Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love . . . and Cooties

Valentine’s Day is coming up. So, I thought a love story would be appropriate right about now. To say that my husband and I have an unusual “how we met” story is a bit of an understatement. I’m not sure you’ll even believe it, but this is how it happened.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a single mom, me. I spent my days working, taking care of my son, and working on my house. I can’t believe that all fits into one sentence. Just doesn’t do the actual doing of it all justice. It was sometimes difficult, but we were happy, and that was more than enough for me. It had been just the two of us for six years, and I had absolutely no intention of changing anything. Plus, I had great friends and a supportive family. My life was complete.

Okay, sure, I did the whole dating thing for a while after my divorce, but that was a nightmare. I had long since decided to declare my re-entry into the dating scene a disaster and rope it off with crime scene tape and orange barrels. Nothing to see here, folks, move along!

My favorite saying was “I do not need a man in my life. I have enough to deal with as it is. Who needs that extra aggravation?”

I even decided that going to Happy Hour was more than I wanted to deal with because it’s illegal to ban men from them. Any Happy Hour is gonna have two types of men (1) the married ones and (2) the single ones. And I was not a fan of either.

When anyone asked if I ever intended to get married again, I would say, “If God wants me to find a man, He’s gonna have to throw him down right in front of me, because I’m not looking!”

When my son turned seven, he started saying things like, “Mom, why don’t you get a boyfriend?” And “Mom, I really think you need a boyfriend.”

Even my boss, a MAN, felt compelled to add his two cents. He said, “Brenda, you’re a good ol’ gal. It’s just too bad there’s no demand for good ol’ gals.”

Yeah, he got the stink eye for a week for that crack. But things were rockin’ along fine, so who cares, right?

When are you people gonna get it? I don’t need no stinkin’ boyfriend!

Then, from out of nowhere, I started having a dream. In this dream, there was a *gasp* man! I never could see his face clearly, but he was definitely wearing an Air Force uniform and somehow I knew he had blue eyes. It was a wonderful dream. A dream of falling head over heels in love. A feeling like no other. Over time, the dream evolved, and there were scenes of a wedding and even a honeymoon in the mountains. I rarely remember dreams, but these I remembered vividly. And they were really starting to bug me.

We did live in a town with an air force base. Guys in uniform were everywhere. So, I kept telling myself it was just a ridiculous, nonsense dream. But, when the base had an open house, I decided to hedge my bets, and I dragged a friend out there with me at 6:30am on a Saturday morning. Nothing.

Well, of course not, I told myself. What were you thinking anyway? Stop it! That kind of stuff only happens in dreams and romantic comedies. Besides, SELF, we don’t need some silly man mucking everything up. Get. A. Grip.

A couple of months later, my friend, Cathy, called and said her son was away on a sleep-over and, since mine was with his dad that weekend, we should go out and have a drink somewhere. Maybe listen to some music. Girls’ night out. I resisted. I REALLY didn’t want to go. But she just kept on and on about it until I said, “Okay, okay, I give! Maybe just one drink.”

We ended up going to a small club neither of us had been to before. It was nice. Decent music. We ordered a drink and started talking. There was a dance floor, and people were starting to dance. I had no intention of dancing. That’s just asking for trouble, because then they want to come sit at your table, or they start sending over drinks, and it’s just a whole thing I didn’t want to deal with AT ALL.

Oh, no. Here comes somebody now, headed straight for me. I really don’t want to hurt his feelings. Yep, sure enough, he’s asking me to dance. He looks like a nice enough guy, but . . . I opened my mouth to say, “No, thank you,” and I heard myself say, “Sure!” WHAT did I just say?! Well, there was no graceful way to get out of it, so I danced with him. Hmmmmm He does a decent two-step, not drunk, polite, cute. Okay, it could definitely be worse.

After the dance, he walked me back to my table and, right on cue, asked if he could sit down. Again, I started to say something along the lines of “ve vant to be alone!” Instead, what came out was “Okay!” WHAT is going on here?

