we sat in an overpriced coffee shop in a fancy hotel with your spanish-speaking venezuelan aunt, your brother, and your plate of crab legs. i still wasnt sure what to think of you- you spoke spanish! and your cracked your crab legs with your hands! i didnt know then that you stick your gum on the counter when you think you are going to use it again. you reset your odometer everytime you get gas. you brush your teeth for much longer than the average person, and you have a beautiful singing voice that sounds most akin to the lovechild of mark hoppus and david crowder. before i knew any of that, there, in that cafe, we picked significant numbers and played a mean game of keno, the only money i have ever won gambling. four dollars. those four dollars shaped our future together more than almost any other tangible item. we made a decision for our small spark of love that night- that we would use the money wisely. and only one dollar every ten years. you folded up all four, and stuck them safely in the credit card section of your wallet. then, you found a piece of paper napkin and a stubby keno pencil and began to create our first list. that night, we decided that we would get married, but not yet. we had to do alot of things first. we made plans to visit venezuela together, and to finish school, and on that not-quite-proverbial piece of napkin we wrote that we would get married, only after we graduated college. we both had 1 and a half years left. were backwards people, you and i, we make alot of plans and forget all about them. im going to go ahead and attribute 100% of the reasoning behind that to our Creator. in any case, we forgot to graduate college first and got married instead. which prolonged our graduation and had me wondering if either one of us would ever walk across that stage, diploma in hand. and now, here we are, the eve of our graduation, our caps placed neatly side by side on the table, our robes hanging in the hallway, and that elated smile on your face everytime i mention anything about tomorrow morning- because it hasnt been easy for either one of us. we have both fought off our demons, worked our butts off to pay for this, stayed up late late late into the night studying and finishing projects, fought to the death to finally, finally, get to this point. we did it! we did what only 28% of americans have done! im the first female in my family to do what we are going to do tomorrow morning! you moved here from another country, learned a whole new language, and are now graduating with a degree that requires a vocabulary i could only hope to understand! i am so proud of you and i am so excited to walk with you across the stage tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. i love you, pal.