The Hubby and I met 23 years ago. I was about a month or so away from my 15th birthday and we’d just moved to Germany. He was the cool guy in the neighborhood—one of the few that drove; 17 years old (also a month away from his bday); he smoked, he worked and he was a “bad boy.”
Up until that point in my life my interaction with boys was limited to crushes, “going together” (which simply meant you walked to class together and maybe talked on the phone) and the relationships my naïve, romantic young heart conjured in my head. I’d never kissed a boy, held hands or went on a real date.
I moved right before the start of 10th grade; it was still summer so my friends at that time were girls of my age that lived in my neighborhood. One day one of them told me to come outside because she had a cute guy she wanted me to meet. I came out and there he stood, smoking a cigarette and looking tough and cool. To this day I have no idea what made me say it, but it was probably the best, worst first thing I could say to a guy. I said, Ok, where’s the cute guy?
From The Hubby’s point of view at the time, that meant war. HE was the BMOC and who was I, this preppy little non-descript 10th grader to question him? He befriended me. For some magical reason, as I can only say its magical looking back now, I felt good around him. We became friends right away, though at the time for him it was part of his plan. He fixed me up with my first boyfriend, another boy in the neighborhood. The Hubby told me he was a year or so younger than me, I can’t remember exactly. The boy and I dated briefly. I had my first kiss. I was on a giddy high of a first boyfriend. He wasn’t anything remarkable, just the first.
As the days turned into weeks The Hubby, who served as a chauffer many times for my dates, began to see me not as the smart ass that questioned him, but as someone he’d like to date himself and his little game of getting me back backfired on him. I found out The Hubby laid to me, the boy wasn’t a year behind me in school, he was going into 7th or 8th grade—I was distraught. I broke up with the boy. Being a 10th grader, new to the school I couldn’t very well date a “child,” plus he’d lied to me.
Though breaking up with my first boyfriend upset me, the bigger disappointment was that The Hubby, who’d become my friend and confidant, had lied to me. I got over it, though through the fog of age I can’t remember how long it took or what that defining moment was when I realized we were more than friends. We went to the fall carnival together that October, probably our first real date. Oddly enough, before we started dating I could ride in the car with him whenever I wanted. After we started dating we had to walk everywhere. We walked a lot; to the movies, to the store, around the neighborhood, through gardens. We weren’t going anywhere in particular, just out of ear shot of my younger brother, away from prying eyes where we might steal a kiss or two. We just walked to be together.
Friday The Hubby and I had a date. I have to be honest, marriage is hard work. When you mix two demanding jobs, two incredible kids and two hardheaded individuals there’s a lot that can and does go wrong. Sometimes you lose track of why you’re together; sometimes you lose track of being a couple rather than just Mom and Dad or an employee, sometimes you forget to put that person first and to let them know why you stay around. Friday The Hubby and I went for a walk in the park. It was his idea, a surprise. He reminded me of our beginnings, the walks, the talks, the being together, holding hands and just enjoying each other.
It was one of the most romantic things he’s ever done.