Today is our anniversary and we have been married for 19 years!! Mr. Man and I actually had our very first date, in 1984, though. We took things slow and as I have said, here, before, had the longest dating history of all time, I think.
In my ever changing moods, I love looking back over the years at all of our memories. We had our moments, good and bad, and somehow grew up, decided we were ready to get married and made the big leap. I could bore you with our crazy turning love story but instead, I am just going to tell you about one of my favorite memories of us. It is a memory that Mr. Man probably has no recollection of since it is my memory and a defining point in time when I went from trying to ignore his presence to actually thinking, um, hey...I am developing a small crush of sorts.
I have known Mr. Man since I was in kindergarten. We started at the same elementary school, together, until he moved to another school. But, he was the kind of kid that everyone either knew or knew of. So, even when he wasn't around, you knew of him. He was like any pre-teen/teen boy. Full of himself, too cute for words, very sure of himself and always had a string of girlfriends. I was not one of those girlfriends nor did I want to be. I don't know what made me so irritated with Mr. Man back then but I just didn't care for him. In my junior year of high school, I got seperated from all of my friends and the prime locker locations. My locker was down in nowhere land by the cafeteria and wrestling room. I was highly irritated to not be where the action was and the only thing worse than this was getting seperated from all of my friends at our lunch, too. What did I do to deserve this?? Junior year was not looking good and then I looked over to the locker that was two lockers down from mine. Uggh...Mr. Man. Always very suave with the ladies and he had a dozen at his locker at all times. I spent the entire year being irritated with his locker presence.
Eventually, his class graduated, we moved up to be seniors, things went back to normal in lockerville and all was well. Mr. Man went off to college, none of us gave that class a second thought and all of a sudden, we were graduating. It was the summer between graduation and our destinations to college. Life was grand and the plan was to work and play. We were ready for anything.
Summers where I grew up would find everyone at the parks on the west end of town. There were two parks that sort of filtered into one. Everyone, and I mean everyone, took their cars to these parks. It was bumper to bumper cruising, music blaring, frisbees soaring. People would sit on cars, sit on the ground, the cars would move at a snail's pace. It was where the action was and where everyone went to be seen. There didn't seem to be a lot of traffic laws, back then, since you were allowed to pile a ton of people in each car. Someone would always have cheap cases of beer, again, it was the very early 80s and we were all of age to drink. Go figure. Anyway, I would have the cheerleader's head if she pulled a stunt like this but I stress...it was the 80s, we were of age, and apparently none of our parents gave us a second thought.
On one particular night, the cruising was happening and it was a Thursday night. Thursday nights were usually great nights for a couple of the bars in town. We would cruise the parks, first, and then head to wherever all of our friends were meeting. Somehow, on this night, I got seperated from the car I was with and Mr. Man offered to let me ride with him. Hmmmmm...I wasn't sure but jumped in, anyway. He had a car with t-tops and he had The Stones blaring. I remember the song, Tumbling Dice, playing and it was at that second, with the summer air, Tumbling Dice, and Mr. Man giving me a ride to my destination, that I had my first inklings of a small crush beginning.
That summer seemed to put us in the same locations and parties, a lot. He gave me other rides, at random times. One time, somehow, I ended up with one of his Grateful Dead cassettes. I remember listening to it over and over for the rest of the summer. I took it to college with me and to this day, I still have it in my collection of cassettes.
I remember the summer coming to an end, I packed up and headed for college, Mr. Man was never aware of my small crush or his missing cassette tape, and I left town. Our paths never crossed, again, like they had that summer. It was a summer where the electricity of a small crush made it burn bright in my memory. We would not go out on our first date for another two years but I carried the vision of him driving his car, listening to Tumbling Dice and watching his long hair blow in the wind to this day.
Happy Anniversary, Mr. Man...I love you even more than I did when you gave me the ride in your car. Even if you weren't aware of my crush...