Monday, August 5, 2013

My Mate

My anniversary is this month. Nineteen years. People say things like, “Time flies” and “Where did the years go?” and “It doesn’t seem that long” and “It seems like just yesterday.” Some say, “That’s a long time.” I don’t say any of that. Somehow, I don’t have a great feeling for the amount of time as I tend to live mostly in the present, not concerning myself with how many years have passed by and what I did with those years. Today is what I live for… and tomorrow, and the next day, and so on.

The memories are still treasured, though. Once in a while, it’s fun to have a “Remember when” conversation or to browse through some of the loads of pictures that fill albums and files on the computer. The video is there, too, for those rare times that I sit and watch.  And of course, when I write for my blog, I summon up material from my past to get a story going.

What I find more gratifying than talking about my life is hearing the stories of others. Talking to a friend recently, I found out how she and her husband met, when they married, what jobs they had, and ultimately, how they acquired the business they now have. I’ve read some good stories that my blog friends have written, too, about relationship and marital beginnings—if not the whole story, then pieces of it. So I’ve been thinking—if yours is interesting to me, then my story may be interesting to you.

Here goes:

We met at a private party at a rented club-like venue. It was 1983. “Michael” and his buddies were the hosts. One of the buddies dated my girlfriend who asked me come along that night. It was the usual weekend party common with single twenty-something year olds.

Michael and I talked and danced and exchanged numbers before the evening was over. There were subsequent dates and even an introduction to his mother. We were attracted to each other and a genuine friendship was established, but something was missing. Not long afterward, I left central Virginia for Northern Virginia to work around the beltway in Maryland. Michael visited once or twice and then it fizzled.

After nine months in Northern Virginia, I moved to Maryland. Michael and I spoke to each other on the phone once or twice—me seeking professional advice, him giving it. It was comfortable. Since we were never officially a couple, there wasn’t a breakup that would have left hard feelings. And then nothing; no more communication. He was living his life and I was living mine, until…

In 1992, about 8 years later, he calls me out of the blue. It was great to get a call from “an old friend;” hearing about his life and telling him about mine. He asked if he could come up and visit and I said, “Sure.” We went to the Baltimore Harbor and at some point he told me that he was going to marry me.

After I laughed, I said, “Oh, that’s so sweet.” I honestly didn’t see it or feel it. I simply adored him as a friend.

But the visits kept happening; Michael’s two hour drive to my house and two hours back to his home. How naïve I was to not see it coming. He was smitten and I was just enjoying the company of an interesting, funny, and smart man. And then one day it hit me; the love bug had bitten.

On Valentine’s Day in 1994, Michael took me to a restaurant at the harbor and proposed. I accepted with a smile on my face and fear in my gut. (Thankfully, it dissipated within a week or two.) We were now in our thirties and had the “something” that was missing back then—love and maturity. We married 6 months later in August.

A few bumps here and there, but it’s a nice ride.

How did you and your spouse or partner meet and become a family?
Ex-mate stories are welcome, too.

image from Microsoft clipart


Barb said...

Our anniversary is this month, too - 47 years. We were high school sweethearts - is that a cliche? We started dating at 15. We got married 7 years later when we graduated from (different) colleges. We've been best friends a very long time. He used to play the guitar and sing me love songs - he recited poetry, too. Nowadays, he just plays the oldies on Pandora for me and makes me egg sandwiches for breakfast! I still love him and by all indications, he still loves me. Happy Anniversary Anita - to both of us.

Abby said...

That's a fun story, thanks for sharing! And much better than, "we got drunk at a frat party and then got sick on each other, so we decided to get married" (not my story btw...)
I remember you saying you got married in your 30's, so when you said you met in '83 I was a bit confused. Long courtship, even if you didn't know it was one!

Mari said...

I love your story! It's our anniversary this month too - 32 years. We met when my cousin married his brother - and the rest is history!

Shelly said...

I love your story! True love always finds a way, and that you were such good friends made a wonderful foundation for a marriage. Do your kids love to hear how you two met?

BTW- our anniversary is this week, too!

RAnn said...

My husband and I met through a church singles group. He says we met the night of the archdiocesean singles mass, when the gang went to a local club afterwards. I remember being there that night, but don't remember him being part of the crowd. A few months later I left town and moved back with my parents for a few months before heading off to school for a few months. Before I left for school, I came back here one weekend to visit friends and dh and I ended up a this guy's apartment with the singles group. Everyone was asking me where I'd been; what's happening etc. I said I was going to school in Atlanta and after that, I didn't know. DH said "I think you'll be back". I did come back, and about two years later we started to date, and about two years after that, headed to the altar.

Donna. W said...

I worked with Cliff's sister. I went home with her one evening and met Cliff. I wasn't particularly impressed. Six months later Cliff and I were married. That was 47 years ago. The End.

Hilary said...

Happy Anniversary, Anita. :) I got married in August also but that's not my current (with Frank) relationship though we're still good friends.

Frank and I met online about 10 years ago. We're both trivia fans and met in a trivia room on IRC (Internet Relay Chat)where we could chat in type alongside the game in progress.

He lived about an hour or so away from me and we had no interest in meeting until one of the other trivia regulars traveled to Canada from his native Australia. We all met at my place, had fun and that was that.

