When I met T, he was 23. I was 21. It was January 1, 1994, and a college friend had invited me over for her Orange Bowl viewing party. I had nearly met T easily a dozen times before that day. I nearly met him when I was involved in a serious relationship (as serious as all the drama of twenty can be). Again I nearly met T when that serious relationship was ending, of course, in a hail storm of acrimony and hate.
For more than a year T shadowed my footsteps, or I his, and we never realized it. But "exactly at the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a week earlier," we met.*
At the football party, Nebraska was playing Florida State, and while I'm definitely no Seminoles fan, at the time I would have rooted for pretty much any team over the Huskers. So I cheered for FSU in a subdued manner to avoid lynching by the crowd. Florida State won the game and as the evening progressed, that cute guy who kept staring at my chest got drunker and drunker. I somehow ended up taking care of him when we all made the inevitable late night run for pancakes. T made several drunken passes at me.
Somehow I avoided smacking him.
Three days later he finally got over his post-drunken remorse and screwed up the courage to ask our mutual friend for my number. When T called, we talked for three hours.
And when we had our first date, we sat in the car and talked all night long. (Well, in all honestly, we didn't just talk, but T will kill me if I go into details.)
That was it. I knew he was The One.
But I had no idea if T knew that I was His One. And when he finally got around to admitting it a few months later, we both knew that we would marry.
We were incredibly lucky. T was 25 and I was 22 when we wed. We were babies. Who meets their soul mate at 22? How do you recognize a kindred soul when you don't even really know your own soul yet?
I can't answer that question. I can't explain it. If I think about it, our relationship defies logic.
Logic is the lodestone of my life. But logic can't explain why T loves me. It can't tell me why T believes that I'm beautiful and, more importantly, that I'm funny and smart and a good mother. (Boy do I have him snowed!) But I do find it illogical that T loves me. Sarcastic, overly analytical, neurotic, pessimistic me.
You see, T is the best man I know. I chide him for his political beliefs, but I know that T would save the world if he could. In fact he does try to do so in ways I can't talk about here because T is so private. He carries too much responsibility on his shoulders, my Atlas, but I cannot imagine a better man to raise our two boys. He's a far better person than I am. Even more so, because he doesn't realize that he is indeed the better person.
The thing is, I don't believe in fate. I think that life is what you make of it. Off of the top of my head I would probably tell you that I don't believe there is only one person out there for each of us.
But if I really stop to think about it, on this day, our anniversary, maybe it was fate. Maybe I was destined to be here with T and our two boys today. Living our simple, happy lives.
Oh, how I love my T.
But I still hate the Huskers.
* Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Labels: Love of My Life