Minister reading a ceremony that we mostly wrote. Friends spoke and sang. My niece, who was around six at the time, was the flower girl and wanted to strew rose petals as she came down the aisle. But we had no rose petals so she pulled the heads off the flowers she was carrying and beaned people with them instead. We had a wedding scroll that people signed. We took pictures at Beavertail Lighthouse and we had a reception on Goat Island in Newport. And after all that, we had a three hour tour (a three hour tour 🎶) of the bay on the schooner Aurora (it was freezing by then and few were dressed for it. So, that happened.) The day was wonderful.

The next day we wore these fun and campy baseball caps that read BRIDE and GROOM. We wandered the piers of Newport visiting various stores. We split up at one point and I went into a Ben & Jerry’s to get some ice cream. The woman working there took one look at me, looked around, asked me where “BRIDE” was and when I said I wasn’t sure, she stuck her head out the window and began shouting, “BRIDE! BRIDE!” She realized soon after that she had been in Jamestown the day before and had actually seen us going into or coming out of the church.

“To twenty years: a good beginning.”

The next day we flew to Italy for a two week long honeymoon (from which exactly five photos exist as we forgot our camera.)

There are lots of stories from those days and I do enjoy telling them. But I will hold the ones I haven’t told here yet for another day. Twenty years seems like a long time when you are looking forward. When looking back, it seems quite short. So many things feel like yesterday. But one thing is constant: I won the lottery. I married my best friend, someone who makes me, in every way, a better person. And I found someone who can put up with me (no small feat, that) and who actually seems to (mostly) enjoy it.

I’ll end this with the words I said last night during our complimentary Prosecco toast: “To twenty years: a good beginning.”

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Pokémon

My daughter challenged me to write a blog post every day using a topic she chooses. And it’s been 4 days since my last one. But I got busy, OK?

I got into Pokémon a bit late in the game. Well, by the standard of now, not that late. The first game I played was Pokémon Pearl, a fourth generation game, set in the Sinnoh region. I started with a chimchar named Monty. The whole reason I started playing was because Marci was playing. She got her start with Emerald, a 3rd gen game on GameBoy Advance. In fact, that’s how she learned to read! But when Diamond and Pearl came out, they allowed for wireless interactions with others and she really wanted to play with me. So I got a DS and Pearl and we had a blast.

Over the years, we’ve continued to buy complementary games. Next it was Heart Gold (Marcy) and Soul Silver (me), Marci then did Platinum and I saw that round out, and then Black (Marci) and White (me). Marci got Black 2 but I skipped that one. Next came X (me) and Y (Marci), then Omega Ruby (me) and Alpha Sapphire (Marci), then Sun (Marci) and Moon (me), and then Ultra Sun (me) and Ultra Moon (Marci). With Let’s Go Eevee! I stopped. Mainly because I do not have a Switch and can’t really justify getting one for a single game. I may get on this fall when the 8th gen games Sword and Shield come out.

Out of all of them, Pearl and X are the only ones I finished (and I only finished X last year). I go through phases now where I play a lot and then I got through long stretches of not playing. For the last year and a half, I’ve mostly played Pokémon Go, and even that sporadically. I was to finish Moon and Ultra Sun and Marci tells me that of all the games, Black/White have the best story so I may have to circle back to White, if I can stand playing a game that many generations back from what I am used to graphically with Ultra Sun.

We’ve also played the card game over the years but only after we’d started playing Magic: The Gathering so it was a bit simplistic for us when we circled back around to it. It’s not a bad game and it does have some fun nuances to it, but it is hardly anywhere near as deep or strategic as Magic is. Of course, it’s also marketed to a younger audience. And there’s a not-bad Mac/iPad app for playing the card game that is fun to pull out ever once in a while.

For me, though, it’s not the cute characters, the apparently open world (that’s really railroaded until you complete much of the game), or the depth of the game play that makes Pokémon so special to me. It’s that it is something I bonded with Marci over for all these years. And it was the first thing that she knew more about than I did so I got to learn from her and she got to teach the old man some new tricks. I will always cherish those times and love that we can still geek out over upcoming game announcements and learning what we can about the impending Gen 8 release. And, this fall, we’ll get to play together again (either with me on my own Switch or by taking turns with hers). And I can’t wait!

The 8 Generation Starting Pokémon for Sword and Shield.