The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

…and I would do it all over again.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do.

The first time I laid eyes on The Gatekeeper, my heart definitely skipped a beat.

I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

It was a rainy winter day in northern California and he was wearing an Indiana Jones hat when he poked his head into my conference room to relay a message to my instructor. I thought he looked like a cross between Tom Selleck, Don Johnson, and Andre Agassi…in a good way. Hey, it was 1994.

I’d see him around work from time to time. I’d purposefully hang out near his office, reading case files, hoping to run into him. Every time I saw him I’d get all nervous and sweaty. I’d blurt out random things: “Looks like rain!” One time I told him that the name tag on his office mailbox was misspelled (stalker alert!) It read Marinelli and I thought it was supposed to read Martinelli. “Hey, they forgot the T on your mailbox,” I told him in passing one day. “No they didn’t,” he countered. (OMG. Just shoot me!)

One Friday night a couple of months later, we were both invited to a Bon Voyage Party for one of our co-workers. We sat across the table from each other in a noisy bar and made small talk.

I guess I did a good job not scaring him too much because he called me the next morning to ask me on a date. We met for coffee in Berkeley the day after that and have been together ever since.

At one point during our first date, after drinking more coffee than should be humanly possible, I got up to find the ladies’ room and actually tripped over the Sunday brunch jazz band that had been setting up right behind me. I hadn’t even noticed them there; I was that mesmerized by him.

 

The Gatekeeper and Leslie, on a date…it was a semi-formal company party. Oakland, California, 1995. I’m pretty sure his jacket had shoulder pads. 

 

He proposed to me on Christmas Eve later that year.

I said yes.

Actually, I’ve been told that I squealed yes in a tone that only dogs could hear.

We married each other fifteen years ago today.

photo of leslie's wedding day

 

Happy 15th Anniversary to The Gatekeeper of my heart.

Leslie's 14th anniversary dinner one year ago today

 

with all my love,
Leslie

 

55 Comments

  1. Jessica O'Neill

    May 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Awww! I love that story, and wish you two a very happy anniversary!

  2. Lovely. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing and Happy Anniversary.

  3. That wedding picture….beauuuuutiful! Congratulations!

  4. Yeah for you two!

  5. Happy Anniversary!

    I am loving that picture of you with the large hair. And Andre Agassi… sigh… I loved him, hairpiece and all.

  6. Awww. You guys make a great looking couple.

  7. Holy Adorable Couple, Batman. Congrats to you both! In the first pic I literally put an Indiana Jones hat on him in my head. It fit!

  8. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! Love that story.

  9. What a sweet, sweet post. You two are a gorgeous couple. Sigh. Enjoy your anniversary! xoxo

  10. Happy Anniversary! I hope ya’ll dance forever!!! I am not ugly crying, just a little teary eyed. Thanks for sharing.
    Lisa/Lynn

  11. Totally believe in love at first sight and I’m so happy for you both!

    Happy Anniversary! (Gorgeous photos!!!)
    xox

  12. Aww. That’s so sweet. Happy anniversary to both of you!

  13. Happy Anniversary, you hot secret html loving beeatch! Love the pics of you guys through the years and your various hairstyles! The big Ragu (don’t ask) just hit 12 the other day…we went out to din and got puked on. Your tribute was much nicer! 🙂

  14. Awww….I never knew that story! Congrats on 15!

  15. Such a great story. I love the fact that you are still going strong. Many of our friends are breaking up around us and it is hard to watch – and even harder to understand when i am still completely in love with my husband. Celebrate in style my friend. Hopefully I will get to meet this man again someday (the last meeting, so brief you probably don’t remember, was at the PGH Zoo when Sophie and Mini Me were about one.

    Happy Anniversary

  16. What a love story… your wedding photo is gorgeous!

  17. Awwww. Happy anniversary.

  18. Love hearing romantic stories. Gives me hope! Many congratulations and keep on writing.

  19. Aw, I love a good love story. Congratulations on your anniversary.

  20. Oh wow, what a gorgeous wedding photo!! Happy Anniversary!

  21. For the record, it doesn’t have to be 1994 for me to appreciate the allure of Tom Selleck or Andre Agassi. (Or shoulder pads. Come on.)

    Cheers to enduring love.
    Really.

  22. Leslie, that was so sweet! I know I’m a little late but congratulations so much to you guys! I am a big believer in love at first sight, and I love hearing about love. Lol yes, I’m a big mush. Again congrats, and enjoy each other! Xoxo

  23. Awwwwww!!! So did he love you inspite of your klutzy craziness while you were dating or because of it?

    Happy Anniversary!!

  24. Rock on, dear Iris! Here’s to another 15 and then some more!

  25. Bernie Bickers

    May 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    An anniversary Haiku for you:

    Your relationship,
    It did not sprout from a seed
    yet grew from a stalk

    I never heard that story before , from now on your nickname is Lurkin’ Lester

    Very happy for you crazy kids! We’re hitting #5 this summer and goin’ strong.

