My lucky number is seventeen. I am hoping this continues as this weekend the Carpenter and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary (and by celebrate, I mean give each other a high five as we wait for the coffee to finish brewing). Here’s hoping this year brings us good things.
My fondness for the number 17 began when I was 16 years old, the first time I went to a Toronto Maple Leaf game and saw Wendel Clark play.
I am sure his restraining order will have reached the statute of limitations now, so I can admit I was an ardent fan (I prefer the word “dedicated”).
Back then I liked the bad boys of hockey, who could score goals and pummel their opponents with a brutality that I found oddly enticing. Violence in hockey? Absolutely. And I’m not sorry. I was young.
I was 17 years old the first time I met the Carpenter at a party. Three years my elder, to me he was old. We were introduced and exchanged hellos. No thunder. No fireworks. Nothing. He was so not my type. I wasn’t his either (because I could read).
It’s funny that I actually remember that moment, when at the time I thought it completely insignificant.
Years later, the Carpenter and I were reunited at a wedding for mutual friends when we were matched up in the wedding party. The punchline writes itself. Get this: the wedding was on the 17th day of that month, which I remember because it was also my mother’s birthday (anyone else hear the Twilight Zone theme here?).
But, as Wendel was my first love, and I am nothing if not loyal (remember: dedicated fan), when he hung up his skates, I hung up all three of my number 17 jerseys too; Toronto’s home and away colours and a Quebec Nordiques autographed jersey, all bearing the number 17.
I thought my streak was over. It was not.
I wore that number on a jersey the day of my wedding (not to Wendel of course, due to that whole restraining order mix-up).
True story. I put my TML number 17 road jersey over my designer wedding gown and tore up the dance floor with the Carpenter, the real man who has had my heart for two decades (because that is what tomboys in ball gowns do: they wear hockey jerseys, mom).
Why a jersey? Because we were married on the night of the first season match-up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians (note: TML won). My streak continued.
Years later, April 17 marked the birth of the best guy I know; our son. And next year, our amazing little girl will turn, you guessed it, 17.
Whatever comes next, the last 17 years have been the best.
Lucky me. Grateful for every day.