in hindsight, there was something a little fishy going on, but i just didn't put two and two together soon enough. what's more, the clues were all clumped up closely to the culmination of events, too close for me to have seen the writing on the wall. the lightening fast response when i noticed a text on his phone from his boss, the excessive hours, the shower saturday evening after "work" even though he'd taken one that morning - but before we left to have dinner at her house with her husband. i'm an extraordinary snoop - and what's more, i didn't think he'd have the patience to tiptoe around my peering electronic presence.
and so it was, saturday night, when we walked into his boss' house, me dressed a bit more formally than i thought appropriate for a small dinner party. it's why i especially resembled the proverbial deer caught in headlights when the crowd of friends that under normal circumstances would not find themselves in the same room came into focus - their smiles and shouts rendering me completely disoriented. this man has never once successfully kept a secret from me, let alone a party to which 75 people were invited to celebrate the end of law school ... including countless friends that, i'm sure, have smirked a little and winked at him in my presence without my noticing, even listened to me complain about my disappointment over him spending all saturday at work. it's why even now, a few days later, i find myself smiling and shaking my head thinking about it - not quite believing he really pulled it off.
it's why, as i stood there in front of everyone, trying to remember when my birthday was, he had to lean in and whisper, it's for your graduation. that was right before i punched him in the arm and his grin stretched from ear to ear.
before saturday, the whole graduation experience (except for the actual walking across the stage and first putting my hot little hands on my JD) had been markedly underwhelming. for some reason, the heavens didn't open and angels didn't sing the praises of my intellect, i didn't grow four inches, i'm still spending all day at the law school, and i don't yet have a house where the windows actually open and i can sit outside and drink coffee in the morning. i had found myself cursing law school me, for all those days when i'd reassure myself under my breath, if i can just graduate, it will all be ok.
i know now that in a few months, when the bar and the months off before entering the real world like a big kid have faded much like the long days spent answering phones and shooting death stares at my boss, and for a long time afterwards, what i'll remember about graduation won't be the graduation eve fight with the parents, but the moment on saturday at which i realized that man had been making all those plans and doing all that cooking to bring all my friends together for me. i'll remember the smiles on everyone's faces - both because of the satisfaction from having duped me and because of my accomplishment. i'll remember a night full of congratulations and laughter and general merriment, which is really all i ever wanted.
i'll remember that i really do have the best husband ever. and that he can be a sneaky, sneaky bastard.