The hubs and I first met in the summer of 1996. I was a very young 21 year old college student, having the most fun I’d ever had and looking the best I ever would. He was a 28 year old man looking to settle down and start a family. We met when he visited his sisters for lunch at work. I happened to be the receptionist, working there for the summer. Chinese food was ordered. I ran to fetch it (being the glorified errand girl and all), and we all sat around talking and laughing and eating. We were pleasant to each other, but it was no more than a casual meeting on a random day.
A few months later, my mother asked me to attend a wedding with her as her date, since my father was going to be out of town. It was an excuse to go home for the weekend, and I had known the family since I was a kid (although not specifically friends with the bride), so I figured, why not. The bride just happened to be my future husband’s cousin.
I knew many people at the wedding, and was having a really good time. I had some food, some drinks, and conversed with a bunch of people I had known since I was a kid. Including my co-workers, the hubs’ sisters. In fact, pretty much his entire family was at this wedding.
Not sure if any of you remember the great musical stylings of 1996, but this was the year of the Macarena. So of course, this being a wedding, it was mandated by law that the song be played. I had been doing this dance for months, and had perfected my arm placements and butt shimmying moves. So I ran out to the dance floor with a couple other girls, and danced my little heart out. I still say that my butt shaking is what first piqued the hubs’ interest. I was adorable, sexy, wearing a little black dress, and shaking it all over the dance floor. I mean, who could resist? 😉
At the after party at the bride’s parents’ house (the hubs’ aunt and uncle), we ended up playing pool together. Him being a worldly and smooth kinda guy, he made a bet with me that I would have to go on a date with him if he won the game. He kindly didn’t decimate me in that game, but won just enough, thus ensuring a date.
In the beginning of our relationship, he wooed me pretty hard. He was older and had a decent job, so he could afford to take us out on real dates, as opposed to the previous run-up-to-taco-bell-at-midnight-and-get-a-chalupa type deal I was used to with my prior college boyfriend. I wasn’t looking for serious, but he was. I just wanted to have some fun and was not expecting to fall in love. He was. So I got the hard court press from him. Flowers, presents, dinners, trips, etc. It was kind of intoxicating for someone who had never been treated well by a man before. I mean, who could help but fall in love with someone who treated them like they were the only woman in the world?
I was the first one to say those magic words. You might think I was a silly love-struck girl that just threw those words around all the time. Nothing was farther from the truth. I had been hurt by many a careless and cruel man in the past. I was completely gun-shy and not in any way prepared for that actual L word. The hubs knew this. He didn’t push. He didn’t smother me or try to crush me with emotion. I had a wall around my heart that had been up for a while. He didn’t try to break it down with a sledgehammer. He chipped away at it, brick by brick. And he told me he loved me . . . but just not with words.
When I would spend the night at his house, which happened more and more the longer we dated, he would always leave for work before I would wake up. When I would go into the bathroom, I would find that he had left a card for me. Every time. Every time. It was so lovely to have someone think of you like that every single morning and want to do something special for you. I smiled every time I read the words he wrote to me each day.
Besides the cards, he would always do little things to show me he cared about me. He would grab take out from my favorite restaurant, and have it there when I arrived at his house. He would plan a surprise trip to somewhere he knew I would love. Send flowers for no reason except to make me smile. He was a decent, kind and giving man, and I eventually fell in love with him. Not because of the gifts or the trips. But for the things he was telling me through those things. “I’m thinking of you.” “I care about you.” “You are beautiful to me.” “I love you.”
We were married in the fall, on what started out to be a chilly and rainy day. October 19, 2002. By the time we were ready to say our “I do’s,” though, the sky had cleared, and the temperatures had warmed. It was a most perfect day.
That was ten years, two kids, and a million experiences (both good and bad) ago. I still love him, but our love has grown. We may not utter those words to each other as often as we did back when our love was fresh and new and exciting, but we still tell each other of our love. Maybe not in words, but in actions.
He buys me a latte from Dunkin Donuts every Sunday on his way back from taking the boys to church. He takes out the garbage and recycling, does the dishes, cooks Sunday dinner and takes care of the dog. He is an amazing father to my children and still treats me like I am the most important woman in the world to him. All of these actions tell me he loves me every single day. He is still the only man I have ever truly loved. He worked for that love and I gave it to him without resolve. I hope he sees by the little things I do and say that I still love him as well.
He is the extra large black coffee to my small iced caramel latte.
Happy Anniversary babe. We’ve had a good run. Hope we keep running for a while longer. Love you!
What unspoken things do YOU do to show your significant other you care?