I met my husband when we were 14 years old…….a long time ago. We met in Mrs. B. Williams 9th grade English class. He sat in the back and I sat in the front. I was new to the school, having moved to Florida two weeks before school started. I was very shy and very angry that my parents had moved me away from New Mexico, the only home I had known.
I noticed him at the beginning of the school year but I was too busy”pining” away for my life in NM to really pay close attention. Then, one spring day, he was standing at the teacher’s desk asking a question and I looked up at him. Now, I am not an overly romantic or mushy type person (ask my husband) but I swear to you, it was like some kind of light was shining on that boy. I saw a future with him. I saw him talking to our children. I always have a hard time explaining what I felt in that instant, but I guess you could say, it was sort of love at first sight. I was freaked out by it to tell the truth. I mean, I thought he was cute and nice and funny but in that moment, it was as if I was being “told” that he was the one. I know, it sounds corny, but it’s the truth. I decided then and there that I had to know him. So, here is the story of our beginning and how “we” almost didn’t happen because of a serious fashion “don’t” committed by him.
I started, like any 14-year-old girl does, by asking all my friends and his friends about him. I asked where he lived, what sport he played, where he was from and most importantly, who he liked. One of our mutual friends assured me he would talk to him and find out if he had noticed me as well. A series of notes were sent back and forth between myself and my friend. The gist of the notes was, yes, he knew who I was and he thought I was “cute”. He kind of “liked” me and two other girls. Well, that annoyed me and I told my friend to tell him that I liked a couple other boys too. This went on for a couple of weeks and then, one afternoon our mutual friend handed me a note from “him”. I still have it to this day. He wrote that he really wanted to get to know me, but he had to go out-of-town to his brother’s graduation from college. He hoped that I would still like him when he got back……in like 5 days. A little dramatic, but come on, we were 14.
On the day that he was coming back, I took extra care getting ready for school. We all waited in the cafeteria for the first bell to ring and every time the door opened my eyes flew up to see if it was him. Finally, he walked in and he looked around and met my eyes and smiled. For the next couple of weeks that was pretty much all that was exchanged between us, smiles and the occasional “Hey.” He was and still is, a man of few words.
One Friday, a friend of mine invited me to go with her church youth group to play broom ball. Broom ball is like ice hockey but with a broom and ball. It didn’t sound like something I would be interested in until she mentioned that HE would be there. I accepted the invitation quickly.
I took my time getting ready that night. I painstakingly picked out my outfit. Took an hour to blow dry my hair and so on. Finally, I was on my way to the church to meet my friend and see my “future husband”. My mom dropped me off and I made my way across the sea of kids.
I found my friends and kept looking around for him. More and more kids showed up and time was passing but no sign of Mr. Right. I was beginning to regret my decision to play flipping broom ball, then, I spotted him across the room. It was like the skies parted and a beam of light shone on my curly-haired prince. I heard violins and trumpets. We made our way across the room to each other and as we got closer, people moved out-of-the-way. We locked eyes and smiles. It was very teen movie-like.Then…….. I saw what he was wearing. The heavenly music scratched to a stop and the beam of light on him was covered by dark storm clouds. Oh. My. Word.
This boy, who I had already decided was going to be the father of my children, was wearing navy blue sweatpants (the old school kind with elastic at the bottom) and, God Bless him, brown LOAFERS. What in the world? There he was, standing in front of me, actually saying more than “Hey.” and all I could do was look at his outfit. I started questioning everything. Maybe he wasn’t the guy for me after all? I’d find another soul mate, right? It was……tragic.
I took a deep breath, searched my soul and decided then and there that I would be a “good person” and give this poor boy a chance to redeem himself. We have all made bad fashion choices right? I chose to overlook this little incident in order to see if we had a future together. Maybe I could be the one to “help” him be a fashion “do” in the future? I was willing to give it a shot…….that’s the kind of girl I am.
To this day, he is touchy about the whole “sweatpants with loafers” incident. He says ” They weren’t loafers. They were topsiders.” Does it really matter, folks? As if that would make it better? He says, IF he did wear sweatpants and loafers, it was because he was playing broom ball and he could” slide faster” on the ice and the atrocious sweatpants were for “padding” on the ice……..riiiiiiiiight. He can explain it away all he wants, but I know the truth. You know what? I love him anyway.