Weddings Vows from Me, a Spelling Bee Champion, to You, My Former Spelling Bee Opponent

Catherine, when I met you fifteen years ago competing on the national Spelling Bee circuit, I knew you were the one for me. While we were opponents on the spelling bee stage, we’re now teammates in love. I hope these vows really spell out—wink wink—how much I love you.

I love that you’re a Mets fan, I love that you like Thai food, and I love that you’re ​​esquamulose, you know, not covered in scales or scale-like objects; having a smooth skin or outer covering.

The fact is, as long as I’m with you nothing else matters. Even if the world was ending, I’d be pococurante, just like I was in the third round of the Dayton County Regional Bee when my word was “pococurante.”

I don’t have to borrow from the French pococurante (meaning itself), to describe our love. Instead, I’ll borrow from Europe to describe our love in one word: stromuhr.

I know an instrument for measuring the velocity of blood flow may be an odd word to choose, especially one derived from the German “strom,” or stream, and the German “Uhr,” or clock. I thought it was especially odd that no one else on stage at the bee, yourself included, knew how to spell it.

But a doctor would hardly believe their stromuhr if they saw my heart when I’m with you. It’s bursting, beating with all the happiness in the world, almost as much as when they crowned me spelling bee champion that year.

Not that I remember all the spelling bees I’ve won, all twenty-six of them starting from the junior elementary level of the greater Cleveland area. A marriage is not the place to hand out awards. I have no need for guerdons—either the Middle English or Old Latin derivations. Your love is the only reward, prize, or recompense for a service—an accolade—that I need.

Look at me going on, with my logorrhea, a tendency to extreme loquacity. I could continue with its origins in Ancient Greek, and I’d love to use it in a sentence about my garrulousness, and I could… well, that’s about it.

I’ll put it plainly and clearly to all with this: our marriage will be eudaemonic. Do you need me to use that in a sentence? I know you love hearing the words in a sentence now, giving you time to think of the perfect humorous retort, even more than you did when we competed, giving you time to delay the inevitable misspelling of a word that would propel me to victory.

But the only sentence I need is a life sentence with you, Catherine. I mean, I’ve never really needed any sentences or definitions to correctly spell a word.

That doesn’t matter now, like it did back then. The only thing that matters is I’ve loved you from the very first moment I saw you. That love was autochthonous, and it existed as if there forever, very much like… an autochthon. I’m a spelling champion, not a thesaurus.

Let’s make that love permanent, able to exist among all the words, all the worlds, and all the time from there to infinity, or until our next Wordle game.

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