Happy university!

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The window by our bed in Havana.

TODAY IS our 18th anniversary. Congrats to us.

When we woke up in our Havana guesthouse in 2012, our 10th anniversary, which was why we went to the communist hellhole, my child bride, whose English was none too good and remains so, said to me: Happy university!

We’ve chuckled about that ever since. So now we do not have anniversaries. We have universities, and the entrance exam is strict. No snowflakes.

I was married to my first wife just over five years. I was married to my second wife for a decade, but we lived in sin about nine years before the Houston ceremony performed by a Unitarian minister. There was just the three of us, and we did it on her lunch break. One more year, and I’ll have been with this Mexican hottie longest of all.

wed
The groom, the bride, the sister, the Eggman (R.I.P.)

We tied the knot in the indoor patio of my sister-in-law’s coffee shop. There was a nice crowd, and we danced. A woman sent by the judge officiated.

You don’t say I do in Mexico.

You say I accept.

Wish someone had told me that in advance.

But it’s all worked out just fine, thank you.

* * * *

(Note: Here are more photos I took in Havana. I wish I had taken more and with a better camera, especially since we’ll never return. It’s a grim place.)

Getting it right, finally

MY FIRST TWO marriages failed, and maybe it was because of how I proposed to those wives. I don’t recall how I did it the first time though I do remember why. That was over half a century ago. But I do remember how I did it the second time.

We were in a restaurant on Westheimer Boulevard in Houston. I did not get down on one knee. I did not have a ring lurking in a champagne flute. There was no music. The waiters did not sing ‘O Sole Mio. I told her we should get married so she could get on my employer-provided medical insurance. She had no coverage.

She swooned. I was such a romantic guy.

We had been living together at that point for seven years.

Perhaps if ObamaCare had existed, we never would have wed, and I would have been spared lots of pain, grief and expense.

By the third time, I had learned, matured, wised up and sobered up.

I did get down on my knee, and I did have a ring. And where did I do it? Where these two pre-Hispanic pyramids join, right there at their base. You see it early in the video, the V between the two structures. That’s where it happened about 18 years ago.

And medical insurance had nothing to do with it.

The Valentine Meatloaf

Leo

THE SEX MOTEL next door is offering a Valentine’s discount this week, two hours of heavy breathing and howls for 100 pesos (about $5.50 U.S.), the price of a sleazy hooker in West Virginia. But here it’s BYOP, bring your own partner.

Valentine’s Day has additional meaning for the two of us at the Hacienda. It was on Valentine’s Day in 2002 that I first overnighted with my future child bride in her condo in Mexico City. We consider it an additional anniversary, the other being the official one when we legally married here in April of that same year.

That first Valentine’s was a night I’ll never forget in large part due to the godawful supper she served up. Not knowing my culinary preferences at that point, she figured she couldn’t go wrong with meat. Men want meat! What she plopped on my plate that night resembled a Meatloaf from Hell. And I ate it.

It was dreadful, but we laugh about it now.

My stomach was churning the rest of the night, which rather put a damper on the other activities I had preferred to focus on. Oh, well. It was worth it.

The winning hand

THIS MORNING WAS cold, so I stayed beneath the goose-down comforter even though I was awake, and it was almost 7 a.m., time to begin the day.

My child bride had not said a word, usually an indicator that she’s asleep because if she’s awake, she’s talking. No matter. I reached over and held her hand.

She has sleek, soft, beautiful hands. It’s one of her finest features, and she has lots of lovely features. Her skin is like silk. I made a mental comparison right then and there between the hand I was holding and the hand of my previous wife.

55438_hand_lgThough, oddly, I do not recall the first time I held my child bride’s hand, I do remember the first time I held the hand of my last wife, the second ex, over 40 years ago. We were walking down Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans.

It’s a big step the first time you hold the hand of a person you’re “seeing.” I remember thinking that faraway afternoon on Esplanade Avenue that her hand was a bit pudgy, which was unusual because she was not pudgy at all. Quite the contrary.

It was not unpleasant, but it was slightly pudgy. I’m guessing it’s a European genetic carryover she brings from St. Louis, Missouri, and, even further back, rural ancestors in Alsace-Lorraine. She was a pretty woman, and she had a spectacular butt, which is likely what caught my attention in the first place.

Men are like that.

But my child bride wins, hands down, in the hands department. She also has beautiful legs. I always wanted to be married to a woman with gorgeous gams, and now I am, even though she’s 59 years old. Legs are the last thing to go, she’s told me.

She has slightly Oriental eyes too, which is not rare in Mexico. Probably has to do with those long-ago Chinamen who crossed the Bering Strait, heading south to better beaches.

But I could not see her slanty eyes this morning in the chill, near-dawn darkness under the goose-down comforter. I could only feel that hand, sleek and smooth.

It was so nice.