I married up. I married a poor man, but I married the kindest man I’ve ever met.

It was during the World Series in 1995 that my husband and I had our second date. As we stood waiting for our table at Chin Chin on Sunset Blvd I realized that my date was missing his baseball game, it was only a few years after that when I’d know just how much of a sacrifice that is for him.

Dinner was nice, he was handsome and smart. His mother and his sisters were both housewives and he was proud of them for making that choice. He was A Nice Jewish Boy. I liked him.

He paid the bill and we ran out of the restaurant down a very steep hill to his Ford Festiva in the parking lot. Yes, he drove a Ford Festiva. No, it was not a nice one, it had neither door locks nor a gas gauge. He was dirt poor, which makes what happens next all the more admirable.

My husband (then date) took the change the waitress had given him out of his coat pocket and went to put it into his wallet. He looked at his wallet, turned his head to the side in a manner that is all to familiar to me now, and said, “Oh man, she gave me an extra twenty. Wait here, okay?”

As my date ran up the hill, in the rain, during the World Series to give $20 to a waitress that surely made much more than he did, I picked up my phone and called my mom.

“Mom, I met the man I’m going to marry.” I said.

“Ooh, have you told him yet?” She laughed.

“No, but he’ll figure it out. He’s the best man I’ve ever met.”

He proposed a little more than a year later. A year after that we were married. Tomorrow is his birthday, he remains the best man I’ve ever met.

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