For days of yore, see here. And this is where it get’s serious.

So years passed… many of them. In 2005 a friend and I were chatting about the Man’s brother (as he was a mutual friend… like I’ve said before, small town). I went home thinking about where the Boy/Man was and what he was doing. Again. I hadn’t spoken to him since his graduation night in 1992 (where I said hello, and swooned, but he doesn’t remember).

I went to work.

I came home.

Rinse. Repeat.

Curiosity was getting the better of me. (For those who will inevitably ask… Yes, I was married. I had been for 12 years. No, I was not looking to rekindle anything, not being shady or seedy, just wondered what brilliant thing he might be doing with his life and wanted to find out. The very basis by which social networking thrives. Duh. (Admittedly more curious about what was going on with him than anyone else I went to high school with.)

I googled his name. It wasn’t hard to find his email address. Thank you World Wide Web. So I emailed him. We exchanged emails and quickly got caught up on each others lives. He was newlywed. I was on my way to a career in midwifery. We filled each other in and chatted about how he was going to be in town for a get together. I told him it was still hot in the valley. He told me he still hated it here.

Caught up on what he was doing with his life (being married, not having kids, working in the bay, playing in a band), I went about my life. He went about his. Etc.

The next year he emailed me at my birthday. (he remembered my birthday?)

I didn’t get the email (an address I no longer used). Another missed intersection point on our life graph.

Then I thought again about emailing him. Just to check in. Two years had passed. Certainly there was a little Boy (or Girl) running around by now. So I came home from work early one morning, got the kids of to school and I shot off a “HEY! What’s going on?!”email. And within a few minutes (literally like five) he emailed back. And no, no little Boy (or girl). He told me about his job and asked me about mine. We struck up a friendship. We exchanged opinions and talked about the upcoming election. We talked about religion. The valley we grew up in. Music. Our marriages. My kids. His cats. Work. We talked about running. Fitness. My half marathon training (and leg breaking). We bickered about why we had never really dated. We found we had a lot in common.

We became fast friends.

This went on. For some time. Like a long time.

While this was happening, other things were happening. My marriage was in the state of discontent it had perpetually been in. And the discontent was getting the better of me. The kids were older now and I was feeling less compelled to stay for the sake “of the children” as it were. I nearly left. Then I decided to stay. I spent nights on the bathroom floor. Sobbing. Staring at my own reflection. Trying to figure out what was the best thing to do. For them. For him. For me. (This is one of those life situations you really need to be IN to understand. It’s an ugly, sad, scary place.) The Man, as a good friend should, told me I should get to work on the marriage. And fast. For the kids. The vows. Myself.

I did.

Months passed.

It didn’t get better.

What happens next is certainly not the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to two people. But also far from ordinary. It sounds a little Montel Williams, only no screaming and punching.

I left. (The marriage that is.)

{I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it all eventually worked out.}

Anyway… After I left I decided to go see the Boy/Man.

I hadn’t seen him since I was 17.

And I. Was. Terrified.

But I drove to the Bay where he was living. A heap of trembling flesh. Sad but relieved. Scared but hopeful. Lonely but not alone.

And there he was. The same. But different.

And I fell into him the way you fall into a pool on a summer day in this valley’s unrelenting heat. Completely. And with reckless abandon. And all the way to the bottom.

And I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said that he fell into me the same way.

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is the other half of your puzzle?

All the corny, cliche things that they make romantic movies about?

Yeah. That.

This happened in September.

Of 2009.

Go ahead. Do the math.

I wish I could provide you with some tale of an extended romance. Of courting and wooing. Something drawn out that would keep you suspended in anticipation. But the truth of it is, when you meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right away.

And so it goes.

The months that followed were a blur of seeing each other when we could, talking on the phone until the wee hours and trying to build our future. All while trying to pick up the pieces of the past. He met the kids. I met his cat. By October we were partly co-habitating with him living in the Bay and here. In December we were getting engaged.

By the beginning of the year we were making a baby.

Then buying a house.

Then getting married (admittedly a little out of order)…

I call this one “Feigned indifference”

THEN having a baby:

And that, my friends, is our story.

Sometimes smack in the middle of an ordinary life, the universe gives you a fairytale.

He is mine.

love , marriage , the man , the story of we

Some people just have a standard “so and so introduced us” or  a “we met here or there” story. Our story looks a little like that and a little like something from a fiction romance novel. A little like a rom com. A little like fate. A little like destiny.

We met in 6th grade. I think I’ve already told you this, but just in case I hadn’t, it’s integral to the story. Cause dude, who meets the love of their life when they’re 11?

Us.

Anyway. We were both competing in the district spelling bee.

I did not win.

He did.

