My dog never celebrates anniversaries, birthdays, or anything else that happens only once in any given calendar year. This is not to say that she lacks sentiment. She is a dog, and as such, each day is the same to her. Sentiment is applied in daily doses with great excitement. Time to play, time to eat, time to bark at the birds taunting her from above. It's all good and celebrated constantly. We humans are a little different. We apply the crop to the hind end of the clock spurring it to move faster so the meeting would just be over, while at the same time pulling back on the calendar's reins dreading upcoming birthdays pointing us towards when we are no more. My dog simply loves each day.
So what am I on about, you may be asking yourself. Am I feeling too old? Am I stuck in a meeting I wish were over? No. I am in a much more transient head space brought on by the recognition of a calendar date that changed my life, the day I had my first date with the beautiful woman that is my wife. Paige is a thoughtful and intelligent woman. She also has curves that drive me crazy, which I celebrate every day, thank you. July 25, 2008, she and I finally met and shared a meal of Thai food. We've been inseparable since. It's a big day and it deserves celebrating. This year, I chose the activity, and man are my feet tired.
Paige is a librarian. I am an aspiring creative writer (more on that later but keep fingers crossed). Given our shared literary interests, why not commit to a pilgrimage of books. Tuck away your e-readers. Those gadgets have no place here, as they serve to sterilize the printed word into an impersonal two-dimensional zombie. I'm sure for many of you reading this, the visit to the book store or library is as much a story as any of the thousands contained in the books on their shelves. The smells, atmosphere, staff, even the maze-like arrangement of the shelves draw you into a world unlike any other. And that's what I did with my beautiful Paige yesterday. We celebrated our story, the first date, first hand hold, and first kiss, with books.
Below are pictures we took throughout our day, which started at my sister-in-law's house where we dropped our youngest son off for a sleep-over. From there we went to The Magic Tree book store in Oak Park, Illinois. Then we paid a visit to the Oak Park Public Library (very clean bathrooms, by the way). Our adventure lead northward to Winnetka, Illinois and The Book Stall. After that we went west to Glenview, Illinois for a visit to The Book Market. We shared our story with the staff at each location and were delighted with their enthusiastic responses. In the end, we wished we could have included more book stores, but there are only so many hours in a day. It did give us a chance to recall memories of our libraries growing up and the ones we frequent now, as well as bookstores from our past.
Along the way we shared a lunch of delicious steamed muscles, sampled ice cream, cuddled in a movie theater, returned to that very same table at the Thai restaurant from six years previous, and ended the evening in a slightly naughtier place. Love is meant to be shared with the world. Take a look at the pictures below and you'll see how we shared it yesterday, and feel free to click on the pictures for larger versions.