I'm now marginally thinner, my hair is shorter and less damp, and I am currently not wearing an alpaca cape.
But otherwise, this is pretty much The Cute Boy Up The Street - who has hardly changed a lick - and me, 25 years into this marriage gig.
In case there was any doubt before, it is official: My husband and I are thoroughly married. All those years together, all those kids, those moves, those bills - mere hints. On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, our union was consummated in what could only be described as an act of sublime intimacy.
It took place in a parking lot, at noon, with a fairly sizable matinee audience. That's how we roll in Vegas, baby.
The Cute Boy Up The Street and I meet for lunch at least once a week. Young moms, this is something you can look forward to when all the kids are in school. It's beyond awesome. We're both alert. We're both dressed nicely. And anyone in the vicinity under age 25 is only there to refill my Diet Coke. I'm thinking of starting a religion where this is the definition of heaven. Beats the whole "reincarnated as a dung beetle" model, hands down.
This particular Tuesday, after a delightful meal spent finishing sentences and planning family vacations without someone Facebooking the whole conversation on a status play-by-play --
"We're going to San Diego in August!"
"Wait, now we're just going to Mesquite."
"Never mind. We're staying home and cleaning the garage."
"I hate family vacations."
-- we were in the parking lot, saying our dewy farewells.
"What time do you think you'll be home tonight?"
"Depends. When does your last student leave?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Nothing. I just want to know if I need my white-noise headphones. I left them in my gym bag."
"Have I mentioned lately that you suck?"
You know, that kind of flirting.
Then, in a gesture of tender familiarity, my husband reached his hand up to my cheek -- and took hold of a hair growing out of my 'beauty mark'.
(Anyone caught translating that to 'mole' is asking for a good smack.)
"Ow! Let go, dammit! It's attached!"
"I know. It's long enough to be attached to your scalp."
"Didja get it?"
"Nope. It's really anchored in there."
"Well, here," I said, reaching into my purse, "Use these tweezers."
I remind you we were in a restaurant parking lot. At lunchtime.
"Hang on, I can't see it clearly. Turn more toward the sunlight."
He took hold of my chin for traction, lined up the tweezers, and yanked.
"Eep! Dang, I think I felt my gums separate."
"Yep. You could tether the Queen Mary with that sucker. Look at it!"
We both examined the tweezers closely.
"Well, at least it's --"
"Hang on, there's another one on your neck."
Traction, alignment, yank.
"Wow. You've got a full-on grove here on your chin."
yank, yank, yank
"All right, I can take it fro --"
"I don't think I can get them all. They're like Ents. Ha! Look out, orks! DeNae's chin is gonna knock down your nasty old towers!"
"Yes, dear, you're terribly witty. Give me the tweezers, please."
"We'll start calling you --"
"Watch it. Any name ending in 'beard' earns you the privilege of sleeping in your car."
"Sorry. At any rate, I don't have time to harvest all of those. You'd better wax before we leave on our trip. Don't want the other agents thinking I'm married to a guy."
"I know. I'll take care of it tonight. And honey?"
"I love you, too."