  26. Awwwwe, smoochy smooch.
    What IS it about 1994. It was a big year, indeed.

  27. I love “Love: The Early Years” stories, and this one was super=sweet. Congrats on a happy marriage!! Best wishes for a happy road for the next 50 years! Erin

  28. Awww! Bless your heart! That is SO sweet…congrats to you both!

  29. Holy hell what a stunning wedding photo. All my best to you and the Gatekeeper on this 15th anniversary! What a divine story. (ok, and now, i just have to say it: “squeeze-squeeze”)

  30. Awwww, happy anniversary. Love is good. You have been married half as long as the publicist. I wish you many many more happy years with your gatekeeper.

  31. 1. You all were (are) the biggest cutie patooties ever.
    2. Jealous of that BEYOND awesome wedding photo.
    3. You are still smokin’ hot. Lucky man.
    Happy anniversary! Ellen

  32. Happy Happy anniversary. That wedding picture is simply stunning. And I do believe in love at first sight. But I didn’t until I met Scott.

  33. Happy Anniversary! It’s 15 years later and you both still look FABULOUS!

  34. Awww!!! Happy Anniversary!!

    NOWWWW I get the “Gatekeeper” nickname! I love that!! And Big Daddy (josh) and I just celebrated our 19 y anniversary on the 22nd!! Great month to be married!

    Miss you TONNNSS!!!!! xoxo

  35. Your name is not Iris? I’m shocked and horrified. How am I going to get used to Leslie….Leslie…..No your name is Iris and always will be to me! That’s like on a website I have been friends with about 8 women for 10 years. One’s screen name was skynard fan at the old site. Her real name is Teresa, but I still refer to her as Sky when I talk to her. She will always be Sky, just like you will always be Iris.

    Oh and Happy Anniversary! Our first kiss anniversary was May 21st! 1971! Oh and today is my friend’s birthday and we made an impromptu dinner for her and celebrated. Heck we could have toasted your anniversary if I had not been too busy to even be on the computer today what with my youngest daughter and granddaughter here…..for a month……..good times! Here’s to another 15….no let’s make that 50!

  36. Oh I forgot, yes I do believe…..I saw my DH at orientation day 7th grade, Zane Junior High School, Eureka, California (the true Northern California) and I loved him from that minute until now (except for the times I wanted to kill him).

  37. Awwww! What a great story! Happy Anniversary! Wishing you many more.

  38. Aw you guys! Looking better than ever. X

  39. Happy Anniversary. Love makes the world go around.

  40. Awww! 15 years hey? We are 16 years on 1 June. Will raise a glass to y’all in our night out on the town.

  41. So sweet! LOVE the wedding picture in the middle of the redwood trees!

  42. How adorable are you?

    TOO ADORABLE.

    Happy anniversary.

  43. Happy Anniversary!

  44. Happy anniversary! Someone tell Angelina that you did the sticking the leg out of the slit pose LONG before she did (and way better I might add).

  45. Great story & beautiful wedding photo! Happy Anniversary!!! My 15th is coming up this summer, too.

  46. Happy Anniversary! (And dammit, now that Toni Tony Tone song that repeats anniversary 278378534573 times is stuck in my head). I love the story of how you met. What I love more, is that you clearly still get that feeling you had when you first saw him.

  47. gorgeous wedding gown!!! beautiful picture

  48. Awww…happy anniversary!! What a great story– and I TOTALLY see the whole Andre Agassi/ Tom Selleck/ Don Johnson resemblance! Isn’t it great to be married this long and still be “in love” with your sweetie?

    Congratulations and I’m looking forward to a similar post 15 years from now! 🙂

  49. Your wedding dress? Was GORGEOUS! As were (are) you. And I definitely see Andre Agassi in The Gatekeeper.

    Hey… it was 1994.

  50. Kathryn Frost

    May 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    This post, even seeing it again today, and after GK’s lovely husbandly response, it chokes me up. I’m really happy for you and the GK. And I’m co-opting your happiness and turning it inside out, which then becomes my sadness, for my marriage that ended 5 days after our 15th anniversary.

    I look at your wedding pic in the Bay Area eucalyptus trees, and think of my favorite pic from our wedding, the close-up of a kiss after the recessional, a sunny day in the Columbia River Gorge, on a cherry farm.

    What you have is what I always wanted and tried to help build. But it only works when both people are building.

    So I wish you 30 or so more years of hard work, good love, and great memories.

  51. Sorry I missed this Iris but happy anniversary to you both. What a gorgeous couple!

    Here’s to many more!

    Anne xx

  52. Happy anniversary.you are gorgeous in the photos

  53. So sweet. Our 4th anniversary was Thursday too. May 24th is a good date 🙂

  54. You guys look great. Happy anniversary.

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