1986. She was extremely cute, very mature and had some "spunk". There was only one small problem. She didn't want anything to do with me.
Apparently, she was turned off by the GI JOE planes that hung from my bedroom ceiling...and the aircraft carrier...and maybe all the jeeps and men set up in combat mode. Or, maybe it was the Toronto Blue Jay shrine on my wall. Or the bowl haircut and bony limbs. Or the sarcastic humour. Whatever it was, she was obviously very picky.
Despite that, we did end up "going out". Unfortunately, I found about it...after the fact. One day a friend called to tell me that this girl had dumped me. I had no clue we were together. Jr High relationships are like ninjas.
But, having a glimmer of hope, I told everyone who would listen (and that number would shrink, quickly, over time) about how I would one day marry her. I even wrote a love song for her and everything. Sure the lyrics referred to her as "homely", but that's how Jr High's express their affection. Surprisingly, my attempts to woo met only roadblocks...big roadblocks...huge, massive, Great Wall of China roadblocks.
1989. We were 16. I hadn't seen very much of her since we headed off to different high schools. But we happened to both attend a weekend youth conference up in Trenton. Even though she was now a bitter, angry thing I still wrote a declaration of my love for her under a bridge on the campus we were staying on. Of course, she didn't know this...I didn't want to get punched out.
1994. There had been virtually no contact since that retreat (or if there had been, it certainly wasn't memorable). But out of no where, there she was! The newest member of my softball team. She was looking really, really good and...she was interested in me! We started dating. It was magical. My fairytale had come true. Marriage talk began to circulate, and a couple of months later, she...ripped out my heart and stomped all over it! "It's over", she said...and walked away. What!? I was devastated. But, call me stubborn...I didn't believe her.
So, I called a summit meeting. Her mom and I met for coffee. I shared that I believed there was still a chance. I mean, after all, there was an obvious progression happening. First, we dated without me knowing. Then we dated, and I was aware of the situation. It was clearly getting better. Her mom told me that, and I quote, "It's dead." That seemed harsh.
2000. For all I knew, the girl was dead. It had been years since I had heard from her or heard anything about her for that matter. But one Wednesday evening, I was bluntly told that there had been a "sighting". I was shocked and, oddly, uncomfortable. The first time we had chatted since I was left to pick my heart off the ground, happened in a crowded room of people who, not only knew of my bold, pre-pubescent, predictions but had been eye witnesses of the dramatic rise and fall of those predictions 5 years earlier. Can anyone say, "Awwwwwkwaaaard".
We had one "official" date: Red Lobster and a trip to the island. Within a few months we were walking down the aisle. A simply beautiful outdoor wedding in my parents backyard, with about 100 of our closest friends. The prince had, somehow, got his princess. "You may kiss the bride." We kissed. Heidi fainted. True story. Silly woman had no idea what she was missing all those years.
2009. September, 2nd. Today, Heidi and I have been married nine years. Absolutely incredible. Miraculous even. I mean, lots of people have crushes on their grade eight classmates, but few ever get to celebrate a wedding anniversary with that person. It truly is a fairytale come to life, and I feel extremely blessed and am very thankful for this gift.
The last nine years have been quite the journey. Our marriage has certainly been for better and worse, in sickness and health and for richer and poorer...well, maybe just poorer (she obviously didn't marry me for the money). But, no matter what happens, I always remind her that it was she who asked me to marry her. Yep. She asked me. Oh, how the tables do turn.
Why the change of heart? Who cares. I'm just glad it happened.
Yes, I have a blue gem on my forehead...I wonder if she's still glad it happened?
*Find out how she "Woo"ed me HERE
To my princess,
Thanks for your overwhelming support of me and my dreams. I love you and always have. I look forward to many more years of growing and learning together. And who knows, maybe we'll even experience the "richer" part.