I know there is a “Love Thursday” out there on the interweb, but I’m choosing to devote my Thursdays to things I’m thankful for which I guess is pretty much the same thing.

 On Monday TTO and I will celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.  I put wedding in there because we celebrate a few other annivesaries too.  For example, we remember to acknowledge January 2nd, 2002.  This was the day that we reconnected after not talking to each other for five years.  That’s the story I want to tell today because it’s how we really began. 

TTO and I grew up in the same small town.  We went to high school together and both sang in the choir.  He is a year younger than me so while I knew of him, I didn’t really know him.  We got to know each other through choir and one night after a basketball game he asked me out.  I surprised myself by saying yes.  I hardly knew him.  I was enjoying being single.  I thought I really liked someone else.  Over the next few weeks we got to know each other better.  Including making out in front of my two best friends and him accidentally spitting on me while watching Happy Gilmore. 

One night while on the phone with him I decided that I just didn’t want to be someone’s girlfriend anymore and I told him.  The phone went silent.  He didn’t hang up.  He just mumbled “I’ve got to go” and that was it.  He wasn’t in school the next day and one of his friends approached me and asked how I could do this to TTO.  I felt terrible.  I found out later that he had a perfect attendance record.  Me breaking his heart was the first time he had ever missed a day of school.  Ouch.

We did our best to remain friendly – I even convinced my best friend to take him to prom that year while I went with my new boyfriend – but eventually he quit choir and I became a senior with way too much on my mind.

A few years later I ran across a picture of him with his entire family in our hometown newspaper.  They’d just gotten back from a trip to Sweden.  I remember looking at the picture and thinking that he really looked good and I hoped life was treating him well.  Fast forward a few more years and we’re at New Year’s Eve where 2001 would turn into 2002.  I was living in an apartment in St. Paul with my best friend M.  I had no plans for the night and ended up on the phone with my on-again/off-again boyfriend of a little over two years.  He sounded hopeful that we would get back together in the new year.  I tried to go along with it and act happy even though I wasn’t so sure. 

That night when I went to bed I asked God to help me figure out what was going on with that relationship and what I should do about it.  It was the most honest and heartfelt prayer I had ever said.  The next day my good friend (and yet another ex-boyfriend) called and invited me to a basketball game.  “By the way, TTO is coming too.”  For some reason those words made my stomach jump up in my throat.  I spent the next 36 hours obsessing over how this would all play out.  I was certain that he hated me.  That it was going to be awful.  That I would want to go home early.  I came up with reasons for canceling, but for some reason I just didn’t.  It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

We went to the game and somehow TTO and I ended up sitting next to each other.  It was definitely awkward.  After the game we went out to a bar to celebrate the above friend/ex-boyfriend’s birthday.  It was still awkward.  Fortunately at the bar everyone started getting more friendly. 

We all ended up back at my apartment and TTO and I really started talking.  We talked and talked and talked.  Through the entire night.  The above friend was majorly ticked.  He thought that HE would be the one I’d want to talk to and get together with.  TTO and I stayed up the entire night.  I thought for sure it was just a one night coincidence.  It wouldn’t go anywhere.  He was also in a weird state of relationship flux and also?  He went to school over 4 hours away.

The next few weeks were tough and confusing.  The old boyfriend, the good friend and TTO were all in the picture.  I felt more sought after than at any other point in my life.  My phone calls with TTO were becoming more frequent.  I saw him a few more times before he went back to school.  He even came up to visit me by himself one night.  He kissed me and right after that I told him he should probably leave.  I don’t know what made me do that, but he thought any chance we had was completely over.

At this point my little sister got really sick.  In the hospital for days sick.  The old boyfriend came to visit me but I found that he only made me feel more uneasy about the situation.  The comfort that I needed was completely lacking.  TTO happened to be home for the weekend and after going to see my sister I went to see him.  He let me cry for as long as I needed.  No judgement, no explanations, no dismissal.  He was the warm, safe place that I desperately needed. 

About a month after that I made my first trip to SDSU.  It was a long four hour drive all by myself (that should have been my first clue that I was really falling for him).  It gave me a lot of time to think.  I think deep down I knew that I really wanted to be with him but my logical side felt that I’d put so much time into my relationship with the old boyfriend I couldn’t possibly just let go.

The weekend was great.  After so many phone calls and emails it was nice to really spend some uninterrupted time together.  I didn’t want to leave.  When I got back our phone calls got longer and more frequent.  The old boyfriend told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life by leaving him for TTO.  The good friend told me TTO was just setting me up to hurt me the way I’d hurt him.  I didn’t care.  I knew TTO was it for me.

We were both set to go on Spring Break trips.  I went to a party that TTO threw right before he and his friends left.  I wanted to take them to the airport but a nasty ice storm prevented that.  I asked him to think about me while he was gone but that he was in no way tied down and he was free to do whatever he wanted with whomever he wanted while he was there. 

I left for my trip before TTO got back.  The old boyfriend made a last ditch effort to get me back (12 of us planned this trip the previous October).  I called TTO from our port in Key West but he wasn’t home.  Then I used the old boyfriend’s phone from our hotel in Miami to try again.  I think he knew it was over by that point.

When I came home I went to see TTO at his mom and dad’s.  It was April Fool’s Day.  It seemed fitting.  I was absolutely head over heels for the man.  I told him that I loved him.  He told me that he loved me.  We’ve been saying it ever since.

There’s so much more to say – but this is already a novel.  I’ll just have to save the rest for another post.

__________________________________________

Babe,

I love you.  More today than yesterday or the day before or two years ago.  You mean everything to me.  When you tell me that you love me I can tell that you really feel it, you aren’t just saying it because you think you have to.  Thank you for continuing to be that warm, safe place for me.  You are my best friend.  I have more fun with you than with anyone else.  You give me the confidence to try new things and to really be myself.  You are kind, generous, thoughtful, patient, handsome and an all-around fantastic person.  I feel so lucky to be your wife.  I know it isn’t always easy but I don’t think it would be worth it if it was.  Thank you for agreeing to share your life with me. 

Here’s to 200 more.

Love,

Anna

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