Let's Get Personal

I don't post much about myself on social media, even on my personal account. I'm just not the type of person that lives his life online like that. I may play online games a few hours here and there but even those rarely give anyone a glimpse into someone else's personal life. But in today's age where Wikipedia can list just about everything anyone has ever done and nosy people can spend a few bucks to get access to a lot of information, there's really no point in hiding, not that I am. People who know me know I will tell them just about anything through conversation, but that requires conversation where social media is more about just random thoughts. Hell, even blog posts are basically just one-sided conversations that you hope someday someone will read.

And in today's one-sided conversation, I've decided to talk a little bit about myself. With my wedding anniversary fast approaching, I think it is only relevant that I share the story of how my wife and I met before becoming husband and wife.

It was a chilly January day in 1994 (yes, we are that old). I was 16 and her 16th birthday was just a month away, unbeknownst to me at the time. One of her friends from school was dating one of my friends from school. She and I had never met since we went to different schools, me attending a very small school outside of town and her attending a large school in town. Neither she or I were dating anyone so her friend and my friend thought we should meet.

It was sprung on me that day at school that my friend's girlfriend had a friend that they wanted to setup with on a blind date THAT NIGHT! I agreed, unsure of what was going to happen but confident my friend knew what was in store for me.

Later that afternoon, after school was out, my friend and I drove to pick up his girlfriend before heading off to meet my blind date. We were picking her up from her house. I assumed she had been made aware of the night's plans by her friend so you can imagine my surprise when we arrive at her house and there is nobody there.

We waited for a bit and soon a vehicle pulled into the driveway of the house. Out stepped from it three people, an older brunette, a young guy, and a short, cute blonde. It was an easy assumption which one I was there to meet given that I had been told she was blonde and given of the three people that exited the vehicle she was the only blonde.

Now imagine my surprise when it was conveyed to me that she, meaning my blind date, was unaware of our intentions or purpose for being there. My friend's girlfriend explained that they had been busy in school that day and she had not had a chance to pitch the idea to her friend until now.

After a short conversation between the girls, there was an uneasy agreement to the date. Technically, my date wasn't allowed to date until her 16th birthday. Luckily, her dad knew my dad so an exception was made. Of course, neither she or I knew that our parents were familiar with one another but as luck would have it there was an advantage that day to living in a small town.

My date was completely unprepared for the date, which was a given considering her friend had failed to say anything prior to our unexpected arrival at her house. She had soccer practice that afternoon at school and then had gone to help her mother and brother, the other two people in the vehicle earlier, with their privately owned business. Her clothes were wrinkled. Her hair was "a mess". She had no make-up on. She was embarrassed by her appearance but I didn't care. I played football and came home sweaty and messy all the time. I was use to it.

Her friend convinced her to come as she was. I don't remember what we picked up for dinner but given that we were teenagers in the 90's, we didn't have a lot of money. We ate a lot of Taco Bell in those days so it might be what we had but I can't be certain any more.

The only thing I can be sure of is what we did that night for our date. Some might consider it boring or unimaginative but frankly, as a broke teenager in a small town in the 90's, this was as good as it got.

We went to our local Blockbuster, that's a store where you rent VHS tapes of movies for you youngsters that only know streaming, and rented Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. We went to my house and the four of us enjoyed a simple date with a movie and some food. After the movie was done, we took her home before her curfew and that was that. We had a good time and both of us were responsible with the rules we were given to ensure a next date was an option.

We talked on the phone and went on a few more dates between sports and work before making things "official". That was my junior year of high school and her sophmore. We dated off and on over the next two years before getting married shortly after her high school graduation. Like our dating life, our marriage was full of ups and downs. Learning what it meant to live as adults with responsibilities and commitments was a lot different that I expected and we fought a fair amount.

But despite the ups and downs, and divorces in between, we are happily married and look fondly back at how we first met and the chaos of our first date. We often joke that the chaos of our date was only a precursor to the chaos of our relationship to come and the life we would live. We have hated one another at times but even at our worst, we have always cared and protected the other. These days we fight considerably less than before but our love and devotion to each other and our family has only grown.

I married my high school sweetheart and though our road from then to now was rough I would not want to have it any other way. We have learned to appreciate each other in ways that we never had before and our marriage is stronger for it. I love her with all my heart and am thankful every day for the encouragement and support that she continues to give me as I chase my dream of being an author.

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