I loved him the second I laid my boring brown eyes on him. I am not making that up. That sounds cliche, and I know 11 year olds don’t know what love IS, but I loved doritos and I loved ho ho’s and fruit roll ups and orange slice and I know I loved him more than those and more than my cat(s) and probably even more than my esprit bag (ok maybe not that much. Those bags were a big deal.). But in any case, I was sold. He had me at first glance. I swooned. I gazed adoringly (alternating between moments of sheer spelling terror). I asked all the girls who he was. I found out his name. Matt. Matthew. Matt. Perfect. I thought about him all summer. I hoped we’d see each other in junior high the next year. (Pretty fair chance of this given there was only one junior high, not counting the country ones where the farmer’s kids went, and he clearly was NOT a farmer’s kid).

Eleven year old girls don’t have much to think about other than blue eyed boys they met at the spelling bee. So I spent my summer dreaming of the Boy. And having a dream wedding where doves carried the train of my dress and I descended down a spiral staircase adorned with  sprays of imaginary pink roses and my 12 imaginary bridemaids. And we had imaginary babies.  A girl and a boy. Also I painted my toes and got a tan that summer. But that’s less vital to the story.

In September we went to junior high.

See:

Weren’t we cute? Oh.Em.Gee. We were coordinating. It was meant to be.

Oh lawdy. That was 25 years ago.

Holy COW. That was 25 years ago.

Shit. That was 25 years ago.

In other news: Who picked out those earrings? Geez-us. The necklace? Good. Grief. I apologize to fashion icons everywhere.

In junior high and high school the Boy and I were like perpendicular lines on a graph. Every now and then we’d come together to form a right angle, but mostly we just ran in different directions.

But, because we lived in a small-ish town, and because I was stalking him refused to give up hope, we were always kind of around each other. Not necessarily (though occasionally) with, but always around. As sometimes happens when you’re recalling things that happened 25 years ago, the Man and I remember this time differently. I remember always hoping he’d ask me out. He remembers me going “out” with a bunch of other boys. I think I’m right in this case because I actually have a diary listing every boy I went out with in junior high and he’s number 1. Numero Uno folks.  Also in the diary… me writing JH + ME  TLA on no less than 37 pages.

Maybe we are both right.

No matter. I was a smitten kitten. He was busy trying to figure girls out. I never gave up hope that he would someday share my firm belief that we were meant to spend our lives together and take leisurely hand in hand strolls along the beach. And procreate.

Persistence people. Persistence pays off:

To provide evidence of the “around but not with” theory I give you the following:

I was looking through an old box of mostly stupid pictures of me and my friends wearing each others bras when I found these…

Christmas party. 1987

 

Why am I on the table? I have no idea. I like to pretend he is at my feet adoring me. Perhaps we were playing truth or dare. Or I was just being bossy. {probably that last one} Also this was the party where we played 7 minutes in my shower. I’d now like to publicly thank Jennifer Shugert for that dare. Even if the seven minutes were mostly spent leading up to the terrifying 5 second lip lock. Totally worth it. Totally. Also why is this photo crooked? Again, no idea.

14 th birthday party.

Yeah that was 1988. Oh good god I’m old. This was a Hippie themed party in case you couldn’t tell. Complete with handmade tie dyed clothing and Beatles posters. No weed though. Sorry to disappoint.

In other news, I had a lot of awesome parties as a kid. One thing my mom was, if she wasn’t busy getting married or doing tequila shots, was a heck of a party thrower. {I apologize if you’re reading this mother. Also you’re an excellent cook. Bygones.}

Next item of business: End of 8th grade.

15th birthday party.

The jury is out as to whether or not he just *happened* to be everywhere I was taking pictures (or having pictures of me taken) OR alternatively perhaps I was everywhere he was. Feel free to weigh in.

In our freshman year of high school we were both band geeks students. He played drums and I was on the tall flag.

You may make fun of me… starting… now.

Thank god for high school band. Because of our mutual love of band (please insert sarcasm), we took lots of bus trips. To places. I’m….. pretty sure. On one of the long bus trips the Boy and I occupied our time participating in the age old pastime of… Ahem. Use your imagination. NO. Not THAT. Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter people. (Word to the wise, don’t let your kids sit in the back of the bus.)

When the bus ride was over, I guess I told him that nothing had to happen further (allegedly). This is another one of those thing we remember differently. He seems to remember that he wanted to ask me out but thought i wasn’t interested. I seem to remember that I told him we didn’t have to be boyfriend and girlfriend because I thought he wasn’t interested. Defense mechanism to avoid rejection. Bad idea.

The next year I moved to a town not too far (but far enough) away. In the years that followed I would ask everyone about the Boy every time I was back in town (which was often) and he and I would run into each other a cross country meet or two. Every time I saw that his school would be where my school was I’d get all twitterpated again.

I’m not ashamed to admit that from 1992 when we left high school until 2007 when we again were in real legitimate contact, I dreamt about him periodically (No. Not THAT kind of dream. GEEZ.) I thought of him often. And generally always wondered where he was, what he was doing and if he ever thought about what happened to me.

And then I emailed him. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Turns out… some things are just meant to be.

love , marriage , the story of we