Not to be cheesy, but my wedding has me giddy

I’m a simple man when it comes to my wishes and desires. Whenever I’m tasked to take part in a group ice-breaker activity, or even when I introduce myself to someone for the first time, I say, “My name is Matthew Peaslee, I like baseball, the city of Pittsburgh and macaroni and cheese.”

That about sums it up for my wants and needs.

So, when I began my first full-time “big boy” job in 2011, I told my co-workers of my favorite sport, favorite city and favorite meal. Tom Williams, my deskmate back then at The Vindicator, replied, “Wow. If you can find a woman who enjoys just two of those things, you’ve got your mate for life.”

I never did find a girl who likes two of those items. I found a girl who loves all three.

This Saturday, I will become the luckiest man on earth when I say, “I do” to Erin Wozniak. Little did Mr. Williams know at the time, but I had already been dating Erin for a year prior to beginning my first sports writing job at a daily newspaper. Erin and I met in the summer of 2010 at a baseball game, in Pittsburgh. Perfect, right?

It’s just too bad we weren’t eating macaroni and cheese.

Thanks to my baseball blog, which I spent more time updating during my college years than actually studying, Erin and I crossed paths. It was our love of baseball that started a love for each other.

We had arranged to meet at an early season Pirates game. They were playing the Braves, it was Andrew McCutchen canvas wrap giveaway night and I had eaten ice cream out of a mini helmet. Did the Pirates win? I couldn’t tell you. But I sure did when Erin and I ran into each other on the main concourse of PNC Park, right above section 114. That would be the first of many Pirate games we attended together for the next five seasons. It would have been nice to keep track of the wins and losses we’ve seen as a couple, but in the grand scheme of life, none of that really matters. What does is the special times we spend together at the games.

Of course, we have interests outside of baseball, Pittsburgh and macaroni and cheese. We watch football together, go on vacations to New York City and occasionally eat mashed potatoes as a side dish. But it all comes down to those three basic foundations for us – baseball, Pittsburgh and macaroni and cheese (Velveeta, Kraft, or otherwise it doesn’t matter).

Erin became my girlfriend in Pittsburgh, my fiancee in Pittsburgh and she’ll soon become my wife, just north of Pittsburgh in her hometown of Ambridge, Pa.

Over these five years, like any couple, we’ve experienced ups and downs. We’re alike in so many ways, but we also have our quarrels.

I enjoy sleeping in until the early afternoon. She’s an early bird, which means she gets the worm. Ew!

I think there’s nothing that tastes better than a cold Iron City on a hot day. She’s disgusted by any drop of alcohol.

I could listen to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac on repeat and not get tired of it. She thinks Steve Nicks’ voice is like nails on a chalk board.

There have been Pirates wins and Pirates losses. Wild Card games and appalling sweeps to the Brewers. More importantly, there’s been fancy dinner dates, job changes, deaths in our families, road trips, evening walks, board games, concerts and cuddling – the normal necessities for any couple – all spent together. We’ve helped each other out in many situations including car problems, money troubles and spurts of depression.

Nothing a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese can’t fix.

Most couples write vows to each other on the day of the marriage ceremony. I’m blessed to be able to write my feelings out so my euphoria can extend beyond the walls of a church. It’s this writing that brought us together and this writing that keeps me busy. There’s late nights in this profession, along with travel and paychecks that aren’t exactly on the same scale as lawyers or physicians. Erin understands that and knows what she’s getting into. She knows how fortunate I am to be living my lifelong dream as a sports reporter and we both realize how lucky I am to be writing in a region as passionate for sports as the Ohio Valley.

So, as we take this next step in our lives there will be even more modification to ourselves. We’re teammates for the long run, participating in more consecutive games than Cal Ripken Jr. and sticking with each other longer than Jamie Moyer tried to stay on a pitcher’s mound.

I hear stories of couples who have celebrated 40, 50 and even 60 years of marriage bliss together. Erin and I hope to stay healthy enough to make it to 70.

When I had the privilege of interviewing Pirates World Series champion pitcher Steve Blass at an event over the summer, I mentioned that he had been with the Pirates organization for more than 50 years, as a player, front office director and broadcaster. Blass smiled, winked his left eye and said, “I’ve been with the Pirates 56 years and with my wife 52 years. One wife and one team – that’s pretty good stuff.”

So is one bowl of macaroni and cheese, stirred with a cup of love.

(Peaslee, a Weirton resident, is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. He can be contacted at mpeaslee@heraldstaronline.com and followed on Twitter at @thempeas)


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