This is my essay for week two of class that earned me a 82! I am quite thrilled since I was aiming for a low B. I know it is silly, but getting my B this week has given me the confidence that I am “teachable” and I am coming to terms with the fact that it IS OK to not know everything straight off. I think I have become so comfy in my position career-wise and having an area of expertise, that it flusters me to be in unknown waters now. I hope that with each week it will become easier for me to cope with and I won’t be so high stress about everything.
This essay is about how I originally met my husband for the first time, almost 13 years ago, and how we eventually became a couple 5 years later. 🙂 It was actually really nice to write about my husband this time. I know sometimes I get so caught up in the things I don’t like about him, that it was really good for me to focus on the things that I love about him.
The Fireman and the Pole
When I was 14 years old, the place to be was our local skating rink, Dazzles. On any Friday night you could find me there, hanging out with friends and “freak” dancing. That is what we called it then, but you could also call it dirty dancing. Colorful, flashing disco lights and neon carpet that glowed in the dark set the atmosphere there. Kids would be socializing in large groups and music would be blaring, hip hop songs like, Kilo Ali’s Baby, Baby. One particular Friday night, a girlfriend of mine was dancing alone, when a guy came up behind her and started dancing with quite a bit of enthusiasm. This would be my future husband. My very first thought upon seeing him was, “What a freak.” I can say without a doubt, that I didn’t know that he was “the one” on that night, but sometimes you find love where you least expect it.
I learned that his name was Michael. Also, that we went to the same school, and we even had Physical Education class during the same period, but with different teachers. Over the course of years our paths crossed repeatedly. We shared similar friends, so we ended up in social situations together. We would run into each other at the mall, hang out in the same groups and attend the same parties, but never forming more than a distant friendship. He was always flirtatious with me, but I never gave him any romantic thought.
Michael had spunk though, and I appreciated that about him. One of my favorite memories from those days happened the first time I learned to play the card game Rummy. He was teaching me the rules and we played quite a few games that night. He was in a teasing mood and at one point he looked at me very seriously and said, “Hey Crystal, why don’t you come be my fireman and I can be your pole?” I couldn’t help but laugh. Though, I still thought, “What a freak,” but in a more endearing way.
A little over 4 and a half years after originally meeting Michael for the first time, I began to date his best friend, Patrick. During the two months that we dated, Patrick lived at Michael’s house and I was there nearly every day. Patrick was the kind of boyfriend that gave you just enough attention to keep you hanging on and was distant enough to drive you a bit crazy. He spent the majority of his time playing games on his computer when I was around, so consequently I spent much of that time with Michael. During this time though, the friendship I built with Michael became essential to my life.
For the first time, instead of seeing “Patrick’s best friend,” I saw Michael, and he was kind of awesome. His personality meshed well with mine; we had a similar sense of humor, which tended to lead us into terribly inappropriate jokes. He became one of my closest friends and we talked about all kinds of things. I got to know him on a more serious level, one without all the barriers. I saw how ambitious, charming and thoughtful he really was underneath all of his goofiness. It changed the way that I perceived him.
He became my confidante. He was the one that I confided in when I admitted to wanting to break up with Patrick. One night, after a stiff drink and some encouragement from Michael, I finally managed to get the job done. There were no hurt feelings from this break up. It was a relationship working for no one, and I just happened to be the first to admit it aloud. Patrick and I stayed friends and I still spent most days hanging out at the house, so that I could see Michael.
I can’t pinpoint the moment when it happened; it was more of a slow progression of my feelings towards him changing. There was just the overall feeling of being my happiest when I was with him. One night the line between friend and “something more” started to blur. We went to a club together with friends to have some fun. After getting back, we all decided to sleep at Michael’s house. I told him that I wanted to sleep in his bed with him; I wanted to be near him. We snuggled in the bed, his arms wrapped around me and that was how we slept that night.
On a morning not long after that, when I had decided to stay over again, I woke up to find a letter from him. Well, not quite a letter. More like a journal entry that he wrote about me before deciding last minute that he wanted me to read it.
“I feel a sort of emptiness when she isn’t around. When she calls and I hear her voice it’s like I fall into a trance. I love spending time with her…. My heart hurts when I think about her, when she is around me.”
It was actually about three pages long and I loved reading every bit of it, but it scared me. If I tried to be with him, I ran the risk of it not working out and then losing a friend that I wasn’t sure I was willing to sacrifice. I wrote him a letter back letting him know how I felt. Though, once it was out in the open, there really wasn’t any going back, was there?
I remember our first kiss. It happened at night, as I was leaving his house and he walked me to my car. It started out as a hug, but ended with a kiss. He wrapped his arms around me and my heart was beating so hard it throbbed in my ears. He ran a hand into the back of my hair and held me there. My whole body felt flushed, like I was on fire. It felt amazing, but more than that, it felt natural; like that was exactly the way things should have always been.
Looking back, I am thankful that life gave me the opportunity to see my husband for the person that he really is, not the one I assumed him to be, and that I took it! Eight years later, we have two amazingly, wonderful kids and a relationship that has endured many good times, as well as many bad ones. It hasn’t always been easy; sometimes it has been hard work, but it helps that I love him like crazy. He is still my confidante, that one person in my life that knows me better than anyone else. His presence and his touch are still the one thing that can make me feel better, even on the worst of days. Most days, we actually pass for grown ups now. Even though at our core, we are still the same girl and boy that liked to “freak” dance at the skating rink.
The Fireman and The Pole from Mike Bowden on Vimeo.