Today is our wedding anniversary. We have had five blissful years of matrimonial harmony, kinda. The vows say for better or for worse and while we’ve had both and I know that there are more to come. And while we’ve had our fare share of downs, we’ve had some really great up. We’ve learned a thing or two about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Most important thing I’ve learn is so keep talking. As long as we’re communicating then we eventually end up on the same page. I thought I would this time to tell the story of how we met. Because like I said it’s a good one. Mind you this is only the story of how we met, not how we fell in love. That I’ll save for our ten year!
I was a 14 year old freshman in high school. I was spreading my wings as much as I could, testing boundaries like we do at that age. One of my friends was in love with a guy in her math class. She always talked about him and his beautiful hair. It was 1994 who wasn’t in love with Eddie Vedder or anyone who looked like him. So one day while walking from one class to another, in a sea of other high schoolers making their way to their classes, she pointed out this “vision of a man.” He was stocky and shorter for a guy, but still my height. He looked ok to me. I mean nothing to write home about or anything. But the flowing, curly locks that shown in the sunlight were pulled back into a ponytail doing a number on my twitter paited friend and making my upper lip instinctively curl in distaste. While all my friends were in love with boys with long hair, I really could care less. I was still looking for a clean cut boy apparently. Or perhaps I hadn’t realized the sexual pull a shaved head would have for me, yet.
So a while later my friend called me for one of those two and half hour conversations you only have in high schools with your best friends. She was all a flutter because she had got her hot little hands on a phone number for a friend of the guy from her math class. She begged me to call this other guy and get the phone number of Math Boy. Since I had nothing to gain or lose, I was game. So we called and got the other guys number and then called Math Boy – ON THREE WAY! If there was ever an OMG moment of 1994 this was it. I called him under a fake name, Elaine. Yes, that’s right a fake name. I might have been all “whatever, I’ll do it” with my friend, but reality was that I was still a 14 year old girl afraid to talk to a 16 year old boy. So having the façade of another name and persona made me bold. I talked to this boy (with my friend quietly listening) and found out that he did not know who my friend was. We agreed that he would check her out the next day and I would call him back and find out what he thought. My friend and I then proceeded to have another hour conversation about how excited she was and what she would wear the next, etc. The next night, we called him back on three way again. He had checked her out and wasn’t interested. I remember feeling bad for my friend who sat quietly on the other end, listening. I ended the call pretty quickly after that. But days later I found myself wanting to talk to Math Boy. I honestly saw it as practice in talking to boys. Under the mask of Elaine I could be myself. Its funny, I think sometimes people think if you use a pseudonym then you’re trying to be someone else, but really I was just trying to be myself and not worry about judgment. None the less, I found myself talking to Math Boy more and more often. I finally told my friend that I was still talking to him. She wasn’t upset since she had moved on to another long-haired love of her life (whom Elaine was able to help as well). After a few months of some of the more random, entertaining conversations of my adolescence, I decided to stop calling him. He never asked for Elaine’s number so we went into the summer never to speak again. Or so we thought…
The start of my sophomore year I went into my math class on the first day of school and there he was, now in my math class. Oh the irony. I was petrified to s[peak around him, convinced that he would recognize my voice. My only saving grace was that the teacher had an alphabetical seating chart all year long. Me being an A and he being a R, we weren’t close to each other. I went the entire year never speaking in math and never interacting with him. Our math teacher was a football coach and he was a football player. He suffered a knee injury that year and had surgery on his ACL. The teacher had such a blatant preference for him because of the common football element, he ruled that class. I ruled invisibility.
My junior year, his senior year, started and I walked into my math class and it was like I was being punished…he sat in desk at one end of the room. I chose a desk on the opposite side of the room. I mean, really? Com’on! Can’t a girl get a break from the dumb jock she fleeced two years ago?? I was pretty sure that I would never graduate because of my failing grade in math due to never speaking. But eventually, around Thanksgiving, I felt bold enough to start talking to him. He started helping me with my math homework. Again, irony (I think). We started talking on the phone about math in the beginning and then other things. I wanted to tell him the truth. I wanted to know if he had any inkling. I wanted to know what he thought happened to Elaine. I wanted to get it off my chest. Eventually, I told him. I can remember sitting at the dining room table in my parent’s old house and taking that deep breath and deciding to do it. There wasn’t the fall out that I feared. It was actually just the beginning.
It has been an amazing five years and and phenomenal 17 years since I first met you. I love you more every day. To the many years and adventures to come. I love you Juanito.