**Not to be read until the evening of January 28th, 1989, after your husband has fallen asleep.**
Dearest Lesley, this is your husband, writing to you from 26 years in the future. The greatest day of your life (so far) is coming to a close. I hope it was as close to perfection as we can possibly have made it. Save for missing out on dessert, of course. I am sorry that happened. I mentioned on the night that my brother Kerod probably ate them, but I don’t think he really did. It started as an off hand joke I made, but you take it to heart and we bring it up a lot over the next quarter of a century, so maybe I should tell you now that he’s probably not the culprit. Anyway …
Your wedding day is nearly over … oh, and I know that technically it’s our wedding day, but I understand that really, today is all about you. I will just take another second to say that it was also the greatest day of my life as well. I’ve spoken to a lot of guys who didn’t find the wedding day all that important or meaningful in the way their wives did. That is not my feeling at all. It was a chance to get all our friends together, have a great time with them, plus show off the fact I got the best wife going, and they can all eat their hearts out. Oh, another quick apology about making a big deal about Bill and Simon having to be seated at different tables. I didn’t mean to make more work for you. I just wanted them to have as good a time at my wedding as I knew I was going to. I’m sure it would have been fine, and they wouldn’t have caused a scene. So I apologise again for that. Again … anyway …
The night is almost over. Our lives together have just begun and I know you are happy and excited for what comes next, but no doubt also a little nervous about what the future might hold. As you look at the man sleeping soundly in front of you as though he doesn’t have a worry in the world (And he doesn’t. He really doesn’t.) the unknown is stretched out before you and I am sure you have questions that you wish you could get the answers to. Worries you would like to put to rest. And intrigues that you are more than a little curious about. This is where I come in. I’m not going to go into specifics, especially on the important questions, because enjoying the twists and turns of the journey are the reason we’re travelling together in the first place, but I do hope I can put your mind at ease, at least in a general sense. First and most importantly …
I’m bald. Patrick Stewart bald, although you don’t look at me the same way you look at Jean-Luc Picard when we’re watching Star Trek: TNG. Maybe you’re not as happy with the shape of my head. Or possibly it’s because I don’t have his accent. Whatever the case we’ve certainly saved a lot of money on my haircuts in the last few years. I know, I know … you look at my dad, brothers and grand-fathers and don’t understand how I could prematurely lose my hair. It is a mystery. All I can suggest is that you should run your fingers through my hair while you still can. Or maybe that’s what causes it …
As it’s our wedding night it is probably apropos to tell you that the sex gets better. Way better. And I don’t mean at some point we get really good at it, but rather it will continually improve over the course of our marriage. I don’t keep written notes or anything, but if I tried to pick my top 10 sexual experiences, I can guarantee at least 9 of them occurred in the last 12 months. I think it’s the result of a natural growing intimacy that comes with how well we know each other and how comfortable we are with communicating our wants and desires. Oh, and remember that wives tale “If you put a coin in a jar every time you have sex in the first year of marriage, and then take one out every time you have sex from the second year onwards and you will never empty the jar.”? I always wished we had done that just to check, but looking back I know that is ridiculous. So … you have that to look forward to.
Obviously we’re still married 26 years from now. That’s pretty important to tell you. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, I’m a pretty big idiot after all, but we’re still together, we still make each other happy and all in all life is pretty grand. You know how we broke up when we were first going out (because I’m that idiot I just mentioned) and then I realised how much life would suck without your, so I smooth talked you into choosing to marry me? Well it seems that makes me absolutely terrified of losing you from that point on, so I don’t argue/fight with you at any point in the future. You just win. About anything. You might be thinking that’s a pretty sweet deal for you, but at some point the fact that I don’t argue frustrates the heck out of you and makes the arguments worse. I have no idea how to make that better for you, except to say that every time you’re angry because of something stupid I’ve said/done or haven’t said/haven’t done, I’m not saying anything in response because I am terrified of losing you and I don’t want to make things worse. Remember that. Also, I love you and I’m really, really sorry for saying/doing/not saying/not doing what ever it is. Sincerely. Remember that too.
We have kids. I don’t think I should give away how many of each gender, but they are all happy and healthy, and thinking about any of them puts a smile on our face. They’re strong, smart, determined and following their own path. We are very proud parents, but not to the point where we annoy our friends by going on about how great they are all the time. At least, I don’t think we go on too much. Maybe we do? Maybe our friends are too polite to say? Whatever the case, our kids rock. So much better than the kids of anyone else we know. As parents, we rule.
You get more beautiful over the next quarter century. I’m not sure how, perhaps some kind of witchcraft you’re performing. It certainly feels like you have me under a spell at times. However you seem totally unaware of your increasing beauty; focusing on face wrinkles, or waist inches, or some such triviality; but the life you are about to live turns you from the gorgeous woman I married into an absolutely stunning goddess. You will wear your hair shorter which initially I will hate (all men hate it when their wives cut their hair short) but it adds definition to your natural waves and curls. You will retain your gorgeous natural colour, but it will be highlighted with some fine greying at your temples, which again you will hate, apparently unable to see just how sexy that really is. Fashionable optometry will certainly improve when you leave the 1980’s behind, and you will wear smaller, more delicate frames, which will highlight your piercing gaze and underscore the laughter I see so often in your eyes. You, in short, are breathtakingly beautiful.
What else … I stop biting my fingernails. Does that bug you yet? If not, it will. And I do it for a very long time. And then I stop. So just hang in there.
I’m not good at buying presents for birthday surprises and that. I’m more of a take you out shopping, you see something you like, we buy it. Or when I know something will help you in the future, I will surprise you with that. Some time in your future you will fly to Melbourne and you don’t like planes, so I surprise with an iPad to give you something to do and keep you distracted. Right … you don’t know what an iPad is … Well trust me, it’s pretty cool. You will love it. So try and forget I told you that I buy you one. Or at least act surprised when I give it to you.
We move to Brisbane. I know, it will be sad we leave behind friends and your family. But on the plus side, we leave behind my family too. Then some of them come down to visit and or relocate closer. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing. I guess the jury is still out on that. Family … what are you gonna do? Anyway, we make a bunch of new friends down here that we wouldn’t get to know if we didn’t move, so it’s a positive move for that reason alone.
You start a business. Sewing. Probably shouldn’t say much more than that. But you’re good at it, obviously, and you get the recognition your talent deserves. You’re still doing it at the time of writing because quality and hard work inevitably leads to longevity. I am so incredibly proud of the things you are going to accomplish. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
That’s probably enough for you to be going on with. I would like to say the next 26 years will be nothing but kittens and rainbows, and tears won’t be spilled due to pain or anguish, but unfortunately you take the good with the bad in this life’s journey. But know this … you told me how nervous you were as you walked through the doors into the church at the start of the ceremony today. And you told me that all your nerves disappeared when our eyes met from opposite ends of the aisle. You could see that I was there for you, and therefore you had nothing to fear as you took that first step. 26 years into your future and no matter what happens, I promise that I will still be there for you, and you will have nothing to fear.
Your loving husband
28th January, 2015
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