Simply put, I've loved him since we were 15... maybe a smidge before. We were in shop class together... and me and my best friend, locked him and his best friend in the tool shed. We girls were In Trouble with the teacher, let me tell you that much. But I think that started it. As a random note, both of the best friends were red heads and they didn't particularly like each other.
So we were high school sweethearts. One of the teachers pulled me aside one day during our senior year and told me that technically he won The Coolest Car and I won The Best Hair but everybody wanted us to The Cutest Couple...but you wouldn't "win" two awards so we were crowned Cutest Couple. We were also on Homecoming Court and Prom Court. My Best Hair was spectacular and we were really something as we cruised up in his Coolest Car.
It was funny because we weren't part of the popular crowd – in fact, you know me, I was already giving the finger to what was popular. So we became the de facto leaders of the regular folks and led a rebellion against the cool kids, such as it was. But all things, including high school, end and so we parted ways. Me, for my college and him for his university. The long distance thing lasted just short of a year and I thought that was it.
Fast forward about 10 years after that – geez that's been about 15 years ago. We call this part "Take Two." I was living my software life on the Left Coast. He was living in New Mexico. Even without Facebook we found each other again and met half way for a kind of reunion. In Vegas. For exactly 14 hours. But what happens in Vegas can't always be left there. So we commuted between the desert and the ocean for about 18 months.
But he was extremely stubborn and refused to move to the city. And there was no way I was going to live way out in the middle of no where cut off from civilization. So we parted ways again.
Life went on. My big life got bigger... and in the course of his own life he eventually left the desert and went back to his family farm in Ohio.
Then one day I was sitting in a dreadfully boring training class for some new fangled techno-whizbang, legal beagle, people finder. I soon glazed over and wandered from the assigned syllabus and started messing around with the people finder. Golly. You can find just about anyone anywhere... say.. I wonder where The Big Man is living... I figured he and his lovely wife and 2.5 kids were still in the desert. But a small town in Ohio kept popping up every time I entered his name. I knew it was him because, being a keeper of useless facts, I remembered part of his social security number. So there he was. And there I sat in that class. And I remembered his old email address... hum....
All y'all know how this goes, right?
So I sent the first email and this is about how it went:
Me: Is that you?
Me: I'm looking at the farm with this new google map thingy.. I think I can see the farm house.
He: Well, I'd better go get pants on then.
It turned out he wasn't married with 2.5 kids. He never married, and his only fault was that he was a Republican... but I could overlook that even if I was from the bluest state on the map. We corresponded. We caught up. I planned to visit my sister in Ohio and we agreed that maybe he could make the 2 hour drive and meet for lunch?
Instead of the expected happy reunion... for this third time of finding each other.... my family suffered a private tragedy. But he showed up anyway. He helped. He stood in the gap. He was the rock that kept me, and us, from slipping apart. He held my hand. He shouldered the weight for all of us. It was a lot to ask from someone I hadn't seen in 10 years.
During that time I considered buying a house near my sister here in Ohio and since he was in construction I asked if he wanted to go and check it out with me. It was a lovely older Victorian and I probably would have signed the papers right then.
So you know how everyone hopes for that Hollywood moment? When the story comes together and the music is swelling and he and she are standing there and the sun hits them just right and... and... and...
Me: I LOVE this house – its perfect! Can you think of any reason why I shouldn't just buy it?
He: Because you should come and live on the farm with me.
And that was that. All those long years of being apart were gone in that instant and our fate was sealed.
After that we had our exodus from the city, the move into the old farm house, and then on one perfect summer day in June we got married. We wore shorts and so did our family. The pastor gave us the blessing and pronounced us under the crabapple tree in the back yard that one of the grandmothers had planted. The sun shined, the rooster crowed, the dog barked, and everyone cheered. We had BBQ and cupcakes under a tent in the yard between the corn fields.
The only problem with being married to someone who you grew up with is that you are no longer a mystery. At all. I hate that he has me all figured out. Unlike others, he doesn't flinch when I'm extra scary and trying to get my way – he laughs at me. Try to start an argument? It's no use. Pick a fight? Nope. He doesn't go for that either. Tell him how wrong he is? He just says that he's happy being wrong. Tell him to go sleep on the couch? He says “Great! Its just like camping!”
And then there's the matter of how we always have the same thought. At the same time.
"Have your own thought!"
"YOU have your own thought!"
"No you stop it!"
For heaven's sakes.
And there is no sense in even talking anymore – we just grunt like a couple of old fuddy-duddies. Its easier and faster. We already know what the other is going to say. Especially all his stupid jokes. I know all of them mostly because I come up with the same ones.
We even had all the same movies so I sold mine at the big garage sale when I sold my house.
So here we are. Two old fuddy-duddies who know the same jokes, have the same movies, and know the same, stupid obscure trivia. We've each taken to taking to the poultry because at least they don't already know all our stories.
And that's how I got The Big Man. Again. I guess the third time is the charm?
But if I think about it.,. there were some funny moments at the wedding.. but that is another story entirely.