From Trash to Treasure

The first time I saw my wife, Marjorie, she was sitting across the room from me on our first day of MBA school. I vividly remember every detail. I like to think that I was there for my education and that she instantly fell madly in love with me. In reality, she was there for education as well and hardly noticed me.

But I noticed her immediately, and it didn’t take long for me to put my plans in place. As luck would have it, we were both having lunch one day with our peers. We were all joking about our classes, and I admitted that I strongly disliked accounting. Being a CPA and a very kind person, Marjorie followed me to the trash can and told me that if I ever needed help with accounting, she could assist me. My plan was proceeding perfectly. I just knew that she couldn’t resist me. However, she honestly just thought I needed help with accounting.

In our MBA program, we were given the phone numbers of everyone in our class, so I did what anyone would do in this situation — I called her and asked her to help me with accounting. Let me be perfectly clear — I had no intention of talking about accounting. To me, this was the first date.

She got to my office, and I immediately said, “I’m starving, let’s go eat.” Luckily, she was hungry. We went to Carrabba’s for Italian food and talked for a few hours. I knew that very night I would marry her. She didn’t realize it was a first date, but we kept hanging out and eventually started actually dating. Looking back, I think she kind of felt sorry for me that I was so clueless about simple accounting principles.

As time went by, just before graduation, I was preparing for my toughest negotiation yet. I had been deliberating for months about whether or not Marjorie would say yes to marrying me. I thought I would have to negotiate and convince her. I was preparing my closing statement. It was going to be epic. In my mind, people would be talking about it for ages. Then she surprised me yet again. We were sitting there talking when she said, “You realize that if we aren’t married when we graduate, my married name won’t be on my diplomas, and I’ll have to change everything, right?” This shocked me! The entire time, I thought I would have to convince her to get married — and surprise, surprise — she saw it differently.

For our wedding, we eloped to Hawaii — we wanted our wedding to be just the two of us. On the beach, we had a picture taken of us with “Just Mauied” written in the sand. Recently, we went back after 18 years. This time, we brought the kiddos and thought it would be funny to take another photo of the two of us on the beach with “Just Re-Mauied” written in the sand. I like to think it was my idea — it wasn’t.

I’m extremely lucky because my wife and I enjoy doing everything together. We have a lot of fun with our kids. We like to go to Disney, we like to cook, read, taste wine, and watch sports. There isn’t anything that I like doing that she hates or vice versa.

I also admire so many qualities in my wife. She’s intelligent, honest, has an incredible amount of integrity, and has an endless supply of love. She’s caring and compassionate — but we still see things differently, which definitely keeps things interesting.

In anything that I do in life or at Dellutri Law Group, I can always count on Marjorie to be my sounding board. I often run ideas by her, and she tells me yes or no using her innate sense of right and wrong. In law school, you learn about the reasonable man and what he would do in a situation. In our relationship, I am clearly not the reasonable person — my wife is. I like to push envelopes, and when I push them too far, my wife is always there to be my voice of reason and reel me back in. I truly appreciate and need that in my life.

I am thankful every day that she said, "yes" to marrying me, even though we have never really agreed on who asked who. Not only that, but I’m glad my wife followed me to the trash can all those years ago. Although she might not have seen it my way back then, our interaction at the trash can be turned into a treasure-trove of amazing moments together.