Today, July 8, is my husband's birthday. He has changed the color of my world. The first time I saw him, I felt that "zing" in my heart that told me he was going to be in my life for more that just a moment. I have had these zings before, so I wouldn't say it was love at first sight. In fact, many of my closest friends produced that same feeling in me the first time I met them. It's possible that I made those relationships happen, but for the most part I would say circumstances caused us to find our ways to each other and then we became friends.
Let's say I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed this relationship to happen. First of all, I let my co-worker, now my sister-in-law set me up. It did not sound promising as a long term thing which is probably why I said yes. She asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with her brother-in-law who was visiting from Italy where he had lived for the last 10 or so years. By the way, his English was not very good and I would have to call him and pick him up for our date.
Okay. I said okay quickly staying ahead of that inner dialogue that kept me from dating for 11 years. A few weeks later, we had Parade of Cultures at our school and he was there. I had not been shown a picture of him, so I did not know what he looked like, and he was not standing with his family members whom I knew very well. But when I saw him, I knew. There went the zing. I found another teacher, a friend of mine, and asked her to come with me to see if she thought he was good looking. Instantly 12 years old again, we followed him around the gym where the exhibits for the culture fair were set up. I never got close enough to talk to him that night. The next time I saw him...it wasn't good.
His sister-in-law had invited me to her house for a late Thanksgiving party. I woke up, got nervous about going to the party, and was ecstatic that I had a fever and couldn't attend. When I called, she said she would bring food to me later. I should have known it was a code, but I had been out of the game too long. There I was, pajammied, bathed in vapor rub, disheveled, answering the door to her...and him. Okay, I thought, maybe if I ignore him he won't see me. So, you want to go out with me (sniff, sniff, cough, cough)?
Well, we finally made the date just after Christmas. He called me, and through very broken English tinged with Italian and French accents, he asked me if I wanted to go with him to the movies, or to eat, or sumf-fing. Since I was beginning to think this was not going to happen and I was starting to feel a little relieved (and a little sad), my shields were down. Okay, I just wanted to get this over with. Though I was attracted, I was starting to feel the familiar fear that kept me home most nights for more than a decade.
The first thing he said to me after we decided not to go to a movie, after I promised not to kill him with my car, after I admitted to being nervous, after we sat down to a nice dinner, he says to me, "You fear life."
Hold on, Pepe LePew. Aren't you suppose to be kissing my hand, whispering sweet nothings in my ear, and promising to whisk me off to the Casbah? You're not suppose to be exposing my deepest secret. I was annoyed, speechless, impressed and intrigued.
He told me that I really did not what to got to the party at his sister-in-law's because I was avoiding him(true).
He told me that I stayed in Dallas one extra day to delay going out with him (true).
He told me that I was beautiful (true and finally, I was getting some wooing. It didn't last),
He said, "The first time I saw you at school, you were happy, zing, zing, zing, zing..." (You noticed me. Did you notice me noticing you? Did you like me? Check box yes or box no.)
I liked that he did not give me the standard date resume. He talked in philosophical terms. He was confident even in his broken English. He did not sugar-coat his assessment of me, and it allowed me to throw in my own observations. We spoke as if we had nothing to lose. He had the kind of honesty that comes a year after dating, not just hours. As I argued, debated, teased, and laughed, for the next 8 hours, I started to fall. ZING!
I am looking forward to a lifetime of anti-wooing honesty.
Bon anniversaire!. Je t'aime, Adama!
(Happy birthday! I love you, Adama!)