13 Years Ago Today…
I will forever remember February 17, 2007.
Every decision of every day, whether you know it or not, could have a massive impact on the rest of your life. That may sound cliche and overplayed. But in some cases, it could not be more true.
13 years ago, I was nervous. I was anxious. I was excited. I was sitting in my room with several friends along this timid, shy, beautiful girl I had met recently. My game plan was to ask her to be my girlfriend.
We were all sitting on my bed watching a movie and my arm was around her. I couldn’t tell you what movie we watched. I couldn’t tell you much else about that day. It was 13 fucking years ago, give me some slack.
I do remember when that movie was over asking her to come outside with me. I asked her to be my girlfriend. I remember the intense, excruciating nerves I felt between the movie to walking outside in the driveway to asking the question and eventually getting the answer I was hoping to hear, yes.
Because honestly, I was used to getting rejected by girls. Fuck me right? Superbad was my anthem.
We walked back into my bedroom to the sound of our friends giving their stupid little “awww.” High school can be so lame. But I was happy. I had a girlfriend. I finally asked her and she said yes. It was awesome.
Side note, for anyone reading, don’t ever ask out a girl, get married or have any date of significance three days after Valentine’s Day. I didn’t think that one through.
She and I had been talking for a little less than a month when I asked her. I always joke about this because it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I met her through myspace. One of my good friends at that time had her on his top friends. One day I asked who that was because I thought she was cute. He told me and I added her. Ironically enough, her dad coached me in t-ball. We had met before, but that was 10 years prior.
I am sure I smoothly slid into her DMs by asking if she liked bread or some other romantic shit like that. We began talking through there. That turned into texting, calling, hanging out and the other usual shit with high school in the mid 2000s. It led to relationship status.
One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorites TV shows (One Tree Hill) says it best…
“It’s the oldest story of the world. One day you are seventeen and planning for someday, and then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”
This day will always have significance because it is a day where a decision I made led to a choice of confidence by my now wife which led to 13 years of happy days, sad days and everything in between. She was my first and only long term relationship. She was the first and only girl I loved, except maybe Anna Kendrick.
We have grown so much in those 13 years. I wrote a column a few weeks back talking about how unnatural it is spend your life with one person. As time goes, we evolve as humans. We want different things. We change.
When you date someone at 15, being able to see that through the lens of 28 is pretty remarkable. We are two totally different people than we were 13 years ago. Being able to withstand through those changes is a feat that shouldn’t be taken lightly for any relationship.
A few years ago, I remembered a fight we had back in college. Just to poke fun at my wife, I reminded her of one of the things she said.
Keep in mind, fighting was the norm. One of my best friends who went to school out of state, his first question every time he came to town was “so are you two together this week or what?”
We both struggled to process our emotions at any little thing which led to hostile language and breaking up…only to get back together a day or two later. We would be good for two weeks and fight again. Such is the life of many 19 year olds in relationships.
One of the things we get a nice laugh at is a fight we had back in freshman year of college. She forgot about it and when I showed her what she told me, we both laughed. We were in the middle of a heated argument and one of her points was she was embarrassed by me because I wore the same clothes every day. To her credit was true, but I didn’t give a shit.
At the time, I treated college like high school. Wear the same shit. Do the bare minimum. Spend most of time playing video games and playing basketball in the hot box. She wasn’t wrong. Still, a ridiculous thing to fight about.
I only wish that was our biggest fight now.
But the best part about all those stupid little fights and breaking up taught us something very important. When the rain clouds go away, the sun will shine again. Weather the storm and work through it.
In fact, we had an argument yesterday. We do our best to hide those from our son. At no point in time during that argument did I think the sky would fall on us. We talked. We worked it out and we are good.
13 years of relationship building taught us how to do that.
Out of respect for our relationship, I won’t go into detail what it was. But I will say that in 13 years, there are still things I wish she did better. There are still things she wishes I did better.
13 years from now, there will be other things both of us wish the other did better. Building a relationship does not stop, ever. The constant changing of who we are will not stop, ever. Nor should it. That is what you sign up for when you commit to someone.
I love that she was my first and only love. I am happy that she was the girl I took to prom. I love that we graduated together in high school. I took a victory lap for college, but we were together for both graduations. We made it through long distance. I loved looking at her and committing my life to her the day we said our vows. She birthed our boy and now our girl is on the way. We made it through the hell storm of struggling to have our first child. We have been side by side through the struggle of losing ones we loved. We always took the good to help make it through the bad that came with our relationship, including the hideous awkward phases like my hair in the cover picture.
That girl I asked to be my girlfriend 13 years ago has become an amazing wife and mother. She has been the common denominator of someone who has been by my side for all the good and the bad.
Although this day takes a back burner for us behind our marriage anniversary and our children’s birthdays, it is a day that I know we will forever remember.