Today is my 17th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary to the man of my dreams! It's hard to believe we've been together this long.....
1985: 10th grade, I sat in the front of Mrs. Little's English class, J sat in the back. I always came to class prepared, homework done, adequate supplies, ready to learn. He cracked jokes and hung out with That Crowd.
For Mardi Gras that year, my parents decided to take us to Canal Street for Bacchus. They parked in Algiers Point and we walked to the Algiers/Canal Street Ferry. There was another family with us, and the daughter (whose name now escapes me) was my age. I saw J and his friends getting on the ferry, and told my friend, "Let's move to the other side, we don't want to be around those boys." We get to Canal Street and our parents let us walk around by ourselves for a bit. And who do we happen upon, but J and his friends, drunk, laying on a flattened cardboard box waiting for the parade. I still remember looking at them, trying to decide which way to go, when I heard, "Hey! I know that girl - she's in my English class!" One thing led to another and we watched the whole parade with them. They put us up on their shoulders to catch beads and we had a lot of fun. I was sooo attracted to...J's friend. J's friend and I dated briefly (a week?) but it didn't work out. Which was okay with me because I was attracted to...J's other friend.
J and I developed a friendship, and I used to call him to moan about his other friend and why he didn't like me back and all that teenage drama stuff. We would talk on the phone and I could hear him watching cartoons. He was a nice guy. And then, I decided I was wasting my time on his friend, when the one I really liked was...J. And we started dating.
One afternoon, not long after we started dating, I was sitting in his room and noticed a post-it next to his phone. It said "Potential Girlfriend" and had my phone number on it. And "Potential" was crossed out! All this time has passed and I still think that's the cutest/funniest thing.
We had a few breakups and heartaches during high school and college - to the point he went to California to get some distance between us. We still spoke on the phone, but the physical distance was important, I think, for both of us. And then he came back to me...on my 19th birthday. I was working as a waitress in a bar and when I saw him walk in. I couldn't believe he'd come back to me.
We moved in together soon after that, got engaged, got married, and started a family. And I wouldn't change any of it. Not one thing. I love you, J, with all my heart. Thank you for this wonderful life I'm living. It wouldn't be as wonderful without you.