Four years ago in Salt Lake City, I was married to the best girl in the world. We drank and danced into the night with our friends and families.
Of course, being us, we received bottles and bottles of wine. One in particular we saved, to be opened a year later on the very same day. It was from a friend, Jason, who had been a mentor to me when I was just starting out in the videogame business.
In the following year both of us got jobs out in California, we packed up and moved on. My friend Jason gave me a glowing recommendation at a job i thought would make me happy (it didn’t, but that is another story). On our anniversary we drank the first bottle and bought its replacement, toasting the year, our marriage, and whatever else. We had a tradition.
Later that year Jason died, a result of a common prescription drug interaction that makes you wonder why these things aren’t digital already. He was in his mid-30s. It was rough. He had been one of my mentors, a friend to both my wife an i. A short guy with a chip on his shoulder that made him work twice as hard as the next guy.
So when we opened the next bottle i remembered him. It was my second anniversary and my dream job had turned into a waking nightmare (if you’ll allow me a cliche). It was unending days of sitting in the office until 2am, eyes slowly burning out of your head. Saturdays turned into sundays turned into mondays and work was simply all there was. We hated our apartment. But i had my girl and most of my health (that year i had shingles brought on by stress) so really who am i to complain. We raised our glass to each other, to two years, to Jason.
On the third year i had quit my job in the middle of the worst recession i hope i’ll ever see and i was happy about that (which says a lot about my old job), and my wife was still loving her job. Things were looking up. We raised our glass to the future, and to Jason, who once threw a chair at his boss who couldn’t fire him because he was the only one who knew how to do what he did.
On the fourth year we opened a bottle of Luigi Ferrando “Black Label” 2004. It’s a wine i love from a producer i love. It’s part of my history now, this bottle, and now it’s been replaced with something else for next year. i opened it with the girl i love. We sat for hours and talked. i own a small business now, she has the same job (she prefers constants a little more than me, i think) things are good. We toasted all that.
So here’s to you sweetheart.
And to you, Jason.