Twenty minutes later I had a break and I called him back. He’d sounded concerned before, or I might have forgotten. I asked, “what’s up?”
“Uh, happy anniversary?” he replied.
I met Carlton about 10 years ago. He was different from the other guys at that party. We started dating and I knew this was truly different.
Carlton is amazing. He can explain a very complex theory to anyone of any experience level and make them feel comfortable. He is a born leader and a wonderful friend. But the best thing- beyond his intelligence and wit- is the size of his heart.
On our first date, Carlton told the heroic tale of how he’d rescued his cat from abuse. I thought yeah, likely story, is this how you get girls? But it was all true. He also loved my dog from the start. She’s a willful little dog, very feminine-looking but scrappy in personality. Lots of guys are trying so hard to be macho that they won’t even pet my dog.
We both love to have guests, and Carlton is a great host- always putting the feelings of the guests before his own. He is charming and effusive and funny (even if I don’t think the jokes at my expense are funny!).
But what makes this an anniversary isn’t just Carlton…it’s both of us. We are a good team. Carlton joked that our best teamwork is when we divide tasks and go our separate ways, but it does work! He is the balance to my personality. I tend to run wild and he tempers my emotions with thoughtfulness. I temper his cautiousness with my desire to try new things and enjoy the unexpected.
Tonight is not much of a big celebration…I’m home alone with Ainsley. Carlton and I had both kind of forgotten about our anniversary so we had no plans, other than the usual Monday stuff of having friends visit after Ainsley’s bedtime. But we don’t need a big celebration.
So thank you, Carlton, for being there for me through meeting, not dating, dating, and then seven great years of marriage.
I love you!