And then I met a guy named Bruce.
One summer, Mother, Daddy and Aunt Bee watched the kids so I could go to an intensive course on economics. At the end of the row in front of me, I spotted Bruce -- a young professor from Massachusetts who specialized in legal history of the American Revolution. A lot of people might think that two young law professors would be drawn together because they wanted to talk about law all the time. Nope: I fell in love with Bruce because he had great legs. Really. He was gorgeous.
By lunch on that first day, I'd found out that Bruce had spent his summers through college teaching tennis, so I bounced up to him and cheerfully asked if he would give me tennis lessons. Bruce later admitted that he was sort of appalled. But he was exceptionally sweet and polite, so I set up a time to meet him on the courts after that day's last session, never noticing his lack of enthusiasm.
Bruce and I are very different people. I'm a hard-charging, go-to-the-mat-for-whatever-you-believe kind of person. Bruce is more of a quiet, scholarly, camping-out-in-the-archives-poring-over-an-old-legal-manuscript kind.
Years later, over a great deal of beer, Bruce confessed that I wasn't just pretty bad at tennis, I was terrible. I was his Worst Student Ever. I hit balls everywhere: over fences, over hedges, over buildings. Once I had a weapon in my hand, I gave it everything I had.
Bruce tells his own version of the story, but I figure the details don't really matter. Bruce loved me anyway, and I was completely crazy about him. When I proposed to him, he said yes. I bought a sundress that could double as a wedding gown, and 35 years ago today, I married Bruce.
Bruce has about a million good qualities, but I want to mention one: Throughout my career, and all the unexpected twists and turns, Bruce has been my biggest supporter. He has never once discouraged me from taking on a fight. Whenever I've been angry about the damage the big banks and powerful interests were doing to families all across the country, Bruce has always encouragingly asked: "So what are you going to do about it?" He's always believed that if I wanted people to listen to my ideas, I might as well shout from the highest mountain I could find.
Without Bruce, I never would've undertaken most of the adventures in my life. This anniversary, I'll celebrate living in America where everyone can marry their own Bruce -- their best friend, biggest supporter, and love of their life.
Thanks for reading this mushy email. And happy anniversary, Sweetie! I love you.