Friday, May 25, 2007

'Scuse Me While I Gush

Ok, if you're reading this, you're just gonna have to bear with me. I've been told that my blog is not a place to place personal information (duly noted), but I'm going to do it anyway (duly ignored).

The Memorial Day weekend lies ahead, and while I'm as patriotic as the next person, this weekend bears a personal significance to me (personally, even). It is, and always shall be, the holiday that changed my life.

Sixteen years ago, my next-door neighbor tried to set me up for a blind date. I say "tried" to set me up, because I was having none of it. I didn't care that the guy she was trying to set me up with was "good-looking", had a "good job", was once a "captain in the Marine Corps", or "loved kids". I didn't care. As in, "blah, blah, blah... whatever".

I didn't need a man. Didn't want a man. Had two little boys to raise, bills to pay and a job to go to. Happily ever after didn't exist, and I was living proof. Thank you, but no thank you. I could manage on my own.

But my neighbor was pushy. And determined. And even after I'd failed to show up at her house for a "impromptu meeting" over the barbeque grill, she didn't let me off the hook. I still remember the phone ringing, and her saying, "Don't you need to borrow the weed whacker or something?", knowing perfectly well I had a perfectly good weed whacker already, and that I knew how to use it. I still remember giving a heavy sigh, looking at myself in the mirror (torn jeans, dirty t-shirt, whiny kid pulling at my leg), and saying "Okay, okay. You win. I'm coming over, but I'm not staying."

And then I remember walking up the front steps to her door, holding one kid, dragging the other, and thinking, "What am I worried about? He'll take one look at us and I'll never see him again." Then a vague memory of her opening the door, and this drop-dead gorgeous guy in running shorts sitting on the arm of the couch in her living room, smiling at me. Talking to me. Talking to my kids. I kept my original promise to myself and only stayed a few minutes. The weed whacker and I were SO outta there.

I went home, fully expecting to never hear from him again. But I did. My friend said he wanted to call me, but I - ever reluctant - agreed to only giving him my work number. Which he called. Which is when I agreed, a little less reluctantly, to meet him for lunch.

And sixteen years later, I can honestly say that happily-ever-after isn't over yet. It hasn't turned into "unhappily-ever-after" or even "meh-ever-after".

It's been great. Every year, great. So this Memorial Day, I'm telling you (whoever you are), don't give up on the "happily-ever-after". Hang in there.

And I hope you have a friend or a neighbor who's just as annoyingly persistent as mine was.


Tawny said...

Awwww -- What a keeper (and he's not so bad either!!)

Hugs and congrats to you both for such a wonderful 16 years ... and here's to a whole lot more 16 year marks!!!

Emma said...

A friend and I were just talking about this. The whole happily ever after and if it truly exsisted. Your story made me smile and if I wasn't afraid of looking like a dork, I'd admit it gave me hope. Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!


Terri said...

You're not a dork, Emma. :) Lightning strikes, or love comes creeping in on cat's feet, or somebody you know gets pushy - it happens!

Doesn't it, Tawny?

You guys have a great weekend!

Rosie said...

beautiful story. Happy anniversary late. Mine is July 10, but I am not sure about the happy part. (14 yr here).

Terri said...

Happy anniversary early, Rosie! I think 14 yrs. puts you smack dab in the middle of your second "7 yr. itch" cycle. Seven years seems to be the magic number for when people are "itching" for some kind of change, or when a change actually happens.

Hm, maybe I should blog about the phenomenon. :)