There were introductions all around, and we started to talk. The usual chit-chat. At some point, I asked him what he did. He said he was in the Air Force. I looked at Cathy and she looked at me. Well, men have been known to lie about these things, so I told him to prove it. Naturally, he was a little surprised, but he took out his wallet, pulled out his military ID, and handed it to me. Rats! It’s too dark in here to be certain, but I’m pretty sure it says his eyes are BLUE! Are you kidding me?!!!

“Uh, excuse us for a minute. We’ll be right back!”

I grabbed Cathy and unceremoniously dragged her into the girls’ room.

“You don’t seriously think this is the guy I’ve been dreaming about, do you?! That’s just nuts! It can’t be! Can it?!”

I don’t really remember the rest of that conversation. I do seem to remember that Cathy was incredibly calm about the whole thing. Well, when she wasn’t laughing, that is. I definitely remember laughing. It was almost as if, in an instant, we both knew this was the man of my dreams.

Shortly after we got back to the table, Cathy said she was going home. Ordinarily, I would have been out the door with her. I mean this guy she was leaving me with was a complete stranger. But it all felt so normal, like we just knew this was someone we could trust. Like it was a done deal.

But, of course, it was a done deal. I have absolutely no doubt there was Divine Intervention here. In my state of mind at the time, I never would have slowed down long enough to look at this man if not for those dreams. God knew exactly how to get my attention. And then He set him down right in front me.

Yes, he was and still is the man of my dreams. Six days after we met, he proposed to me. Nope, that’s not a typo. It was six days. Not quite three months later, we got married. Less than six months after that, the Air Force sent us to Sardinia, Italy.

And, here we are, 20 years later, still standing. And he still tells me “Happy Anniversary” every year on the anniversary of the day we met, and on the anniversary of the day he proposed to me and, of course, on the anniversary of our wedding. (He is actually much better at the romantic stuff than I am.) He still surprises me with flowers and cards and little things that made him think of me, for no reason at all or because he knows I’ve had a bad day. He still makes me laugh, even when it’s some of the same old schtick I’ve heard a brazillion times before. He thinks he’s the funny one, and I suppose there’s no harm in letting him believe that, right? {Wink} He says I’m the goofy one – with cooties. Okay, so he’s a little funny.

Don’t ever doubt that dreams can come true. You never know who or what is just around the corner . . . And I don't have cooties!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey!


Renagade said...

Awesome! Yeah, its flashback time for me....

I was working as a waitress and in he walked. One look and my knees got weak, went to the kitchen and told the cook, "the best looking thing that ever walked the face of this earth just walked through the door and I cant wait on him, I am shaking too bad go do it!"
Of course she said NO ... And I had to.
When he paid, he asked me if I was married, I answered honestly, "unfortunately,yes" for I was in a real bad marriage. He told me if things ever changed to let him know.
Well six months later, my marriage disolved, and I swore off men. Then in he walks again. I didnt have to say a word, the entire crew in the restuarant told him! " She's single! and its her birthday!"
He ate, paid for his meal and left....only to show back up with a single rose, handing it to me and wished me a Happy Birthday, and left again.
The next day he came into the restuarant, but sat at the counter instead of his usual table. About five mintues later in walks a delivery from the florist.... a dozen red roses! The delivery guy walked right up to me, and turned to Steve and said, "This has to be her, you are right, she is the prettiest thing around" and handed me the flowers.
Steve, just smiled and asked me out on a date. Needless to say the answer was yes and we have been together ever since. He is more than I could ask for ...he is my soulmate....

Thanks Bren.... I truly enjoyed the trip down memory lane ... Yes, dreams do come true!

Brenda said...

Ren, I love your love story! Since we met on a Saturday, Jerry wasn't able to get flowers until Monday, and then he had a huge arrangement delivered to my office. I still have the card.

Funny side story - When Jerry came to pick me up on Sunday (the day afer we met), not only was my son thrilled (especially about the Air Force part), but even our dog, a confirmed man-hater, was all over him! That Doxie hated all men and always barked and growled at them, but he was wagging his tail furiously when Jerry walked up to the door. I remember saying, "Well, I guess that confirms it then!"

Happy Valentine's Day to you and Steve!

K Spoering said...

Cute picture, and a lovely Love story!