On January 18, 1991, I made out with my future husband for the first time. We had been on a double date to see Kindergarten Cop and after driving around for a while, the guy of the other couple pulled into the parking lot of the local Roy Rogers. He turned on the classical music station, put up the hood of the Suzuki Samurai (for privacy, of course) and he and his date left the vehicle.
I had dreamed of that moment with this guy for years. I was 14 and it was my freshman year of high school.
The next night we went out again, this time to a friend’s house for what was known as the weekly Twin Peaks Party, whether or not Twin Peaks was actually on. This did, however, mark the first of many Saturday nights we would spend watching TV or a movie.
As children often do when they begin dating, we made it official. It was something like, “So are we boyfriend and girlfriend now?” “Yes.” “OK.” Please don’t ask me exactly who said what because without looking it up in my journal, I don’t recall. It was 21 years ago, come on.
By July 4th, we were broken up. It was not my choice and as a sullen now-15 year old, I cried for months. I dated other boys, but I still cried. We went to school together that fall, his senior year now, my sophomore year. We hung out with friends, talked on the phone and all the other stuff teenager-friends do. I was still in love. I did my best not to tell him.
Then, one magical night (it may have been December 23, 1991, but who could say for sure?) we made out behind the school across the street from a friend’s house. We decided to not make a big deal out of it and not tell people. I wanted to tell everyone. I only told my best friend.
As the weeks went on, it was clear we were dating again. I still didn’t tell anyone and I still didn’t know why we weren’t telling anyone. I was getting pretty close to saying we needed to discuss the arrangement, but decided I didn’t want to ruin whatever it was that we had.
On February 14, 1992, we had plans to go to dinner. I was very sick with bronchitis and had to get up early for a cheering competition the next morning, but I was going on this date if it killed me.
He arrived at my house, Valentine’s gift in tow (earrings, as I recall, which I still have). The card, which I also still have, said that he would like 2/14/1991 to be remembered as the day we officially got back together. I said no, but I’d be happy if two-fourteen-nineteen ninety TWO could be the day. This, dear readers, would be the first of many sentimental days that we would fill with inappropriate snark.
And so, twenty years after the day we officially made it official once again, I say to my husband, I love you. I love you with all that I am. I have always loved you. We have grown and changed and been through graduations and jobs and houses and a child and all the mundane stuff in between. Through all of it, I have loved you. And through all of it yet to come, I will love you still. Happy Valentine's Day and (sort of) Anniversary.
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