It was shortly after she moved to Frisco, before she even found us an apartment, while we were still living in the rez hotel, that I first recognized this weird new feeling of "Can't Wait to Get Home to Her." It was like looking forward to a date with a woman I was nuts about, but having that feeling every single day of the week.
One afternoon around this era, I was working an evening shift, but my boss had sent me on an errand to get something at an office supply store. So I was waiting for the bus, and who came walking toward me on the sidewalk? My own lovely wife. It was borderline surreal, actually. Steph was walking to Walgreens to buy something she needed, and I was a mile from home in a city of 750,000 souls, and my soulmate said hello.
Moments like that became ordinary. When I woke up in the morning I'd usually be in bright spirits, because I'd be seeing her before leaving for work, or better yet on the weekends, spending the day with her. Running errands I'd be in a better mood, in general, than I'd been in the past, because when I was done with the errands I'd be coming home to her. At work, I'd be anxious for the shift to end, so I could hurry home to her. Always, every day, a smile and a kiss awaited me, and that meant that always, every day, no matter how crappy the day might be going, I always knew that things would be better as soon as I came home.
I don't know, is it normal that married people have this giddy feeling toward each other every single day? We had that feeling every day, in San Francisco for four years, Kansas City for three years, and Madison for almost fourteen years. Every day, both of us.
And yet, we didn't talk about it often, didn't ponder it much, and after a while we took it for granted. I never took Stephanie for granted, but that marvelous feeling, that perpetual undercurrent of optimism and "looking forward to seeing her" — that feeling became second nature. It just seemed like an ordinary condition of life. Until it was gone.