23 years ago today i (an avowed, serious college student, recently sworn off guys in order to dedicate myself to top-notch grades) was sitting innocently in one of my classes, near the door to the hallway - the door with windows. part way through the lecture i caught a flash in the hallway...that cute guy again!
that same cute guy who had to speak to us lowly freshmen in one of our orientation groups.
that same cute guy who was leaving sketches on my dorm door dry erase board.
that same cute guy who asked for an introduction...one nearly forgotten by me in my starry-eyed college-newness!
he was looking at me.
i tried to ignore his smiling face & sparkling eyes. my astute girlfriends nudged & whispered..."he's looking at you."
no, he's not...well, maybe.
later in my dorm kitchen (you know, the kind shared by all...) i was attempting to pull together some semblance of lunch when i was startled by the cute guy.
in his very best gentlemanly way he reintroduced himself & inquired as to whether or not i had dinner plans.
(in my head...is he talking to me?)
(audibly)...well, um, i, um, well....um...i might still have a frozen pizza in the freezer...well, you know, um, if no one mistakenly ate it.
he continued...well, if you would like, i would enjoy taking you to dinner.
(in my head...real food!...i'm not dating...he's cute...i'm not dating...i have tomorrow off...i'm not dating...is he talking to me?)
by now i started to realize that i am, in fact, the only person in our gross dorm kitchen & this cute guy (with a name now) really *is* talking to me! & frozen pizza is starting to sound lame in my mind!
(audibly)...well, um, i, um, i guess it would be nice to, um, you know, um, go for dinner.
he sure is smiling!....in my mind i have lost all bearings with my native language & all i could do was nod while he took charge of the time & place to meet stuff.
i did forget to eat my lunch...i wallowed pathetically through the afternoon lecture...my friends assured me i was, indeed, pathetic...& i spent whatever free time remained that day choosing an outfit & driving my roommate insane. she was royally ticked that i was dumping her & our evening exercise routine for a **guy**...didn't i remember that we were avowed serious students???
28 clothing revisions later...i met D. in the lobby of our dorm. oh dear me, i was in sooooooooo much trouble. he was (still is!!) cute. he was (still is!) a perfect gentleman. he was (still is!) a great conversationalist.
at his vehicle (an international scout - very cool car - not that i'm swayed by cars, mind you) he wondered if i wanted the top off (not mine, the scout's!!! - remember he is the perfect gentleman!) on this perfect end-of-summer evening. of course i did!!
he wondered if i would like italian food...
he wondered if i liked to fly...
every chance i could!!
he wondered if i would like to drive out to the lake & watch the sun set...
(picking my chin up off the floor...) why absolutely!!!
we talked & talked & talked & talked & talked...
i do not remember the taste of my food.
but i do remember the blue of his eyes.
i do not remember if the air was warm or cool.
but i do remember that i had never had such an incredible night.
he drove us back to the dorm & in a brief moment of quiet along the way, i realized that my face literally *ached* from smiling!
he walked me to my door & gently bid me goodnight. i know i closed the door with the most ridiculous, love-lorn sigh you could ever imagine.
my studious roommate rolled her eyes.
not but 10 minutes later there was a tap on our door. he was back. did i want to go to the lobby & talk some more?
finally at 3 am (he had class at 7 am) we really said goodnight. our date had begun at 5 pm, & except for that short break in my dorm room, we had talked & laughed non-stop for 10 hours! i had never met anyone with whom i felt like this. i was just a bit cynical before that night of my life but still quite optimistic...after that evening, i was overwhelmingly filled with joy! i used to scoff a bit at the idea of a soul mate, but secretly held onto the hope that it was possible. i did not remember a time in my life that i didn't want to get married & have children...but i never felt any sense of possibility that my longing would come to fruition...
3 years of dating, 20 years of marriage, 4 children, & LOTS of miles & miles later...i *know* this guy was an answer to many, many prayers.
D., i have loved having you at my side for all the ups & downs, the joys & sorrows of this thing called life. here's to 23 fantastic years!...
meet you on the dock at sunset!! ;-)