They say every little girl dreams of her wedding day. I didn’t. I remember being little and dreaming of my future. When I was four or five, I wanted twenty babies…all at once…and I was going to live with my parents for forever. Never once did a husband factor into these dreams. You can laugh. I laugh at my fantasy every time I look back at it.
Then I grew some. I had my first boyfriend when I was nine. We held hands and spent all of out time at our daycare together. It was adorable since we were the two oldest kids there. By the time I was ten or so, I only wanted ten kids…still all at once. I still planned to live with my parents for forever…this time in a different state because we had moved. I still never pictured a husband.
By the time I entered middle or junior high school, I had had three boyfriends. All it meant was we would spend all of our time together and hold hands. I never once thought that I would spend the rest of my life with any of those boys. Even though television told me that I should have already been planning my wedding and reception, I had no interest. At the end of middle school I had added two more failed relationships. In one of those relationships I had also been the object of a relationship bet.
I had many many crushes throughout high school. Nearly every one of them was unrequited. Some of them, I somehow wound up with a close friend of my crush. I remember having crushes on two teachers – one was married (and I knew his wife) while the other wasn’t. I kept the teacher crushes to myself. The others, when I was brave enough to let them know I liked them, let me down gently when they didn’t like me romantically. There were some that I never told, and to this day I wouldn’t be able to tell them if I had a gun to my head. I couldn’t envision spending the rest of my life with any of them, so it was for the best.
I had a few “serious” relationships in high school. While my peers were losing their virginity, a serious relationship for me involved kissing and maybe some groping. Of these guys, there was only one I pictured living life with. The relationship didn’t even last a year. I felt like a fool after that break up because it was the one relationship I felt was supposed to be. He actually wound up being my last high school relationship.
The first time I met my husband, let’s call him C from now on, I was out with a friend and we were picking up his sister. I didn’t know H very well, but we were quickly becoming close. The plan that night was for K and me to pick up H at her grandparent’s house then….I don’t remember and it’s not important because it never happened. That night, I met H’s brother as well as one of her Aunts and two cousins. Being the quiet and shy tagalong, I wound up sitting in the living room and splitting my attention between the tv and staring at C. I thought I had been less obvious, but he still calls me “Staring Girl” to this day.
Less than a year later, I was living with him and dating his roommate. About two years later I had confessed my attraction to C to my boyfriend and he somehow made it (I’m fuzzy on the details) so the three of us wound up in bed together. I remember being nervous because in the two years we’d lived together, he never once hinted at attraction and we had some pretty epic arguments. I remember the next morning…well, more like afternoon…being stunned, but euphoric about having been with both of them. Not knowing that unconventional was ok, I eventually chose to stay with C and dumped the boyfriend.
A little over a year later, we found out that I was pregnant. C asked me to marry him shortly after. We married when I was 4 months pregnant. We didn’t do anything extravagant, but we did get married in a church by a pastor and have a small reception. C likes to dance, but to hard rock and metal, and I can’t dance and prefer pop, classical, and jazz to rock and metal. That means there wasn’t any dancing at our reception. We did have plenty of food, music in the background, and plenty of socializing amongst family. All in all, I was very pleased with what we had, and I wouldn’t change a moment of it (except maybe the date).
That doesn’t mean that married life is easy. C and I have had our ups and downs. We have known each other for 20 years (I don’t count from the time we first met, only from the time we actually started hanging out and interacting) and have been married for 17 years. There was a brief period of time, about 3 months, when we separated and were planning on divorce, but that’s a story for another time. We fight…man! do we fight! In 20 years, that hasn’t changed. But we love hard too. I have been blessed to marry my best friend…cliché but true. I look forward to 20 more years with C…then 20 more after that. And I look forward to telling more stories about our marriage.