Frank started coming by for visit every couple of months after that and on one of those visits, he suggested that we might be destined to be more than just friends. I couldn't see it and told him so.

Somewhere along the way though, we decided to give it a shot. I thought it would be like Mary Richards and Lou Grant - that scene where they thought they'd try dating but ended up laughing when they leaned in for the kiss. But it wasn't. And it's been about 8 years now.

Felecia said...

Oh my, after reading all the responses I feel compelled to have married in August, but that would not be true...of my REAL wedding anyway! LOL. OK, let's see...I met my hubby in my church. I volunteered as a children's ministry worker and his daughter fell in love with me first and introduced us again and again whenever he came to pick her up from class - he was a single father at the time. Shortly after, he volunteered for a special children's event, in an area that I had responsibility over, and at the end of that night someone took my keys home so I was without a way home, he volunteered (without being asked) to give me a ride home (my car stuck in the church parking lot-safest place for it I'd say!) We talked in his car in front of my mom's home for hours it seemed, ending with an invitation to his company picnic...and that was the's now 14 years later and we are long married with children...oh, and my anniversary is in December! Merry Christmas to ME! SMILE.

Anonymous said...

So, today I returned to the blogging scene from a long absence -and it just happens to be our 14th wedding I loved your story-mine's too long to post here in it's entirety but just to make you laugh I'll tell you the funny part. Because of immigration regulations and documents that were completed a month early (not something we expected) we "had" to become legally married a whole month ahead of our planned ceremony and reception-it was either that or face serious immigration issues. So-we called our best man and maid of honor, set up a lunch date with the judge, timed out for lunch, rushed over to the court house, got married, rushed back to work and timed in and never told anyone-not even our kids (from our previous marriages)! We didn't live together before we married. That night, after work we timed out and went home (each to our own homes and kids - hubby was Mr. mom)-and never mentioned anything until after our planned wedding ceremony and sea-side reception a month later! However, our daughters did mention that they thought something was up when they noticed we were both wearing cheap rings (which we replaced with our wedding bands) that neither one of us had before! We've had several good laughs over that story!

yonca said...

Happy Anniversary, Anita! Lovely story! Thanks for sharing. Btw, you probably read mine on my blog I shared earlier. We got married in the local radio station we ran is a very old post..Dec, 6th 2009..You might miss it. Here is the link of the post.

You know what Anita..starts are always good, happy, hopeful..But things are not going as they started all the time.Things change..Either way.. the moments made us happy in the time are our treasures.Have a great day!

jiturajgor said...

This is so lovely and well narrated by your writing.Want to let you know that I met my wife on the same year for the first time in Jan'83 and got married in feb'83.My wishes for more such years of celebrating life. Jitu

Tabor said...

My anniversary is just around the perhaps that story will justify a post. It IS an interesting story, not as romantic as yours, but more funny. I think your husband is very mature and you are lucky for that.

Linda Hensley said...

I like your history. There's a little bit of the fairy tale and a little of the reality to keep it interesting :) I've had a few beginnings, some of them very lovely, but I'm on my own these days. It doesn't seem right to tell the beginnings without the unhappy endings too, and I don't want to mess with your string of happy stories here. Wishing you many years of joy.

Kat said...

That is a lovely story. And strangely similar to my hubby and I (our story is on my sidebar under "The Story of Us" in case you are interested). I think friends first always works out well. :)

I love love stories, so thank you for sharing yours! :)

Happy Anniversary!

Mage said...

My Ex Paul is dying as I type. He was a very influential stone sculpture who created some very unexpected things. I met him in the Army. I met my wonderful G when he came to dinner over 30 years ago. I took one look at him, and he was a gonner. LOL

Rob-bear said...

Lovely story of your romance and marriage proposal. And after 19 years, a maturing marriage. Delightful.

J and I met at the beginning of our ministry training. Got married at the end of the first year. We both graduated two years later, and headed out to start our ministry and family. We've been married 44 years this month.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Linda said...

Great story, Anita, thank you so much for sharing. "They" say the best marriages start out as friendships. Happy anniversary to you.

Betsy Brock said...

Well, happy anniversary! yay! Celebrate!

Rebecca S. said...

That's a lovely story! Love built on a strong foundation of friendship = the best sort of relationship. Congratulations on your 19 years? How did he feel about your shirtless step-dad? Haha.
I met my husband through my sister and her husband, after I had moved in with them to attend University. He wasn't, on the outside, the sort of man I wanted to marry. He was a total jock, not particularly educated, not a reader of poetry, but so kind and thoughtful and hardworking and conscientious. He had great taste in music and comedy and let me be exactly who I was and never tried to change me. I'd never dated anyone before who made me feel so accepted and loved for who I really was, warts and all. It was a quick courtship and our 21 years of marriage and family have been all I could hope for. He's a great dad, which was important for him because his dad...well...wasn't.

Jenny said...

What a fun history!

Happy almost Anniversary!

I'm glad you two crazy kids found each other!

TexWisGirl said...

congratulations to you! bless you both. the 8 yr break in between is rather sweet - to reunite like that. :)

betty-NZ said...

Happy anniversary to you! I met my Hubby online--not on a dating site, but on a forum board. More than 3 years later, because he had young children, I moved 8000 miles into a new life!