Harry S. Truman and Torque Converters.
A Love Story.
I oppose sensitive, romantic, emotional posts via Social Media. Primarily because I’m uncomfortable being sensitive, romantic or emotional. I am, however, creating an exception for Anniversaries occurring while serving in Afghanistan. Rather than you reading a note to her, I’ll have her read a note to you…and I’ll put it out here a couple days early so she knows I didn’t forget and do it quick.
20 years ago my roommate went out with a girl from church. He’d mentioned her a few times. I had no idea who he was talking about. They had a “sports date”, i.e. running, tennis, volleyball etc. Clearly NOT the girl for me. He came home and reported that “We’re going to be great friends, but nothing really romantic. I think YOU would like her though.” Nope. I’m headed for the Army, where, after being the first attorney to win the Medal of Honor, I will enter private practice, win millions in verdicts, attract the attention of Sandra Bullock and eventually run for the Presidency. “Yeah, well, I think you’d like her” he said. Pffft.
Summer came. There was a canoe trip. My roommate was adept at keeping our canoe near the pretty girls. Don’t ask me how, but Harry S. Truman came up. Probably because I am a total nerd. I thought to stump everyone by asking “What does the S. in ‘Harry S. Truman’ stand for?” “It doesn’t stand for anything” said this girl, “It’s just an initial.” I was smitten. What could a date or two hurt? Knowing only that she worked at K.U. Medical center, I promptly spoke to 462 different operators, nurses, doctors, secretaries and administrators before I found her and asked her out. We went to the Truman Library. I know. How could she NOT be locked in after that?
She is now the woman I love; the summer romance that I forgot to break off. I love that she will run screaming through a field while shadow fighting like Bruce Lee if a June bug touches her hair. I love that the first sign of pregnancy was never a test, but rather her murdering clichés: “Whoa! That guy is taking his side out of the half of the road middle.” I love that she speaks the English language faster than anyone I’ve ever met. I love that the parents of her students love her so much they go out of their way to keep in touch with her. I love that her students HAVE to run up and say hi and get a hug when they see her in a store. I love that I can get a phone call and tell her that in two months we’re going to sell a house, move, build an apartment for my parents and then I’m going to leave her with 4 kids, 2 dogs, a lizard and her in-laws for a year while I go to war…and she says: “We’ll be good.” Well, she also said: AREYOUFREAKINGKIDDINGMECAN’TYOURETIREANDGETAREALLAWJOBTHATPAYSMONEYSOYOUCAN NOTHAVETOLEAVEMEANDGODOTHIS (breath) THISSUCKSDON’TYOUDIEANDLEAVEMEWITHFOURKIDS!She did eventually say, “we’ll be good”. I love that she still looks good when cleaning up the mess du jour…whether kid barf, puppy pee, muddy footprints or just sniffing out the source of the boy-stink permeating the house. I love that she tolerates my ability to turn anything in to innuendo (oh yeah…I’ll replace the torque converter!). I love that we can communicate entire paragraphs and a punch line with a look. I love that I can amuse her. I love that she knew the S in Truman’s name didn’t stand for anything.
Though she could have done far better, I thank God daily for her poor judgment and 19 years of tolerance. I’ll be home soon. I’m gonna get after replacing that torque converter.