Golfers will say you've "overclubbed" if the woman you married is way better than you should have had. In football parlance, it's called "outkicking your coverage." I'm sure poker players would have a term, too, if they'd ever get up off their fat aces and actually ask a girl out. (It's difficult to imagine the conversation ever progressing past, "Hey, little missy. Wanna come watch the flop to see if I flush?")
Pick the metaphor, and it applies to me. On this day 13 years ago, accompanied by her dad and "Trumpet Voluntary," Amy Nichols voluntarily walked down the aisle at Aldersgate Methodist Church in Abilene, Texas a little after 4 p.m. and agreed before God and man to become Amy Boone.
Scientists have a Rule of Thirteen, so named because, in order to generate a base formula (containing only carbon and hydrogen), the molar mass of the unknown substance is divided by 13. In a lot of ways, that rule describes our 13 years of marriage.
(Okay, I have no idea what that means. I just threw it in because Amy's dad teaches science at ACU. Thought it could be a telepathic, father-in-law/husband bonding moment. He's the carbon, I'm the hydrogen... Moving on.)
This is an unsuitable forum for me to express my love for Amy or to describe her greatness. Actually there isn't such a forum. Nor is there poetry, song, or work of art yet created that captures the fullness of a life with her. You'd have to be there. On the days in between the anniversaries. The January 12ths and July 22nds and October 14ths that pass without revelry but which when compounded produce a richness one can only appreciate in retrospect and humility.
You want to know the secret to a good marriage? Choose well. You can be a great spouse: loving, caring, considerate. But if you don't choose your mate well? Well, mate, you might just experience another scientific phenomenon: spontaneous combustion.
I've made too many poor decisions to count over the last 13 years. But the one I made November 23, 1991 - or rather the one she made on my behalf - has covered a multitude of sins.