For the past thirty years, I have been married to Michael. We have been together through it all ~ financial woes, sick children, broken house, you-name-it!
We met at Marge's Bar in January, 1975. He was just sitting there, having a drink with friends; I was there with some friends and I had gone up to the bar to get a refill for everyone at my table. He said, 'hello' to me, but I would have none of him...I had recently broken up with another guy and I was just not in the mood for anything ~ just let me have a beer and go home, please!
So, he turned back to his friends and I went back to mine.
The only thing I didn't know was that the people I had come in with were also friends of his! Everyone at this bar knew each other; they were friends of mutual friends, or were related to one another in some way...but no one had told me!
This evening came and went, I was there again a couple of weeks later. And there he was, too.
Same events, same people...
Again, I was not in the mood, altho' I had started to soften up a bit ~ I was 'over' that other guy; I had told myself that if I ever met my (future) husband, he would love me for who and what I was, no holds barred...no matter what, and that would be that!
Little did I know...
I don't know what had gotten into me; I was not usually that standoff-ish...I loved meeting new people, especially friends of friends! I was in my 'party' phase. But for some reason, I took my time warming up to him.
Then, as fate would have it, a brother of the friend with whom I had been going to that bar had a birthday party in his new apartment ~ and guess who was invited?!?
Yep, that's right! Me. And Michael. In all his glory ~ his funny, friendly humor, his laugh, which never fails to get to me, the way his eyes light up ~ and it was actually the first night I noticed that this wonderful man, my future husband, had a non-stop sense of humor...and a real 'gentlemanly' streak.
Well, after that night, one thing led to another. He and I struck up a friendship that became the best of our lives. I have already posted about my problem keeping a best friend since childhood; he had so many friends he had lost count, but he began to see me as the best friend he had ever had...and I held onto him like it saved my life.
As time went on, I realized that he was falling in love with me and I was beginning to have feelings for him that I had never had for anyone before. The other guys I had dated were all 'crushes' but never more than that.
Michael, on the other hand, had always treated me as someone special in his life, and it dawned on me that it was more than just the way a man treats his friend...he was treating me like his love!
And these feelings of mine ~ what were they? Was this true love? Was my never wanting to see him hurt or sad ~ or lonely or upset or anything but completely and utterly happy ~ was that the way it felt to really be in love?
There had been one night, months earlier, when I had looked at myself in the mirror, telling myself that someday I was going to meet the man of my dreams...but I was not going to worry about him, I was just going to go with the flow...and if it happened, or not, then that was the way it was. And I was going to accept my life however it turned out...
And within a month of that fateful turning, I did meet the man of my dreams!
We began dating nine months after the first night we met; the friend who had had the birthday party got married, and his wedding was our first date! And my best friend Michael, became the love of my life, and I became his.
On Christmas Eve, 1976, Michael asked me to marry him.
So far, this July, 2007, it has been thirty years, and counting...and Santa Claus has never given anyone a more perfect gift!
The gift of a life of love, the promise of a happy marriage, and the knowledge that my very best friend in all the world, my 'forever love,' my husband Michael, would never be anything but completely and utterly happy for the rest of his days...and for mine.