My True Companion – 19 years later

I have writer’s block.  I have been trying to compose a post in my mind for a few days and now, as I sit in front of my screen, I will type out a few words and then delete them.  I’m not often speechless.  It’s not as though I don’t have a lot to say.  It’s that there is so much to say that I can’t even organize my thoughts.  And, even if I could, the words would be insufficient to express what’s in my heart.

It was 19 years ago today that I married my best friend.  Lloyd came along at a time in my life when I felt more alone than a person should ever feel.  I wasn’t really interested in a long-term relationship.  I definitely was not interested in getting married (ever) and I certainly didn’t want kids.  I did not believe in soul mates and happily ever after.  And, then I met this guy to whom I was immediately drawn.  Yes, there were reasons — he had a “still waters run deep” air about him, he was smart and wickedly funny and yes, I thought he was hot.  But, none of these really explain the attraction.  From almost the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew I wanted him to be part of my life. 

We eloped almost exactly a year from when we started dating seriously.  In retrospect, it was impetuous.  But, we just wanted to be together.  At the time, only one of us had a job (and it wasn’t a well paying one) and we didn’t yet have a place to live.  So, we lived with my inlaws for a few weeks until we were able to move into our own apartment. 

Let that sink in for a minute:  I ran off and married the eldest son and then came back to live with his parents.

I don’t exactly remember the vows I recited that day, 19 years ago.  But, I know they were traditional in nature.  Sickness, health, richer, poorer, we pledged to love eachother as long as we both shall live.  And over the years those vows have been tested as we have faced the kind of trials that even the strongest marriages can’t endure.  And every year, as we celebrate this day, I think that there is no way that I could love this man any more than I do today. But, I do.  I am abudantly blessed to have married a man who loves me despite my failures and short-comings, who believes in me despite my insecurities and who makes me want to be a better person. 

And, he does dishes and laundry. 

On our honeymoon in Key West, FL

19th anniversary - Sebastian Beach, FL

December 16

This day has been significant throughout my life for a couple of reasons. First, it is the day my sister was born. She was my first sibling and I was 9 years old, so it was something I remember very clearly and was a special and exciting day. My life would never be the same (in a good way, of course). Happy Birthday, Sis.

Eleven years later, this date brought another life changing event. I had been doing a work study job at The Daily Evergreen. I answered phones, took classified ads and did various odd jobs around the main office. I got to know several people at the newspaper and even had gone to high school with one of them, so I was friendly with several of the staff members. But there was this one really cute guy that would walk by, and as big as I smiled at him, he never once paid attention to me. I also was an avid reader of the opinion column. A couple of people contributed to it that I really enjoyed reading. There was one person in particular that I found myself agreeing with all the time and thinking, “I really wish I knew this person”. Then one day, the cute guy came to check out a camera from the front desk. The office manager was talking to him and as he walked away, she said, “Thanks, Lloyd”. My head snapped around. That was him. The guy that I had so enjoyed reading in the newspaper was the same cute guy that I watched walk by my desk every day.

After that, I started really going out of my way to get his attention. Looking back, it was a little stalker-ish. The newspaper recieved a great many promotional CD’s for review and we had an auction one day. I didn’t care a bit about the auction, but decided to start bidding on all of the CD’s that he was bidding on. There was one in particular, Lloyd Cole that he kept bidding on. We were the only two bidding and eventually I ended up winning the CD. My plan was to strike up a conversation with him about it. That never really panned out. Ironically enough, the title of that CD is “Don’t Get Weird on me Babe” (which by the way, is a brilliant album that was probably a few years ahead of its time).

After that didn’t work, I just got bold. I figured out which bus he took and I would sit next to him (he never noticed). Instead of just smiling at him when he walked by, I just said a very enthusiast “hi!”. I’m sure he thought I was crazy. Finally, we started to have short conversations. One day, I woke up and got really cute for class. My roommate asked me why and I told her that this was the day Lloyd was going to ask me out. She looked at me with a little bit of skeptisim (okay, a lot…) and said, “Oh, the guy who doesn’t really know who you are?” Yeah. That’s him. “Okay”, she said…..”well, you look cute”.

When I got to work, he came by to check his mailbox. I noticed that he had taken a couple of basketball tickets out of his box. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “HI!!!!”
Him: “uh, hi….”
Me: “What are you doing tonight”?
Him: “uh….I’m going to a basketball game and then I have band practice”
Me: “Oh that is SO COOL. I haven’t been to a basketball game yet this year!!!!!!!!”
Him: Looking at the tickets….”uh….do you want to come?”
Me: “Well, let me call my roommate — we had plans tonight but I’m sure she won’t mind…”

Remember how I said he probably thought I was crazy? Well, he may have been on to something.

So, we went to the game. Afterward, we went to the Combine for coffee (which he made me pay for myself). We talked about things that never should have been talked about on a first “date” (religion, politics, etc). And, then I took him to band practice and went home. On the surface, it was largely uneventful. But, when I walked in the door, I told my roommate that I’d found the man I was going to marry. She asked me to please let my boyfriend know because he wouldn’t stop calling every 10 minutes. Oh yeah….I had forgotten about him. I had also forgotten to call my sister on her birthday.

It was another few months before we actually officially started dating. But, I always knew he was the one. Twenty years later, I still know it. He’s my best friend, my partner, my soul mate.

Oh, and we still have that Lloyd Cole CD.