Growing up, I never considered myself to be a lucky girl. I felt like I struggled for everything, that I was doomed to live a life full of settling for whatever I got. I was never the girl who guys fell for, or the girl who had to weed through several invitations to the school dance. I was quiet, broody, full of angst, and carried around a notebook full of poems about death.
One guy, though, saw past all of that. He saw that I’m a girl who will fight for the people she loves, who is pretty selfless, and a girl who strives to be true of heart no matter what. He saw past the imitation Tretorn sneakers, the huge plastic glasses with the coke bottle lenses, and my small rotation of bad sweaters from the local discount department store. He didn’t care that I lived in the poor side of town in a cramped apartment.
We met when I was 13, and it was only because of our last names and having to sit in alphabetical order in homeroom. He wasn’t someone who traveled in my small circle of friends. He was solidly middle-class, super smart, in all Honors classes, and he was so far removed from the redneck racing lifestyle that I’d grown up in.
He loved my sense of humor (though at the time, I would have sworn that I didn’t have one), and after a few months, told me that he liked me. LIKED me. ME! I was so in love with him. I had no idea how to handle it, and drama ensued. Painful drama. I crushed him. And in the end, I lost him. On the day we graduated from high school, he was Valedictorian. I thought I’d never see him again. After the ceremony ended, and we threw our caps into the air, I ran over to him and hugged him. Just to say goodbye. We hadn’t spoken in 2 years or so, but he was still in my heart.
Fast-forward 4 years later. We were both in college (he was Ivy League, and I was at the local community college). He came home for the summer before his junior year. I was just out of a shitty, co-dependent relationship. But I’d always, always loved this boy, no matter who I dated. We’d been communicating for a few months before that, and he invited me over to “hang out” when he got home. We’ve been together ever since.
7 years ago today, I was lucky enough to marry him. On our wedding day, before I walked into the ceremony room, I had a brief moment when I was terrified that he wouldn’t be there waiting for me. But he was. He is always there for me. He may not always agree with me, but he is there to support me.
It’s funny sometimes how we’re old now, responsible adults with two beautiful boys. He worries about his hair loss, I worry about my weight and my guts. But there is no one else I’d rather grow old with.
23 years after we met, I’m still wondering how I got so lucky.
Our wedding song: