Carla Elaine Gesell-Streeter was born on this day in 1962 in Urbana, IL to John and Carol Gesell. It was a Monday. “Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee and the Starliters was the #1 song in the US. “Gunsmoke” was the most popular television show. “Franny and Zooey” by J.D. Salinger was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Her father’s occupation is listed as “herdsman” on her birth certificate. What he actually did was run the Experimental Swine Farm at the University of Illinois. “Herdsman” sounds 100% more awesome, though. I’m going with that.
I was still 16 months and two days from existing. Promptness has never been my strong point.
Things happened after that. We spent more than 30 years wandering around. I did it obliviously. She had panache. Then we were introduced by a mutual friend for no reason stated other than (and I’m not making this up) “You’re both tall.”
She had a point.
In July of 1998 I took advantage of a terrible lapse in judgement on her part and we were married. Being the sappy people we were, we celebrated our one-month anniversary. Being the sappy people that we are, we’re still doing it 17 years later. Though for practical purposes we quit counting the months a long time ago. Like in August, 1998. But it’s a rare 10th of the month we don’t acknowledge.
Normally on her birthday I embarrass her with a post on Hoperatives. This year I decided to do it here because I’m posting here every day. This will be her first opportunity to regret my goal for 2016.
Pick your favorite rom-com movie cliché and it applies to us:
- “You complete me.” Check.
- “To me you are perfect.” Yup.
- “I’ll have what she’s having.”
I should probably stop there.
She is my best friend. She’s the person I’d rather be around than anyone. We can sit for long periods of time and not talk and then complete each other’s sentences when we do. She understands me better than I understand myself.
It’s weird that I’m calling this a love letter because I’ve been referring to her in the third person the entire time. Why? Partially because I clearly have issues with the concept of a love letter. But mostly because my idea of a love letter is standing in front of everyone I know and everyone I don’t know (and given that this is the Internet, people posting pictures of cats) and declaring to one and all that today is my wife’s birthday. She’s the most wonderful person in the world, and no gift I give her can ever be even a fraction of the gift she gives me merely by being in my life. If any sentiment deserves a run-on sentence, it’s that one.
Happy birthday, hon. I see the world differently because of you. And it’s a better one.
I love you.