When I was in high school and college, I dreamed about what guys might ask me out someday, and who I might one day marry. I wondered how I would meet my future husband. Where could I go RIGHT NOW to find him? I wondered if maybe it was even someone that I had already met. What if it was someone that I had met, but missed the spark? What if I had passed them on the street and NEVER EVEN KNEW that they were the one that I was to spend my life with? What if I MISSED my chance, somehow?
When very lonely, this path of thinking can drive a person insane. There is no way to know who or where the right person is, until it feels RIGHT.
When I was in school, I always felt weird when I would see kids from school out in public with their parents. At school, we were all just individuals. I often forgot the other kids actually had families at home waiting for them. And my first instinct is always to not talk and pretend I didn’t see them.
One of the first times I can remember this happening was at the local small grocery store in my small town growing up. I was YOUNG, maybe only second or third grade. I saw another girl from my class, J, at the store. She was with her whole family, which looked like an army to me. I was there shopping with just my mom, as always. J had her mom, an older sibling, and younger siblings. My mom & I passed them in the frozen food aisle. I probably whispered to my mom that I went to school with that girl. I can’t remember if there was a Dad there or not. It was freakin’ over 30 years ago, it is amazing I can even remember it at all.
J’s family was so large, they all just sort of lumped together in my memory. The only thing notable was that her youngest sibling was in a sort of glorified stroller. It had brown padding, like it was custom made. I just sort of had the errant thought of “Oh, she has a handicapped sister.” And from then on, I just sort of knew that about J’s home life. Just something I filed away for later in my brain. If I overheard J talk in school about her, or if she gave a report in class about it or something, I would just sort of be like “Oh ya, I saw her once.”
Chew on that.
My best friend in high school was on the verge of dating this guy, C, a year behind us in school. We were seniors, so C would have been a junior. She was spending a lot of time with this C and his friend, S. I had never met S. But sometimes as we drove around town in her car while she smoked, there would be someone rollerblading and she would be like “Oh, that’s S, C’s friend.” One day he was rollerblading with no shirt on, and because I was a goofy teenage girl, I yelled out the window “Put some clothes on!”. We found it hilarious.
Wait for it.
J’s graduation party was on the same day as high school graduation. Our graduating class only had 94 students, so, although I wasn’t popular by ANY means, the odds were in my favor that I would be invited to a few parties. J was in a mediumly-popular group, mostly choir and drama peeps. For some reason, I was invited to her party, so I went. It was held in the local library meeting room, which happens to come in handy as a nice size for large family events.
I saw J. I saw my fellow graduates, all giddy on the freedom high. At one point, I remember a boy heading out the door past me. I was like, “Oh, he looks like J. That must be her brother.”
Stay with me. We are close to the magical ending.
A little over a month later, I would kiss that boy that passed through the doors at J’s grad party. He IS J’s younger brother. I would learn that he was C’s best friend, S. The very same guy on the rollerblades that I had yelled at to put his clothes on.
I went off to college. (That sounds dramatic. It wasn’t.) I was lonely and whiny and no one loved me. I wrote depressing poetry and stories. Now I just occasionally post them on this blog for free. Someday I will trick people into paying to read them.
About 2 1/2 years later, S & I would start dating. Six and a half years later, we would be married. A year later, we would buy a house and a dog. A year after that, another dog. Once we had mastered dogs, we had our son M.
By the way, that library meeting room? I had my bridal shower and baby shower in that room. J held her baby shower there. The younger handicapped sister? We held an apartment shower for her in that room when she moved out on her own.
Do you remember back to the beginning of this post?
My future husband was one of the kids I passed in the frozen food aisle at my local grocery store. I had seen him when I was probably about 8, and would not know for years and years that he would be the one that I would marry.
This is one of those incidents in life that makes me believe that their is a force called Fate that surrounds us all and controls our destinies. I also think Fate can be cruel, and sets up incidents to work out for its own amusement.
And S & M & Dave & I lived happily ever after.