03 April 2009

a category all his own

God has blessed me with a good husband.  Probably... no, definitely a lot better than I deserve, but don't anybody tell him I said that.

This July will mark 10, count 'em 10, years since he and I first met.  Way on back in the day when he was 18 and just out of high school and I was just a wee lass of 13 and fresh out of 7th grade.  Before you start looking up laws on unlawful interaction with a minor, let me clarify that we didn't start dating then or anytime soon.  I had previously met his cousin whom a friend and I had deemed "hot." My friend was interested in him, so since that interest was already taken, my curiosity was peaked by hot-guy's cousin... even though he was 5 years older than me and my friend had assured me that he was most definitely not in the same "category" as his hot-guy cousin.

And I should just interject here that I am oh-so-glad hubby was not in the same category as his hot-guy cousin since, however hot he may have been, one of my first questions about him was still, "Are you sure he's not gay?" That was his category.

P.S. He's not, by the way.  And that isn't his category anymore, thank goodness, since he's added a bit of depth to his character.


So, upon meeting the hubby back then when he could be nothing more to me than an alluring and not-attainable about-to-be-college guy, I soon realized that even if he wasn't in his cousin's hot-guy-although-sorda-queer-looking category, he was a really genuinely nice guy and we became fast friends.  And when I say really genuinely nice, I mean like the kind of really genuinely nice that was rare 10 years ago and is now headed for extinction.

So, for the next... umm... lemme add it up... 3 1/2-ish years we continued our friendship and were actually fairly close friends but never anything more.  He came to my baptism shortly after we met and went to lunch at Pizza Hut with my family afterward (with hot-guy cousin in tow, I might add).  We saw each other at church functions and often found ourselves hanging out with the same groups of friends.  He showed up at my parents' house at least once to get computer help from my dad.  We even went on date-like excursions (not really), just the two of us, to visit someone in a hospital in another town an hour away.

By the way, there might actually be something in one of those unlawful-interaction-with-a-minor laws about crossing state lines with an underage girl in your vehicle if you happen to be over 18, which he was.

We also went to Fuddruckers.

Meanwhile, my dating standards were getting lower... and lower... and embarrassingly lower with every.single.guy I had anything to do with.

It wasn't until the end of 2002 that we started spending a lot more one-on-one time together.  We talked a lot on instant messenger and I flirted with him a lot but not so much because I was definitely interested in him, but more because, well, that's just the way I operated.  It was also during this time that he uttered the magical line of, "Tell Curtis to sniff your butt for me." Long story.  Involving the fact that my dog always nosed him in the rear.  He also jumped up into his lap once for the sole purpose of belching in his face.  Anyway... regardless of all the time we were spending together, I still claimed to not be interested in becoming involved with him.  As a matter of fact, I have documented evidence in one of my journals where I actually wrote the words "of all the guys I know, Hubby is the only one I could never see myself with."

Ah, the irony to be sitting on the couch very obviously pregnant by and listening to the snoring of the one you could never see yourself with.

Finally, one night he invited me over to his parents' house for supper and as we sat in his dad's study watching the ever-so-romantic movie choice of Austin Powers (don't remember which one), he reached over and took my hand.  Not what most would consider an overt statement, but for him it was the equivalent of standing in my yard, boom box raised overhead a la John Cusack.

Thus began our crazy, up-and-down, back-and-forth story.  And the plummeting status of my dating standards took a sharp upward turn.

Things have never been perfect for us or anything even approaching perfection.  In fact, we've had some pretty darn rough spots during our dating, engagement, and short marriage, but I've never wondered even in the bitterest of times if he loved me or not or if maybe today he wouldn't come home to me.  There's never been a time, even when we've been upset with each other, when he wouldn't take me in his arms and try to make everything all better.

In this day and age of disposable marriage, I know that ours is not.

And that is definitely a blessing.