the story of we: days of yore version.

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?


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.


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.

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21 Responses to “the story of we: days of yore version.”
  1. liz says:

    The skinny kid with the perma tan-what was his name? He was a stinker. You really should write the book and see if someone will option it. Its a great story.

  2. TMae says:

    You are an awesome storyteller.

    Also, I jumped up and down in my head when you mentioned your Esprit bag. I was waiting for a mention of jeans with zippers on the ankles also. Or perhaps pegged pants.

    Let’s bring back pegged pants, shall we?

  3. Staci says:

    That picture is mean…Like not as mean as the one of me squishing my boobs together but seriously…what is wrong with me? As an aside…great story :) write the book already. Just for cripes sake leave out the horror flick running from Jason photo :)

  4. Stef says:

    Wow. WW. You guys do have such a cute story! Write it. I double-dog dare ya. ;-)

    Oh, btw, I know most of the ppl in the group photo at WW, but who’s the d-bag? I can’t tell.

    P.S. I’m on my iTouch and when I typed “Stef” it auto-corrected to “ate” – I am what I eat? Also, when I typed “Blogspot” it auto-corrected to “bluffing.” Do you think Apple is trying to tell me something?

  5. Erin says:

    oh, what a swoon worthy story! Though there’s not enough bangs in these pictures. I need more bangs and a Benetton rugby. That would complete it for me.

  6. Elaine says:

    I wanna know about this email!

  7. momofM&MS says:

    so happy you are living your dream!

  8. Missy says:

    I love you for writing this and posting these pictures. I am drafting something similar, though my DH and I don’t go back to middle school, that’s for sure. Such a romantic love story… and yes, something are meant to be. <3

    I want more details! You're so elusive… I want documentation of email re-connection to marriage!!

  9. Can I just write about how much I LOVE reading your stories! What a great love story. Esprit bags? Heck ya they were a big deal. The pics are hilarious. I was surprised to see that I must of not known how to tie my shoes, LOL, either that or I was getting ready to squash a bug? Who took that embarrassing Oprah hair pic anyway. There must of been cuter pictures of me back then wasn’t there? Anyhow you to were adorable then, are adorable today and have the most beautiful baby girl ever!

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