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It Was Just the Other Day...

Ten years is usually a long time. However, it seems like just yesterday when we had our first discussion about marriage, then we decided to get married after leaving Fatin’s birthday party at Gallerie Isada. A year or so later, we’d had a wedding there, but we were married three weeks after the decision was made.

I didn’t know what to say this year. 2020 has taken so much from the world, but it took from us our typical anniversary celebration. It seems like nothing has gone our way as we’ve tried to celebrate ten years together at home. But it’s you, me, and the love that brought us together. That’s enough for me. We’ll get back to the sun and beach when it’s safe.

The other day you were looking through some pictures and one caught my eye. It was from NCORE in San Francisco and I realized that was one of my favorite days with you. So, for year ten, I want to recount ten of my favorite days with you.

10. You’re not going to like this, but it was the day we landed for our first trip to Detroit. I have these crazy ideas to go to places and typically want to go when the prices are cheapest. It just happens that flying to Detroit in February is dirt cheap. It wasn’t hard to learn why when we were going to get the rental car, it was -3 degrees. You were so angry at me that day, but it warmed up, and you warmed up once we made it to Motown.

9. Aretha Franklin. No, New Edition. The O’Jays or Al Green or Gladys Knight. How about the night we saw John Legend, then went to see Talib Kweli and Mos Def on just about the day we met at their concert? The numerous Anthony Hamilton, Avery*Sunshine, or Raheem DeVaughn concerts? Hmmm, the Maxwell concert in Newark sticks out. It was a spur of the moment, you played “Fortunate” that morning and I told you that you would hear him sing it that night. You thought I was joking until you got home, and we go in the car. He was excellent that night. And the woman falling asleep behind us was an added bonus.

8. My crazy idea this year was to fly to Atlanta, drive straight to Montgomery, spend a day there then drive to Birmingham, but stop in Selma first. Driving through Alabama was never something I wanted to do, but it was just what I needed. There was so much about that trip that really stuck to my soul. Most of all, walking across the Edmund Pettis Bridge with you. Well, half of it, the doctor said I need a backiotomy.

7. Our second day in Memphis was memorable. It started at Stax and then a ride through the city. We spent the next few hours talking and laughing with Kiese. It was a simple day, but I got to go through Soulsville, U.S.A. and you and Kiese talked while I ate some of the best fried chicken ever!

6. Standing in front of a room talking about healthy Black love is great. Standing in front of a room full of my students having that conversation means so much more. The college paid for you, but somehow, we ended up doing the presentation together.

5. We celebrated our second anniversary with a trip to Vegas. We paid for the wedding and Honeymoon, so you convinced me to keep it simple. But simple ain’t my way. We woke up Christmas morning to fly to LA to see the Lakers and Knicks. I couldn’t pass it up. We were back in time for the last game of the day and for me to collect my winnings from a Laker victory. That started a biannual NBA Christmas game.

4. Our first date was November 6, 2004. That night ended with you and I listening to Stevie Wonder in the car. Ten years to the day, we sat in Madison Square Garden listening to Stevie Wonder.

3. Back to San Francisco. Watching you do your presentation was amazing. “Black Girl Blues” was the topic, and it was standing room only. I was in awe. To think, it all started because a year earlier the presenter didn’t show, and you led a room full of attendees through an impromptu workshop at a conference you were crashing.

2. You were tired, you didn’t want to go, you didn’t want to get dressed, the line was out the door, Fatin had to come let us in, there were no seats, we had to stand in the back. However, Kindred sang “My Time” that night and you were so into it that it took you a moment or two to realize that I was behind you with a ring. Sure, we’d been married six months already, but I said simple ain’t my way. We landed on stage singing background that night.

1. The wedding. The second one. That day was beautiful. Our family and friends trekked to Philly on Christmas Eve to witness us jump the broom. What a way to spend our first anniversary!


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