A couple of Saturday nights ago, we were at a steak house with a friend, and I, for whatever dumb reason, ordered something I had never had before, and I don't think anyone else has either...or should. The taste of the turkeyburger was quite like how I perceive tree bark, or soggy ceiling tiles, to taste.
I didn't know what to do. I hate to cause a scene, and I've heard enough urban myths about how food sent back to a restaurant kitchen returns to the table covered with "special sauce" and "secret spices." But it was OK, because Peggy knew what to do. "Just let the waitress know you don't like it, and she'll get you something else," counseled my wonderful wife. And it all worked out fine, as always.
Today is the 37th anniversary of the sweet December day when I, lean, lanky and longhaired, donned a rented tuxedo and took as my wife the lovely 19-year-old Peggy. You know how on TV shows and in cartoons, they always call the wife "The Better Half"? Well, it couldn't be more true in this case. I always figured that God in heaven looked down and saw a life of confusion and perplexed wanderlust ahead for me, and sent down an angel to guide me.
Peggy's the one who keeps the family finances, and the checkbook, and knows enough not to send me to the Credit Union without a sticky note for the teller, telling her what bills to pay, checks to cash, savings to add.
Peggy's the one who deals with my mother's finances, groceries, and in tandem with my sister, her medications and day-to-day needs. And if you think that's not a handful, well.....think twice.
Peggy's the one around here to listen to me, support me, prop up my tender feelings when someone sticks out their figurative tongue at me, and encourage me when I need it.
When I need a peanut-butter-and-jelly sammy, there's no one who can fix one for me better than Peggy. When something breaks around here and I need someone to steady the step ladder while I teeter in midair, there's no one I count on like Peggy. Decorating the house with Christmas joy or decorating my heart with love, it's Peggy every time.
Of course, I'm a little biased here, but it would be hard to think of how anyone wouldn't love Peggy as soon as they met. She is unfailingly kind to others, always looks for the best in everything and everyone, and people tend to confide in her, always a sign of affectionate trust. She's been a trusted and dependable employee of the same firm for more than 38 years, and she is without doubt the best person in the whole wide world.
Which leaves only one question, namely, why would she put up with me for 37 years? But did I mention already that she's an angel?
Thanks, Peggy. I love you forever and always. Thanks for always knowing what to do!