We interrupt this unplanned hiatus for a love story. Everyone appreciates a good love story, right?
Fall 1992. I was practicing in the music building basement, because of course that’s where the practice rooms lived. We’d stumble up the stairs after a few hours and hiss like Gollum when the light hit our eyes. That the music building was quite literally a castle just made it better. As I was saying, I was in the
dungeon basement practice rooms when one of the band grad assistants knocked and introduced me to this guy who was on campus interviewing for the grad assistant gig for the following year. Yeah, whatever, hi nice to meet you, these bloody etudes aren’t going to learn themselves but my god how nice it would be if they could.
Summer 1993. It was my first summer as a SWAG for the Bands of America Summer Symposium. I’d attended as a student for a couple years and now I was giving back as a counselor for the camp. Since it was on my college campus I was able to help out a little more, directing people to rooms and buildings. Turns out one of the other SWAGs had been involved with BOA for years and was now going to be one of my band TAs that fall. Same guy I met the previous fall. Nice guy, I liked him. Great sense of humor, kind, incredibly hardworking. Friends and I were talking about him as my mom drove us back home from campus at the end of the week; mom was “hmmm…who’s this guy?”
Fall 1993. The grad assistant is really nice and funny and we started hanging out more and more. Our first date was to Robin Hood: Men in Tights, because of course it had to be a Mel Brooks movie. We became a “band couple,” and the marching band had a good time ribbing us. We went to band prom together; the look on his face when he first saw me in my short little black dress is one of my favorite memories. Of course things weren’t all sunshine and roses; we were two Type A, highly intense, strongly driven people, but we made it work.
Winter 1994. We went to the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic together, because to two eternal band geeks, that is the high point of the band year. Before the Wednesday night military band concert (Marines that year) we went out to dinner, and then drove out to the peninsula on which the Shedd Aquarium lives. A cold, dark, winter’s evening, with the whole Chicago skyline spread out in its glittering beauty. And that funny, kind, incredibly hardworking band grad assistant got down on one knee, with the glitter of the city behind him, and asked to marry me.
Summer 1996. Two eternal band geeks had a concert…and a wedding broke out.
Summer 2021. Today we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The last 25 years have been everything and nothing we expected. We have children, we’ve moved several times, we’ve traveled (though not nearly enough for our tastes), we’ve fought and made up, we’ve compromised and agreed to disagree, we’ve cried and laughed (so, so much laughter), we’ve loved and mourned, we’ve built a life together. We are older and wiser and yet still so young at heart. We are entwined and still separate. We are married.
I love you, Tom. Happy Anniversary.