I remember the first time I saw him. It was late summer in 1978. I was 17 years old and had just started my freshman year at a college that was located a thousand miles away from home. I wasn't impressed and in all fairness, neither was he. My first impression was that he was a geek and he thought I was some sort of wild militant feminist. We decided to stay out of each other's way.
Now that may have been possible had we gone to some large university instead of a small college of about 300 students. Then there was this other problem. We seemed to like to hang out with the same people. Sigh... my attempts to avoid him seemed futile as we kept getting more and more mutual friends.
A few weeks later, I unexpectedly found myself sitting next to that "geeky guy" pouring my heart out. Homesickness had struck me with a vengeance. In addition to that, the grief of losing my father a year earlier was still fresh and painful. One moment I was having a casual conversation and the next moment I broke into tears and found myself crying on his shoulder.
After my sobs subsided, I was both horrified and embarrassed. What would this guy think of me? As I tried to regain my self-control, I stammered out an apology and I will never forget his reply. He grinned at me and tugged at the shoulder of his windbreaker. "That's okay. I've got a waterproof jacket." I laughed and he has been making me laugh ever since.
So, did we get together then? Nope! If this was a fairy tale, perhaps we would have but we didn't. Instead we became friends that day and as time went on, we became very good friends. Before the school year was over however, our friendship had blossomed into something more.
Today marks our 36th wedding anniversary. If the truth be told, we started with the odds against us. We married young. We were both 20 years old though he turned 21 the very next day. We were still in college. We were unemployed having just quit our summer jobs in order to go back to school. We didn't even know if we had our apartment until three days before we got married. We were a mess but we were too happy to even notice it.
Thirty-six years ago, I married the man with the waterproof jacket and I am so glad that I did!