I am often asked how Hubby and I met and I take great joy in announcing, “Blind Date!”.
We met on a good, old fashioned, “hey, these two would probably click” blind date in 1995.
On that May evening, I had accompanied my Matchmaker friend to her boyfriend’s house to watch, of all movies, “The Crow”. Honestly, if I had known that a movie about a dude who comes back as an undead avenger of his fiancee’s murder would eventually factor into my “How I Met Your Mother” story, I’d have pushed for Forrest Gump. But, nonetheless, I went to said boyfriend’s house and lo and behold, Future Hubby stopped by after receiving a “Dude, get over here, there’s a super hot chick you should meet” phone call from his buddy (I’ll admit some parts of this story are probably fabricated due to an aging memory, however, I am certain “super hot chick” was used). Hubby likes to remind everyone at this point in the story that I made a bitchy remark to him about five minutes after his arrival. The remark might have included calling him “Captain Obvious” but his memory is older than mine so, really, that probably didn’t happen.
We watched the movie that evening and, in what I now realize was a carefully executed plan of subterfuge, Future Hubby offered to drive me home. Because it was late, I decided to let “Captain Obvious” and his cute blue eyes whisk me away. In his Pontiac Sunbird. Romance, people, comes in the form of a black two door, 1990 car that I would eventually call “The SunChicken”.
As we drove home, we chatted about the usual things people who have never met before but are now riding in a dark car at the stroke of midnight do: I gave him directions to my aunt’s house where I was staying until I left to go home to Texas for the summer. It was a quality conversation, though, I promise.
When he slowly drove The SunChicken up the driveway to my aunt’s house, he parked the car at the top and gave me a quizzical look. “This is your aunt’s house? THIS house?”. I swear, the man did not put forth his best intelligence foot that evening.
I told him it was and that I’d been coming to visit her with my parents since I was six months old. I’d grown up visiting that rambling old white house tucked on a dead end road for many a holiday and family get together. My brothers and I would play football with my cousins in the big backyard and would play hide and seek all over the woods that surrounded the property.
He continued to look at me with an incredulous look and I was starting to think the man next to me was The Village Idiot.
“So, you’ve been coming to this house your whole life?” he asked.
“Uh huh.” Seriously? What was WITH this guy?
“Uhm, so let me get this straight: you’ve been coming to this house since you were six months old?”
“Sure have….” (I should get bonus points for not adding, “moron” to the end of that statement…).
Future Hubby gazed at me for a minute and said, “See those trees back there? The ones at the back of her yard? Do you see the house that’s just beyond?” I looked through the trees, silvery and shimmering in the summer moonlight, and saw the house that I always saw when I had visited and played in my aunt’s backyard. I nodded and said yes.
That’s when he looked at me and said, simply, “That’s the house I grew up in, that I lived in until I was fourteen”.
When we’d visit my aunt over the years as children, my brothers and I would see kids playing through the trees but, being too cool for school, we’d never sought them out to play with us.
Those children were Hubby, his sisters, and their friends. The sisters I now call my own. His childhood friends who have now become intricately interwoven into my story.
As I stared at that house in the dark, the reality of what he was saying hit me: this man, with his cute blue eyes and silly comments had been in my backyard my whole life.
And, the next night, on a New Jersey beach on our First Official Date, standing at the end of a rocky jetty, I turned my head, looked into his eyes and knew, with every fiber of my being, that we’d get married.
Little did I know, he’d been right by my side my whole life.
And it took a blind date for me to realize it.