I was scared to death of him. He was the Golden Child, the proverbial Boy Scout, the Good Christian Boy…and it was our first date.
I, on the other hand, having enjoyed my freshman year of college, was settling a bit in my sophomore. Away from home, gaining freedom and losing good sense, I typified almost every stereotype–I skipped too many classes, tended my social life much more than Academia, and I didn't just learn to drink beer, I acquired a taste for what formerly had been spewable at first sip. Somehow, I didn't add the Freshman 15, probably due in no small part to eating dinner at 4:30 as soon as Schilletter opened and being too broke for midnight pizza.
In my defense, I had been raised with a "good girl mentality," so in my wildest days I never steered too far off track. I've often credited my in-laws for that–they prayed for their son's future wife from the time he was six or seven, and I believe that covered me with a hedge of protection from Very Bad Things or making the stupidest of choices.
I remember seeing him before we ever met; his good looks got my attention but his eyes were remarkable. Steely blue and piercing, on the occasion when ours met in passing, butterflies hatched in my stomach.
He asked me out before we had actually met; we knew of each other through my best friend and a guy she was dating (whom she'd eventually marry). Cassie lectured me on behavior before our double date at Clemson's Y Theater, which did a lot for my nerves…. For years I remembered our first date as going to see Caddyshack, but really thinking about it I'm sure it was Stripes. This scene is one of my favorites–vintage Bill Murray–and at the time it embarrassed me to death because, you know, I was with the Good Christian Boy.
At the end of our date, his kiss goodnight stole my breath.
Five years later we married.
Today we celebrate 23 years, and if I'm not mistaken, at some point during that time, he's given me the Aunt Jemima Treatment. Maybe twice.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my youth, the father to our three amazing children and the man who treasures me more than anything this world has to offer. I love you then, now and forever.