Warning: This post contains super mushiness. Vomit-inducing almost.
Today is my husband and I’s 4th wedding anniversary. When I think of how close I was to never meeting Pete, I still get goose bumps. The story isn’t particularly amazing – he wasn’t seated next to me on a plane and we didn’t meet in a foreign location. But the little events that led up to us meeting were still enough for me to want to hold my breath when I think of how close our paths came to never crossing.
It was an unusually warm 50 degree day in January, so my colleague and running buddy suggested that we go for a run outside, instead of the gym, after work. One of the things that I love about my friend Carol is that she is so spontaneous. We went for an exhilarating run through the city and as we made our way back, she suggested that we grab dinner at this cute Thai place she recently discovered. I volunteered to pick up the bottle of wine and meet her there.
She was right. The food was awesome and the conversation flowed along with our glasses of wine. We lingered for awhile before walking outside to say our goodbyes. Just as I was putting my key in the car door, she suggested that we have a night cap. Not one to turn down a drink, I agreed. She gave me two choices of bars across the street – the Map Room or the Tap Room. Not having visited either, I randomly chose the Tap Room. As we crossed the street to enter, I didn’t even notice the crowd of guys right behind us.
It was a complete dive bar, and we loved it. The other thing about Carol that I love is that she enjoys a fancy gastropub, just as much a slummy bar. The kind where you have two choices – beer or liquor. The choices of mixers for the latter is coke or diet coke. Carol apparently forgot that rule when she ordered a glass of wine. As she was taking her first sip, I noticed it still had someone else’s lipstick on it. Not one to miss a beat, she informed the bartender that it wasn’t her shade, and we decided that we needed some music for our random Monday party of two.
I walked up to the jukebox to debate my choices. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, a guy in a shirt and tie sporting long sideburns sidled up next to me. I immediately gave him the side eye. He was totally out of place in this bar full of t-shirts and holey jeans. I kind of looked around thinking maybe he was waiting for another girl to show up. I was still in my running clothes. Not the sexy, yoga babe kind. The “50 degrees or not, it’s still winter and I’m wearing my tearaway pants from college that are slightly too short” kind.
He asked me what song I had requested. “Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry,” I told him. “I love that song.” he said. He was obviously lying. No one loves Buckcherry. Plus, I thought I was giving him a fair enough warning with my song selection.
I go over to tell my friend about the strange guy that we immediately dub “Sideburns,” as we continue to chat. A few minutes later Sideburns shows up with a friend. The four of us spoke for awhile before they disappeared to the pool room. Soon enough, Sideburns showed up again with another friend. We chatted with them some more before they returned to their game. (Later, we found out that he was bringing up different wingmen to distract my friend while Sideburns and I talked.) It finally worked with the third friend until it was revealed to Carol that he was gay.
In between interruptions by his random friends, I found out enough about him to be fairly sure he wasn’t a psychopath and that there was just… something about him. After Carol and I decided to call it a night, I walked out to my car and that feeling about him got me to run back inside and give him my number…
I’m not sure if it was fate or chance or divine intervention that led me to the most random of places, but I knew the moment we met (even with Crazy Bitch in the background and his random wingmen at his side) that this was a person I wanted in my life. Our relationship is anything but perfect, but we work well because he’s the best guy for me.
When I debate whether to wear pumps or flats, he always suggests the pumps. He never makes me feel ashamed of my height. He’s proud of it and because of that, I don’t feel like the awkward 13-year old taller than the boy she has a crush on.
At the same time, I feel petite in his arms. All 6 feet of me somehow wrap up and fit in the crook of his arm. I feel protected and loved. It’s amazing.
He lets me roar! I kept my feelings in for a long time before really expressing myself unashamedly. I’ve made up for lost time by being loud, opinionated and obnoxious at times, but he just hangs on for the ride. He never makes me feel the need to be anything different.
At the same time, he knows where I’m vulnerable and never uses that information to hurt me.
He loves and forgives easily. Not just me, but others too. When I’m holding onto a grudge, his example influence shapes who I am for the better.
We have a similar sense of humor. Some people simply say, “Lol,” but he actually does. He laughs loud and often, as the everyone should.
He’s smart and successful, and he makes sure that I know I am too. Our talents are on opposite sides of spectrum, but we’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
Mountain highs and valley lows – we’re in it together.
I love you, baby. Happy #4. (And thanks for trimming those sideburns.)