Will You Marry Me or What?
Our Love Story
So, it came to my attention last week when I wrote about the top 5 reasons I still love my husband that most of you do not know our love story. I am used to talking to people in real life that do. Those that have walked it with us. Therefore, I promised I would write our testimony this week. Here goes…
Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.
~James Thurber, quoted in Life magazine, 1960
My best friend lived on a quiet suburb street that actually had kids that played up and down the neighborhood sidewalks all day. I grew up on one of the two busiest roads in our city, so I liked spending time at her house. Plus, we just liked hanging out together.
Anyways, 2 doors down from my best friend lived this scrawny, but cute, boy that caught my interest. My friend liked his best friend and that was our way into talking to them. We noticed that his friend was not around any more. So, we asked this boy about the elusive missing friend one day as he walked by and we waited on the tailgate in my friend’s driveway. THAT was the first time we talked… over 21½ years ago.
He was 15 and I was 16.
He was a freshman and I was a junior.
High School Sweethearts.
For the next week my friend and I spied on him from her house. The front yard. The back yard. The roof. I was smitten… and he knew we were watching. He put on a “show” sometimes pretending he did not know we were there. The day before school let out I wrote him a note. As I ran by him, he was kneeling at his locker, and I just threw the note in. Alas, the second phase of our relationship began.
He went to lunch with my friend and I after exams that day. The next day we talked some more. And some more. That Saturday I spent most of the day at his house. We talked about everything and spent the evening talking on the curb in front of his house.
Just after Midnight, the “official” first day of my Senior year in high school, I was preparing to leave. Before I stood to go, our conversation had begun to draw to an end. There was that crazy “first date” type awkward silence and then he did it. Colby leaned in and kissed me. Pulled back. Looked at me intensely.
“I love you,” he said.
“Ummm…” I had no idea what to say. I knew I didn’t LOVE him. Yeah, I liked him and all but wasn’t there just yet.
(For the record, his story ever since was just that it was his very first kiss and he had no idea what to say afterward and those words just came out. Isn’t he adorable?)
When I got up to leave my legs were weak. I felt as though I could barely stand. He helped me up and into my car. I was trembling from my innermost core. I had never felt like that before. And have only ever experienced it again one other time since (details to come). I went home and called my best friend and told her,
THIS is the man I am going to marry.
There was no doubt.
You see, Colby was not my first kiss. A tumultuous home life of sorts had lead me to have some relationship issues growing up. Colby’s earliest memories of me prior to actually talking to me were all of me hanging out with the guys. I had a boyfriend.. or two or three before Colby. I did not like to be alone. So, for this kiss to completely rock my world… fireworks blasting and all that stuff… yeah… I knew right then and there this was different.
That summer we spent almost every day and night together. It was a true summer romance and the type you hoped would never end. It was storybook. No arguments. No problems.
But, fast forward another year and everything had changed. Not because Colby and I did not want to be together. But because his parents didn’t want us together. We had to fight to stay together. Then, on October 31, 1992, he was “asked to leave” his house. He did. My parents took him in until we were able to move out on our own.
On my 19th birthday, as we were celebrating with my family, Colby pulled up an ottoman and put it in the middle of my parent’s living room. He then said some stuff (I have no clue what because I kept asking him what he was doing and was wondering why my dad was fighting back tears in the corner). Got down on one knee. Pulled out a ring. And popped the question… sorta.
Will you marry me… or what?
There are some days when I still ask him, “Can I change my answer? Can I have the or what?” (I’m kidding of course… I think… no, kidding… maybe.)
Our engagement was a little over a year. We had to fight more resistance from his parents. I was in college. He was working full-time. We saved what we could to help my parents pay for the wedding. On September 17, 1994, we were married. It had been 3 years, 3 months and 16 days since that first kiss. And the wedding kiss was “almost” as magical. But it “sealed the deal” nonetheless. Vows were made and we were both in it for the long haul.
Or at least we believed we were…
True love stories never have endings.
Wow… I am just to the wedding and I am already running so long. It’s too hard to determine which parts to leave out. So… consider this part 1. I will share more soon… as soon as I figure out the best way to do so. I mean… 21+ years is a LONG time for me to condense into 1,200 words. Ha! And, believe me, THIS is just the beginning. Literally.
Oh… but I need to add to my list of reasons I still love my husband:
6. He makes me tremble inside… still. One touch and I get butterflies. I may not get weak in the knees but I still get giddy when he touches me.
7. He shows affection. I did not learn affection growing up. My husband taught it to me. There are times I still retreat from him but am way better than I was.
8. He compliments me. Often. His words of affirmation are enduring and honest. They make me stronger, happier, better.
9. He enables me. Not to do harmful things but to do the things I should. Things that make us grow together as a couple and as a family.
10. He cries. Often. His sensitivity is apparent and I absolutely love him for it. He has such a soft heart and he tears me down with it a lot.
There you have it. Another addition to my list.