She Had Me at “Want Some Fried Noodles?”

April is not only A GotPassport’s birthday month, but it’s also our wedding anniversary month (same week, actually!).  I can honestly say (as opposed to dishonestly saying) that if you were to ask me 11 years ago, on our wedding day, that we would be living and raising our daughter in Thailand, I would say, “…………….”  You see, I lost my voice on our wedding day, so I literally couldn’t say anything.  Strange, eh?  Never in my life did I ever lose my ability to speak, until that day.  I was diagnosed with (insert your own joke here) “atypical pneumonia.”  For real.  I couldn’t even give one toast!  Don’t bother with the Freudian analysis.  Been there, done that.

Anyway, that wasn’t the point.  The point of this post is to give a short and simple ‘shout out’ (yes, horribly outdated phrase, but I love history) of appreciation to my lovely “A,” aka “my better half,” aka “she makes me a better man,” you get the idea.  Think of this as my long, 11 year, belated toast to my ‘one and only.’  However, being a man of few words (Shh, don’t tell anyone), I want to keep this post short and sweet, like me.  So, I won’t mention things like how I fell for her the first time I met her, despite the fact that she didn’t remember me; or later on (but before we started dating) when her best friend Suzie asked her, “How about that J?” she responded with, “Who, him?  No way!”

No, I won’t talk about how she almost botched my marriage proposal during a picnic at Dana Point Harbor, by not wanting to open the box of gourmet crackers where the proposal card was hidden; or how she really means it when she says things like “Don’t buy me expensive things for my birthday or holidays,” and that it’s not reverse psychology.  I won’t talk about how I knew I wanted to marry her the day when she made fried noodles for me when I was studying for my comprehensive exams – during our first month of courtship.  Yup, she had me at “Want some fried noodles?”

No, no, I won’t talk about how A constantly surprised me by becoming a Martha Stewart (pre-jail MS) type – no, I knew she was a great cook – but gardening?  Camping?  Primitive camping!   Who is this person?  Someone this beautiful (glamorous even) and graceful can’t possibly want to get her hands dirty… but she does!  Didn’t see that coming at all.  I thought she would be more like a fashion diva than a primitive camping diva.

Least of all, I’m not going to get into how large her heart is (she’s fine, I meant that figuratively), and how selfless she is, always thinking of others first.  She rarely pushes herself to the front, seeking attention and recognition, even though she deserves every morsel of it for what she does.  On that day she made fried noodles for me, she mentioned how important her family was to her, and that was the moment I knew she was the one.  Yeah, I know you think it was about the noodles… What kind of shallow guy do you take me for?  Uh, don’t answer that.

So, for all the times when A worked tirelessly and relentlessly for others – workplace or otherwise – and without asking for and often not receiving any appreciation or recognition, I wanted this post to be a small gesture, from me, Bubba (oh the grief I get for choosing that name, she really puts up with me) of how much I appreciate her.  I want A to know that she’ll get that from me, even if the outside world doesn’t.

So, my short sweet message is, “I’m a lucky guy, to be with such a wonderful life partner.”   (I was going to say “Babe” but I knew that wouldn’t fly.  So I’m glad I didn’t say “Babe”).

I’ll finish the post by listing a few more reasons why I love A…(read the captions).

She laughs at my lame jokes, and likes me for me, geek and all. Photo by Dmitriy
She's not afraid to laugh at herself (Akha coffee journey). Photo by Kevin R.
She's extremely determined to learn and try new things, like photography. Photo by Dmitriy
She's an awesome Mommy & role model for M

Well, that’s my toast, 11 years after the big day.

Happy Anniversary and birthday, honey!!

Yours forever – (yes, in human years),


P.S., Thanks to our good friends Dmitriy and Kevin for sharing their photos with us.  Oh, I better ask them first if it’s okay to use them, but I assume it’s okay since they are such nice guys…

24 thoughts on “She Had Me at “Want Some Fried Noodles?”

  1. Congratulations on 11 years and then some! You guys make marriage and parenting look so worthwhile and easy (even though both are the hardest responsibilities). May you have many more laughs, joys, and success in your future!

  2. Awesome post, J … truly beautiful. The post that is, not you. I’m sure you’re very attractive and all but … y’know … girls are more my style.


    Just wanted to say that it’s wonderful to see two people still so happy together after more than a decade. Not something I’ve been able to manage, that’s for sure, and it’s very refreshing to see that it’s possible.

    Awesome stuff by two awesome people.

  3. Congratulations on your 11 year anniversary! Great to read a background history on how it all began.

    I was going to say, “you’re a lucky guy, Bubba”, but you are both lucky 🙂

  4. One of the best blog posts I’ve read in weeks. Congratulations to a wonderful family on the anniversary and for all the things you’ve accomplished – for yourselves and for others.

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