Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Once in a Lifetime

 Extra credit if you can name the band (without google!)

The week I Fell in Love on the Pacific Coast
I'm not going to lie, he was never supposed to be marriage material; It wasn't love at first sight.  There were some pretty major red flags.  It took him months of "coincidentally" meeting me in the library while I was studying (he allegedly commandeered a book of passes and forged a teacher's name) to convince me to see him outside school.  I was finally persuaded because he made me laugh so hard that my over-sized Polish cheeks would hurt for hours after we were together.  I didn't tell people about him, and not just because he was 1 1/2 years younger (which is a HUGE difference in HS), it was because he wasn't long-term material.  I was pretty sure I was never going to get married; fairytale love didn't exist, and I was going to be a liberated, successful, independent woman.  Men (and kids) were just too much effort*.

I don't say "We Fell in Love" because as the legend goes...
I was only with him for fun and when it stopped being fun, it would end.  When I downplayed our relationship, he told me that I was way too pretty and smart and fun to be marriage material anyway; he could date me but for marriage, he would need to find some old hag (and no regular guy expects a trophy wife the first time around).  We went to separate colleges but emailed everyday.  We wrote about real issues, thought through life, and challenged each other.  Even when I tried to put separation between us, he would call or write a poem and make me laugh and subsequently, I would agree to plan our next weekend home at the same time or go down to visit him.  We walked and talked and laughed. 

I tried really hard to ignore the electricity every time he reached for my hand.  There was just something about him that made me feel warm and safe and comfortable and happy**.

he already knew We Were in Love.
4 1/2 years in, we were on a hike in the mountains of Washington state over spring break and I realized that even though we were different, our core values were the same.  We didn't agree on everything but we were better and more balanced together than we ever could be individually.

I was sort of frustrated for falling in love but felt like life without my DH was lacking.  I had envisioned that I would be a professor and single and spend my life reading and traveling and writing.  I looked at the married, minivan-driving, codependent, mothering, suburban life as intolerably boring and what uncreative women settled for when they had no other options.  In the naivety of youth, I had no idea just how fulfilling this life can be.  How wonderful it is have my Prince Charming, complete with a hail-pocked White Honda and all.  We've been together more than half our lives and it still feels like we are playing house. 

We don't really participate in Hallmarky holidays.  I'm not a cynic or unromantic or jaded, just frugal and think a required day to show affection is kind of silly.  The kids make valentines and we usually make a heart shaped pizza or eat pink donuts but the fact that a bouquet of flowers is normally $7 but today is $23 is crazy. I don't need a really crowded dinner out just because it is February 14th.  I do think it is important to fill up the love bank regularly, and to me, it is the everyday stuff that matters.
  • I love that I never have to drive when he is around (and that he rarely makes me car sick). 
  • I love that he makes coffee every night on a timer so in the morning it is ready for me. 
  • I love that we watch PBS Mysteries and need tons of down-time.
  • I love that we always have on music and both love concerts of any kind (especially free).  
  • I love that he does the after dinner dishes.
  • I love that we judge wealth by trees and happiness, not dollars and investments.
  • I love that to him I'm never the "weaker vessel", only the precious vessel.
  • I love hugs on the stairs and that he finds velour pants with an oversized t-shirt sexy.
Most of all, I love that he didn't give up after the first time (or 100 times) that I said no, and that I didn't give up when he obliviously spent our first Valentine's Day at the auto show with the guys when he doesn't even like cars.

We are all a little weird and
Life's a little weird,
And when we find someone whose
Weirdness is compatible with ours,
We join up with them and fall in
Mutual Weirdness and call it Love.
                                            --Dr. Seuss

(okay, so for the record, I HIGHLY doubt this is actually a Dr. Seuss quote 
but that is what the internet says, and as we all know, the internet NEVER lies).

*I may have been short-sighted and down right wrong on most of things, but I was right about men and kids being a lot of effort. 

**Did I mention that I love that he still reaches for my hand when we are walking or at the movies or driving or find something funny or when I'm about to get lost in a crowd because I'm a little vertically challenged?  And even 20+ years later, I still feel the electricity, I think even more now than ever.


  1. OK - Just spilled half a glass of red wine while reading your love story. Beautiful!!!!! So happy you & Jake are so happy together!!! Love to you from Kentucky! Deb

  2. Deb! So sorry you spilled precious wine! maybe it was the universe telling you that we need to share a glass together soon! and thanks, I feel super lucky that he knew long before I did that we would be perfect together-- and also a much needed lesson that true happiness doesn't always come in the package that we were expecting. Sending love to you gals--