Black crowned night heron © Robert Sommers 2023

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To my valentine

I first met my lovely wife Leslie twenty years ago. I was married to another woman at the time. The wrong woman. Leslie was managing a shop called the Good Karma Trading Company back then in San Diego. She had moved out years prior to Coronado from Detroit where she had worked as a Disc Jockey and Program Manager. She was a part of the famous Idiot Show with M. Dung.  Good Karma was a cool shop that sold eastern objects and concert tickets.

I walked into her store and my heart sunk in her presence. I had never met a more radiant, angelic beauty. Her dark long hair, her perfect fair skin, the most heavenly eyes in creation. I was smitten. Like I have never been smitten in my life. And I am still smitten.

We developed a platonic friendship, she having no interest in a married man, and me at least partly successfully burying my longing and not throwing off any signs of being in a long failed marriage.

Leslie had been wooed by many suitors, including some rich doctor types but had never assented.

Life, as it is prone to do, managed to turn itself upside down and put me out on my street. The ex called it quits while I was on a trip to the middle east. God bless her. I cried and licked my wounds for a few days and then called Leslie up and arranged a date.

Things didn't go so well at first and she thought I was a jerk but my strategy was to show her the bad side first, thinking things could only improve from there. Her mom told her to give me another shot and thankfully she did.

She suggested that I go someplace and get clear and clean and I went to Kauai, hiking into the Kalalau for a week and bathing under waterfalls. She met me in San Francisco upon my return and the rest as they say, is history.

We have now been together for twenty great years. Some of them have been tough, we suffered through a bankruptcy and financial distress, but they have all been great years. We respect and admire each other and she chooses to mostly overlook my many deficiencies.  We are soul mates and mirrors and sympatico down to our distaste for onions and our common love for purple.

Leslie is the rare woman who combines exceptional beauty with common sense and a great mind. She is fiercely loyal and has a nurturing heart and helps many in need.

We have raised some fantastic cats and dogs and developed a wonderful community of friends around ourselves. Things haven't always been easy but we have enough love and respect for each other to make it through the tough times. Back to back, she is the perfect person to face life's struggles with and to enjoy its pleasures.

So I am sad to be apart from her on this Valentine's Day, and now proclaim my never ending love, fealty and admiration. I know how lucky I am to have found a partner for life.