"Which one of these streets did you once live on? 156th, Powell, 49th, or Central?"
"What model year was the car you most recently purchased or leased 2001, 2003, 2008, or none of these?"
"Which of these license plates belonged to a car you owned, VXY764 JRZ459, or QLA229?"
I stumbled and guessed at each question and finally said, "I know you are trying to make sure that I really am the person on this bank account and that I am not sending $200 to a person (verrrrry suspiciously with the same maiden last name as me) as part of a scandalous and evil plot. The thing is, I don't remember where I put my keys 45 minutes ago. I cannot tell you any of these things you've asked me because that is all ten or more years ago.
"Okay Ma'am, well, here is another set of questions then."
"Which of these digits were the last four digits of a phone number of yours?" (Lists several sets of numbers one after the other.)
Which loan amount did you once carry with our financial institution? (Lists several dollar amounts.)
At that point, I had all but decided that Paige would not be getting $200 from me.
If the lady asked me where I first kissed Troy, what we had our first huge marriage fight about, or when and where Noah was conceived I could have passed that bank security test in a hot second. She missed all the important questions.
Finally, on the third round of the test, she gave me two questions that I could correctly answer.
"Okay Ma'am, what phone number would you like me to text the code to that you will enter in order to initiate the transfer?"
"Well, that's the thing. Haiti phone numbers have an extra digit and that jacks things up. I don't think you can text it to me."
"Okay then, let me keep you on the line and get that for you."
Ten seconds pass.
"Okay Mrs. Porter-Livesay, the code is ---- "
I spent an eternity passing her identity test only to lose Internet on my Skype call the minute she was going to give me what I needed in the first place.
I marched upstairs to the Maternity Center Midwife apartment to find Troy installing new batteries in KJ's apartment. "Did you just unplug the Internet?" I asked.
"Tara, meet the new guy here to help for a few months", John said as he directed my attention away from Troy and toward a bearded new guy.
I shook the new guy's hand and said, "Hello, nice to meet you".
"ARGH. Troy, I would like to strangle you right now."
I turned and marched down the steps.
Once back in the lab/prenatal room I decided to bawl my head off. Dumbest thing ever. But that's what I did.
I had passed DEFCON 5 security only to have Troy unplug the call at the very moment that I had reached the pinnacle of my ascent up security-question mountain.
If that is not a reason to lie down on a prenatal exam bed and sob, I don't really know what is.
<insert ^ sarcasm ^ font>
Later in the day I easily identified the four or five other reasons that I needed a good cry. All five were more legitimate than a disconnected Skype call.
When Troy was chatting with the new guy late in the afternoon, the new guy said, "Oh, I have never had a chance to meet your wife."
Troy said, "Oh yeah you did. That red-head that threatened to strangle me - remember her? That's my wife."
* * *
Because he lived through today, it seems likely that we will all be able to celebrate Troy's 40th Birthday on Thursday.
We will all miss having the boys and biggest sisters here for the celebration. The three girls and I plan to take him out for a nice dinner and celebrate his love, his kindness, his cuteness, and his strength.
In many ways, it feels like 40 has waited on Troy to arrive for a very very long time.
Fifteen years ago a neighbor kid came up to Troy while he worked on a vehicle repair in the driveway and said, "My Mom says there is no way you are old enough to be those girls' Dad."
He smiled and said, "She did, huh?"
So, the babyDaddy (a Dad that is a baby) that has walked two girls down the aisle and even carries the BA grandfather title of, "Tito", is finally Forty.
Happy Happy 40th Birthday to the most supportive and stable force in my life, and the best friend I have ever had. I am the luckiest girl. Whatever mess of failure, success, emotion, pain, or joy we encounter, I have a sense of peace and security knowing I walk through it all with you by my side. I love you, Troy.