February 13, 2013

Tomato Soupiversary, 2013

I was over a week ago that I remembered that we were coming up on 3 years of tomato soup eating together. Three years ago we were overcome by twitterpation and I finally decided to do something about it. Interestingly, Bryon would tell you that he’d been trying to get my attention, and that I had made him wait around [enter Jack Johnson’s Do You Remember?] – but that’s his side of the story. Maybe one day he will write it for you. My side of the story is HERE.

So a week ago I sat and made out my grocery list for this week, and thought about that day of courage. I decided to do it again for the third year in a row. 

Then yesterday I remembered that I’d forgotten to get soup during the grocery trip and asked my husband to stop at the store after lunch. I bought cereal and chocolates and wrapped them around the can of tomato soup in my bag, while he stayed in the car to check email. I hoped he wouldn’t notice and I was right. Squee!

This morning I finally dismissed the Outlook reminder that had been reminding me of our * Tomato Soupiversary * for days now and pulled the can of soup out of my desk. Just like I did three years ago, I made sure Bryon was at his desk so that I could dramatically slam the soup. I mean, I’m nothing if not thunder almost all the time. So I walked down the hallway and out into the plant. All the way down the corridor I thought about how anxious I’d been while carrying that can of soup three years ago. Even though I was anxious, I was SURE. I was ready to begin again, for real. I felt love for him growing in my heart and it was time to do something about it.

I got close to the maintenance shop and I could smell the machine oil in the air. Rivet guns and air pressure gaps fired in the background. So loud I couldn’t hear my footsteps on the concrete floor, but I could feel my heart thudding in my chest. Not anxious today, but excited. Butterflies took off in my belly.

I went through the swinging door and right up those wooden steps to his office. I passed the same guys who were sitting in his shop three years ago, only then he was their peer and not their boss. Thank you God, for that change of empowerment and leadership You gave to my husband. They smiled at me like they always do as I climbed the steps. I carefully positioned the can of soup in my hands and opened the door. Three years ago my husband was the Planner and sat 3 feet inside the door. In a rush of blood to my head, I remembered him sitting there in his blue AE polo. That was the day I realized his eyes were green (green!), too. Oh my. In that rush I felt so much love for him, so much appreciation for our three years together. 

Now my husband doesn’t sit 3 feet inside the door. He sits in the back in a separate office, in charge of all of these men – who have become family to me. His supervisor and assistant smiled at me as I approached his office. I hid the can behind my leg and stood in his doorway until he was off the phone. I was anxious and caught up in memories as I stood there. I found myself just as excited to be making the big gesture, and far more in love with him than I was three years ago. Three years ago I hit the ceiling during my soup can slam on the desk; let’s try not to repeat that part, I thought. Suddenly he was off the phone and looking at me. Time to make my move.

And so I smiled sweetly and plunked the can of tomato soup down on his desk. He reached out and spun it around, and smiled back.

“It’s tomato soup day?” he asked. He knew, but he asked anyway.

“It is!”

“Huh.” He smiled his shy smile and asked, “Is this why you wanted to stop at the grocery store yesterday for emergency cereal?”

“Yep!” I was proud I hadn’t forgotten and my husband grinned at me. “Outlook has been reminding me for a week!”  I don’t really care that he doesn’t keep track of dates like I do. I enjoy surprising him and giving him the whirlies out of nowhwere.

Decades from now, I hope we always remember how we started. It’s a great story after all. I am so grateful for Tomato Soup.

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