I checked out more than a book

I walked into the public library 30 years ago simply to get a library card and to see what books they had on General Patton.

That turned out to be one veeerrrrry expensive library card. But not because the books turned out to be overdue. And I certainly wouldn’t trade the reason why that visit “cost” me.

You see, I didn’t merely walk out with some books on my favorite general.

I walked out, figuratively speaking, with a wife.

On a March day in 1985, I walked through that front door just as a couple of little kids went scurrying out past me. A young lady — who could have been all of 16 for all I knew ( thankfully she was 22, as I was 26) looked up from behind the counter and joked, “Would you like to take some of these kids out with you?”

We talked for a while and I got my books. At least I think I did, who knows…

She asked one of the young volunteer pages at the library about me — we knew each other because my first girlfriend was her older sister. Apparently she said I was a nice guy.

Krista and I started talking on the phone for hours on end. Very soon after it was time for our first date. I showed up at the front door. Previously we’d only seen each other from across the library’s front counter. I discovered she was shorter than I thought (5-3). I was taller than she thought. She’d joked before we met that she’d never marry a tall guy and certainly never a sports fan.

She got a 6-2 sports fanatic.

We saw “Police Academy 2” and afterward got ice cream at Graeter’s. It was an All-American, or at least an All-Cincinnati, date.

We quickly knew the other was “The One.”

How quickly? Well, I asked her to marry me exactly 13 days after our first date. Actually, she says I never asked her — I simply gave her a ring and had to explain that it was an engagement ring. So she may have not exactly said “yes.”

Nonetheless, we were married three months later in June 1985.

It’s been a wonderful 30 years. We have two awesome sons. We’ve lost three awesome parents, one awesome brother, one awesome dog, several cats (awesome … for cats) and assorted hamsters, lizards and turtles.

We’ve had lots of wonderful, memorable times. And, like everyone, we’ve laughed and cried together over jobs eliminated, financial struggles, “Marley & Me” and “Field of Dreams” (those are both on me).

We have a lot of things in common, and we’ve learned to like things the other one likes, although there are a few things for which we still wonder, “How can you like that?” She’s even learned a few things about sports and we found one that we both enjoy — horse racing.

Through it all, she still tells me I look just like our wedding picture.

I remind her there’s a reason she just got her first bifocals.

Happy 30th anniversary, Krista Lynn.