Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time”: It’s tough to pin down how we started chatting initially, but somehow in a random chatroom of 20-some-odd people, the woman who would become the one I’ll spend the rest of my life with and I made a connection over the brilliance of a single song by the King of Pop. I was a skinny, nerdy, late-20’s tech-support engineer with a love for most things musical, and she was a skinny, nerdy, mid-20’s, classically-trained dance teacher who lived six hours away. I don’t know that either of us imagined a love interest initially, let alone meeting in person; she famously checked out my profile after we’d been conversing randomly for weeks and exclaimed to the rest of the chat-room, “WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME HE LOOKED LIKE THIS?!”, which I can safely say was a good thing considering she said ‘yes’ when I proposed some ten years later. Even still, the first couple of years were spent in pretty casual friendship… at times we were both in relationships and planning futures with others, and yet whenever there were issues, we’d somehow come back to each other for advice on how to proceed. On some level, we KNEW each other, often better than we knew our significant others and vice versa.
Flash forward to 2012 and we both found ourselves single. We’d met in person a couple of times, both making trips to see each other for weekends, but we were both pretty adamant that a long-distance relationship was NOT in the cards. Add to that the fact that, thanks to a SIZABLE misstep on my part, I was now expecting a child (insert self-facepalm here). Welp… case closed right? Wrong. Somehow, she looked at the circumstances, weighed her options and still found me worthy of a chance. With her parents’ blessing, she packed up everything she owned and drove to Charlotte to give “us” a serious try.
There were many bumps along the way. We butted heads over plenty of things; broke up a couple of times over stupid arguments and insecurities; let’s not forget the birth of my son, which we frankly almost didn’t make it through. Yet we suddenly found ourselves picking a date, a few short months from meeting each other at the altar. How?
My grandmother would call it the grace of God; my best friends might say it’s the abundance of luck granted to fools. I think both she and I tend to be more pragmatic in our thinking, and what it really comes down to is, we work. We respect each other, intellectually and emotionally; we support each other, personally and professionally; and what’s more, we love each other at our best of bests and our worst of worsts. When I’m being annoying and verbose and she can’t wait for me to shut up and leave her the Hell alone, she still loves me. When she’s being irritating and bratty and I wish she’d go somewhere and sit the Hell down, I still love her. We loved each other when we were broke and struggling, each of us unemployed at different times along the way. We loved each other when I was struggling through a battle with custody & child support. We loved each other when we weren’t sure we’d make it, and those ordeals made it all the more easy to love each other when we both started actual careers, and when we started blogging, and when we bought our first home.
It hasn’t followed any blueprint that I can think of; I certainly wanted to be married before I had my first child, and I’m 100% certain that she never imagined she’d be in a relationship with a man who had a baby on the way. Neither of us imagined buying a home before I’d even proposed. Hell, I don’t think either of us saw ourselves waiting until our mid-to-late 30’s to get married, and yet here we are, seven years later… happy; comfortable; financially stable; emotionally secure. I’m starting to think that whole “traditional blueprint” thing might be for the birds… none of this has happened the way we planned. We didn’t anticipate the pitfalls (and there have certainly been so many) any more than we anticipated the overwhelming successes, and perhaps THAT’S what the blueprint REALLY is: We COMMITTED, regardless. We sat across from each other and looked each other in the eye and said,”We’re DOING this”, and we’ve held tight to that in the face of numerous obstacles, arguments and personal shortcomings, emerging even stronger on the other side of each and every one of them. We disagree, we grow distant some days, then pull each other closer all over again. We get on each other’s nerves and need personal space from time to time, but we can’t bear to be separated but for so long.
I’m still kinda slim by most standards, but it’s certainly not for a lack of home-cooked meals; thankfully my waist is still 31 inches, so I at least have that still going for me. She’s NOT so skinny, which can likely be blamed on a regular diet of home-cooked meals, but when you start from being 98 pounds, it’s pretty tough to maintain once you stop teaching dance every day (and for the record, I prefer her with a lil more weight). We’re both still VERY nerdy, with careers in IT, interests in cloud computing and a shared love for blogging, video games, Marvel movies and the latest Android devices. We’ve both grown; we’re both GROWN. I’m a planner at heart, and it feels good to not only have a solid idea of what I’ll be doing for the next 30 years, but who I’ll be doing it with. Too much uncertainty makes me anxious, and I haven’t felt uncertain about much of anything in a long time. As such, on September 28th, 2019, we exchanged vows and turned to face our family and friends as Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Rose.
If you weren’t there, you either weren’t invited or you SHOULD’VE been.