Monday, August 15, 2005

13 Years Ago Today...

I said "I do" to my husband, and thus began our long and wonderful road that is marriage. For our 13th anniversary, we did not do much this year. Life with kindergartener and toddler hijinks was too crazy for any serious date night or weekend trip. Instead, we settled for a nice lunch out with family and our kids, a quick afternoon movie, and some cards to say I love you.

But, instead of talking about now, I'd like to talk about when we first met. My second year of college, I came back ready to have fun. I loved college life and going home that summer to my tiny hometown was very boring and difficult. I had reunited with my high school sweetheart, whom I'd broken up with my freshman year at college after several bad months of the long distance thing. (Looking back now, I know I should have never gone back to dating him that summer.)

So, I show up to school 8 pounds lighter, thanks to a crash Slim Fast diet, a new perm (it was STILL the 80s people!), and I was excited to be there early to hang out with my dorm friends and help out with sorority rush. Basically, because of rush, we got to show up to school early for two weeks of partying and absolutely no responsibilities. What more could you ask for?

It was the first year my new sorority on campus held a rush to get new members. So, we had a lot of work ahead of us. And, all of us were new to the sorority thing, so we had lots of practice parties. One particular night, we were each asked to bring a friend to "practice rushing." (For those who don't know, rushing is basically interviewing and getting to know a potential sorority girl and getting an idea if they'd fit in your group.) We could bring anyone with us, but I didn't know anyone to bring who was already at school and available. My friend Kim said she knew two cute guys who both worked there all summer who might come. She kind of had a crush on one of them and said his friend was very cute too and I could bring him as my "rushee."

So, the night of the party, we had to do our rush performance. (The sororities put on shows, singing and entertaining "rushees" before they get to break away and meet them.) We were lined up singing against the walls of our house, and I motioned to Kim across the room to point out who "my rushee" was for the evening, because I hadn't had a chance to meet him yet. She pointed to a guy a few people back from the middle who had the brightest and warmest smile I have ever seen. I looked at here and mouthed, "You were RIGHT. He IS cute!"

The next few weeks and months flew by for me and my future "hubs." We hit it off instantly. Never had a met someone with which I had more in common. We grew up going to the same denomination of church, actually knew some of the same people at our huge college, liked the same movies, had the same sense of humor, and liked to do the same things. Truly, it was amazing. I would sit out on my dorm steps for hours (literally) talking to him. Most of the conversations were spent finding the best way to one-up the other person, or get a really good "slam" in on the other. Thus formed the basis of our relationship, and why we still tease one another incessantly today. People sometimes say we act more like siblings with how we tease one another, but I love that aspect of our relationship so much.

Then, rush is over and school starts and I get busy going to classes. One of my classes had me worried a little. It was a Biology class in a huge lecture hall with several hundred students. I had never been in a class this big where the teacher basically lectures, you don't ask questions and you deal with a teacher's assistant for any issues you have. And, as I walked in my first day I was very overwhelmed by just the room. And, then I looked down. And the back of the head a few rows in front of me looked strangely familiar, but I didn't know why. And, then he turned around. It was my future husband, again smiling that wonderful smile at me. I instantly moved to sit with him.

The next few weeks were wonderful. We made a good team in the Behemoth Biology class. He took no notes, and I took too many. However, he was decent at science and math, and I was horrendous. He'd ace the lab portion of class and I'd struggle, while I'd do great on the lecture tests and he'd struggle. We had so much fun getting to know each other and started hanging out more and more "to study." We had one night out dancing with friends at a club when I turned away and turned back only to have him plant a wonderful surprise of a kiss on me. I was shocked, but happy. I still remember how wonderful that surprise kiss was to this day.

But, there was one big problem. The old boyfriend at home. I still had him. But, from the moment I met my future husband, I knew that boyfriend was not going to be around for long. I wasn't a dumper type of girl. I didn't like to hurt feelings or be mean. So, I tried to do the gradual break-up, where I'm too busy to talk on the phone more and more until it fizzles. Only, I have this problem in that I really SUCK at lying. So, as soon as the old boyfriend could tell something was different, he was on the phone grilling me about what my problem was. This happened on a night when my new guy was over in my room studying. I had told him about my boyfriend and he was very cool with the whole thing. He understood and I think he knew I was interested in him and not just telling him I had a boyfriend. But, he backed off some and had faith that things would work out.

So, there I am, potential new boyfriend in my room, old boyfriend on the phone. Even in that moment, I couldn't believe that I got into this situation. These kind of things don't happen to me ever. I did not handle it well. I got off the phone very rudely with my boyfriend, walked my new guy out to go back to his dorm (and he was feeling lousy about being in the situation too), then went back to my dorm and called the old boyfriend back. I broke up that night and just told him I'd met someone new. And he was very angry and very hurt, something I still feel bad about to this day.

But, I have never regretted making that rash decision for a guy I had just met. Deep in my heart, I knew I'd found my soulmate. I took him home weeks later to meet my family, which was also a crazy/rushed thing to do. I never did things like that. I was always the "responsible" child of the family, so I think my parents thought I'd gone nuts or something. But, I'm sure after they met him, they knew why I had be in such a rush to show him my family and my life before we'd met.

Hubby, we have had some rough ups and downs this year that seemed almost too much to take. But, honestly, the thing I always come back to is how I felt when we met--like I'd found my perfect match. And, no matter where life takes us, I still feel that way today. Happy 13th Anniversary. I LOVE YOU!


Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Your husband will feel so special when he reads this! I know how it feels to have a partner you have everything in common with... I feel like it will keep us together for a very long time- It's encouraging to see you've reached the big 1-3!

8:35 AM, August 16, 2005  
Anonymous irene said...

happy anniversary Steph!

9:19 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Lisabell said...

aww. just.....aww.

10:07 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Babs said...

you got married when you were 12, right? ;-) It makes me happy to know of people like you and J. You rock.

3:29 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Yes, I was 12. Thanks, Babs! (And LET ME POINT OUT here that you are only a year or so younger than me, thank you very much! HA!)

We did get married young for most, right out of college. But, where I grew up, this was very old. Small towns...gotta love 'em!

4:21 PM, August 16, 2005  

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