We’d already waited outside the club for so long it was no longer free. We were new to the whole going-out-thing. As we looked around at the other people in our line, we realized we were both woefully underdressed, and far too Caucasian to stay in said line. I was with my 2 friends, Jessica and Christy, to celebrate surviving our first year of graduate school. I’d spent the year begrudgingly single, single for the longest time since I started dating. I’d recently stopped checking for wedding rings and embraced single life. I was learning how to love myself, how to be whole within my own self for the first time. I was there to have fun with my girlfriends and I wasn’t looking to meet anyone.
Christy suggested Buckhead, and so to Buckhead we commuted. It was my first time at a Buckhead bar, but I was impressed. Reasonable cover, you don’t have to wear heals, and you can listen to live music, play pool, or go upstairs and dance. My kind of place. We were in the mood for dancing.
I noticed you looking at me. Tall and handsome, wearing a red polo shirt. I continued to dance with my friends, but I found my eyes searching for you again. It seemed every time I found you, you were looking at me, too. When you approached me, the first thing you said was, “what year did you graduate high school?” I thought that was a weird way to ask my age, but I obliged. I’m not sure if we pretended to dance or we just talked, but soon discovered we went to the same church and I felt comfortable giving you my number. In the bathroom with my friends later, Christy said, “you’re going to marry him!” In my best toddler impersonation, I exclaimed, “nuh uh!”
We met on Friday in a bar, you called me the next day, and we had our first date at church on Sunday. Those basically cancel each other out, right? On our first date you talked a lot about your roommates and seemed to have a hard time answering my questions directly. You even randomly said, “duh. I’m Canadian” at one point in the car. I will joke later that it’s a good thing you’re hot, since I was still interested in giving our potential chemistry another chance after our awkward first date. Our second date was immeasurably better than the first and I decided I liked this sexy, nerdy Canadian.
7 months later, you proposed. 1 year after we met, we are married.
10 years ago, today.
If my 24-year-old baby self knew then what I know now. About what kind partner and father you’d be. About the heartache and pain we would experience as a family. About your faithfulness and loyality. About your desire to provide. About your quirks and faults. About your willingness to listen to my ramblings, to learn how to love me, and grow as a person. About your patience with my quirks and faults. All of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If I knew then what I know now, I would still walk down that aisle and marry you. Maybe I’d even run. I would choose you again, my love. I had my hopes, but I didn’t know then just how well I’d chosen. Thank you for choosing me in return.
Happy Anniversary, my love. I think we should probably do this for many more decades. I wouldn’t want this life without you.