So, for the sake of nostalgia, I thought I would share with you all this bizarre love story.....
It starts with my friend, whom I will call Sally here in blogland. We're not actually friends any more, but that's another post altogether. So, Sally and I were best friends from about 2nd grade into adulthood.
I would make the 2 hour drive to visit her once or twice a month, especially when our kids were little, and we would just 'hang out' for a couple days at a time. Her husband, whom I will call Tom, is exactly a year older than me - we actually share the same birthday, so sometimes we celebrated our birthdays together. (He's not even her husband any more, but THAT'S definitely for another blog post!) Anyway, I think it was the summer I turned 20 that I finally met Tom's best friend from high school - he lived a couple hours away as well, and would spend a weekend once a month or so at Sally and Tom's house, and finally one of his visits overlapped with one of mine.
There were no fireworks or anything between us the first time we met, probably mostly because each of us was in other relationships....it honestly never occurred to me at the time to think of him 'that way'. I do remember my first impression of him being a good one, I noticed how considerate he was (opening doors for me and for Sally, etc) and that he seemed intelligent.
Fast forward about a year, I'm no longer dating anyone, and neither is he - Sally starts this hilarious "I Love Lucy" style campaign to fix the two of us up. This literally went on for a couple of years, including at least one great drunk-dialing incident that I barely remember now...I've blocked it out because it was so embarassing. It seemed, over those couple of years, that it just wasn't meant to be - his visits to Tom and Sally never overlapped mine. I helped drive Sally and her kids to northern CA when they moved, since Tom was already up there working - and then Tom's friends drove up with the moving truck the day I flew back home (they literally arrived while Sally was driving me to the airport!).
Sally persisted in her belief that I should date this guy. I remember asking her why she thought we were so perfect for each other, and the best answer she could give me was that we were the two "nicest" people she knew. Hmmmm, really? OK. I would have been more aggressive if I had known what I know now, but to be honest, I could not actually PICTURE kissing him. I knew he was a nice guy, smart, hardworking. I knew he was a reservist, and worked full time while going to college part time. I also knew he was an avid gun collector, which was kind of a negative to me - by this time I was a single mommy to 2 young children, and didn't want guns in my house.
Sally and Tom moved again, this time to another state. Their boys had birthdays coming up, and I knew Tom's friend was flying up there to visit for a week, so I used that as an excuse to call him and 'trick' him into a date with me...if nothing else, to show Sally that I at least tried. I asked him to come over and pick up the birthday presents I had for Sally and Tom's kids so he could take them up there in person, and I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of UPS (I forgot at the time that he WORKED for UPS! ha ha ha) and I offered to fix him dinner to repay him.
I couldn't believe he agreed! I'm guessing that after all these years, either Sally or Tom had to have put a bug in his ear to try to get him interested in me, but I also knew that he knew about my 'past' and my two kids......and the one-night-stand I had had years before with another one of his and Tom's friends, which apparently made me a LEGEND among these guys. (embarassing!!!)
Anyway, that first 'date' was literally the night that I knew I would marry him someday. Remember how I said I couldn't picture kissing him? Well I initiated our first kiss, just to find out what it would be like, and WOW.
WOW WOW WOW WOW!
I'm a little ashamed to admit I had been around the block more than a few times before I met him, and I had NEVER felt a kiss like that in my life. Fireworks is not even an adequate description. I felt this kiss all the way to my toes. A-MAZ-ING.
So, soap opera fans, this story is not even close to being over yet..... he flew up to visit Sally and Tom, and when he came back we were an item. He lived 85 miles away from me, worked full time and went to school part time, and still managed to see me at least once a week. It wasn't long before he was spending every weekend at my place. My kids were 7 and 2, and I worried about them getting too attached to him, but there was no way I could have fought the forces that were pulling us together.
Two months after our first date, Sally and Tom split up. We joke around now that the whole reason they ever got married at all was just to get me and my hubby together. We had our ups and downs. I was already a Honda girl after some bad experiences with other cars, and converted him pretty easily. He taught me how to shoot, and I now can't imagine NOT owning a gun. Ha ha ha!
Two years after our first date, I finally proposed to him - if I had waited for HIM to ask ME, I would still be waiting now, so I am glad I asked him! We conceived little 'knucklehead' somewhere in the month after getting engaged, and decided not to rush into a shotgun wedding, but to plan something for after the baby was born.
We ended up postponing the wedding several times, at least once due to his cold feet, and more than once for financial reasons. Knucklehead was 2 1/2 when we finally tied the knot on July 6, 2002. We had a very intimate ceremony (the chapel only seats 30, and we both have big families, so it was kinda cramped) and then had a lunch reception with about 100 guests. I can't even list the number of things that went wrong - including the fact that the wedding coordinator that worked for the hotel failed to mention that SHE would be on vacation the weekend of our wedding, and her inept staff apparently trained at the Three Stooges Academy - but the most important thing went right: I married my soul mate.
I hate spending this anniversary half a world away from him, but he is SO WORTH all of this. If you've read my blog, you know that I don't do this out of some patriotic drive, or some loyalty to the Corps, or anything else....I struggle through deployments because I LOVE THIS MAN with all my heart!
Sorry this was so long-winded, but thanks for hanging in there and reading the whole thing! Oh, and please take a minute to VOTE for me in Christina's contest! If I win, I want a custom t-shirt. Voting closes July 12, 2010, and there are 7 entries. Check them all out, then VOTE! (Mine is the first one)