Lloyd has this habit of reading my mind. I do it to him, too. I guess we are beyond finishing each others sentences and are now at the point in our relationship where we don’t even have to talk. He and Jake went out to run some errands this afternoon. Before they left, I thought to myself that I should have him wash the car. But I didn’t say anything. He washed the car. While they were gone, I almost called to suggest he run by the pet store to get the cat a new collar and tag. I didn’t. Guess what he came home with? So, we were telling Jake how that happens to us a lot and that we have been together for 20 years, so it’s to be expected. As any good pre-teen will do, he jumped on the chance to point out that I was wrong—that we had been together for 19 years. I reminded him that we had dated for a while before we got married. Then I realized that it was exactly a year ago today that we became an exclusive couple.
As I’ve written about before, our first “date” was in December 1991. And yes, I came home from that date announcing to my roommate that I’d found the man I was going to marry. But it was a little more complicated than that. We both had other relationships that we were involved in and neither one of us was that interested in another. But, something just kept drawing us together. He worked overnights at a local radio station on the weekends. I had insomnia and we would talk on the phone for hours….sometimes his entire shift. On my 21st birthday, he asked if he could make me breakfast, which I thought was very sweet. I went out at midnight to celebrate, but managed to drag myself to his apartment that morning. Okay, I had decided to blow it off, but he called to wake me up, so I went. Anybody who knows me well knows that I don’t really talk to anyone before 10am, so this was really significant. Other than that, we saw each other at the Evergreen where we both worked and occasionally, I would give him a ride to or from campus because we lived close to one another. Beyond that, our worlds just didn’t really cross paths much. He did tell me once to stop by anytime though and right after I ended the aforementioned relationship, I happened to be at a party in his apartment building. My friends convinced me that I should go over and visit him. I knew that he wasn’t going to work for a couple of hours–and I had some liquid courage in me (I was 21 after all), so I knocked on his door. He answered and seemed a little surprised to see me. Turns out, there was a girl there and they were watching a movie, “What about Bob”. I knew her and wasn’t really impressed with the situation, so since he had invited me in, I stayed and watched the rest of the movie with them. Awkward is probably an understatement. I didn’t care. Shortly after that, he mentioned that his band was playing at a local bar. So, I talked a couple of my friends into going with me. He was surprised that I showed up. Same girl was there. He left with her. Again, awkward.
I don’t know why we kept hanging out after all of this. But we did. And on April 7th, I took him to the laundromat so could both do laundry. That was the night he kissed me for the first time. 4 months after our first date. I had kissed a couple of guys before (okay, four), but this was different. I didn’t know this kind of kiss existed. This was what fairy tales talked about–the kind of kiss that would wake Sleeping Beauty. True love’s kiss. This kiss left Westley and Buttercup’s kiss in the dust. He felt it too. I’ve often joked that he married me because I would sit through a 9 inning baseball game without complaining. Tonight, as we told Jake this story, he said it was that kiss. It was about that time that Jake asked I he could please be excused from the dinner table. He was appalled that this all involved a laundromat. Honestly, I had no idea that he even knew what a laundromat was. And let’s face it….no 12 year old wants to talk about kissing. They especially don’t want to talk about their parents kissing.
From then on, we’ve been pretty much inseparable. Twenty years later, there is nobody I’d rather spend my time with. People often ask me how I knew that Lloyd was “the one”. I think you just know. And the first kiss should be one that leaves you knowing that this is somebody you never want to live without. Yes, it may embarrass our kid now, but he knows his parents love each other and there’s a lot to be said for that.
By the way, I’m not a freaky “date” person. There have been many April 7ths that have gone by without me even thinking about it. Since it was then that things became “exclusive” it seemed like the natural date to call our anniversary at the time. And then, by sheer coincidence, the date Lloyd proposed was December 7th, 8 months later, which was kind of cool, so that’s why it sticks in my mind. Kind of funny that it came up today though.