It was in the seventh grade when my family started attending a new church. It wasn’t long after that I found myself riding on “Big Bertha”, the church bus, and sitting alone because I didn’t know anyone on that youth group outing. About 30 minutes into the ride a cute boy came up to me. I didn’t know his name. All I knew was that he was the preacher’s kid.
He grabbed a coke out of the cooler, opened it and while holding it over my head said, in the most nah na nah na boo boo way, “I’ll pour this on your head.”
And honestly, as hard as it might be to believe, I was just an innocent bystander this time. I didn’t bring it on or do anything to deserve this threat. Nuthin, I say. After a few back and forth exchanges I ended with, “I dare you to!”
And guess what?
He did! He poured coke on my head and that’s how we first met.
It would be just like me to meet my first and only love on a bus called Big Bertha while being enticed with an ice cold coke poured over my head.
From that little escapade began a love hate relationship where Randy and I were always cutting up and making fun of each other. We cut up, laughed, played hide and go seek and never ever admitted to anyone that we were falling in love.
I’ll never forget our first date in the eighth grade at the church Valentine’s banquet. Randy didn’t have his license so his Dad drove us. All three of us sitting in the front seat of the car together. I was so nervous. Not only was this my first date but I was having to sit next to the preacher of our church. We managed just fine though because his Dad is very warm and easy to talk to.
My favorite part of the banquet was where the speaker ended with prayer. It was my favorite part of the night because he told us to hold hands with the person next to us during prayer. YES!!!! Holding hands on our first date. My Mom was going to kill me but I could blame it on the preacher. Our hands were ringing wet with sweat when he finished praying. Oh the days of being nervous when you’re around your love.
After 20 years of marriage the nervous part comes when you bring in the shopping bags and he asks how much you spent. That’s when the palms start sweating and the heart begins to beat out of your chest. Ha!
Our second date was in the the ninth grade at the church Valentine’s banquet and then we started double dating. We dated just the two of us our Junior and Senior year in high school. Our dates were really fun. Randy always paid for me. He always opened my door and was such a gentleman. We laughed and talked for hours on our dates.
We dated all through high school and when we went off to college we decided we wanted each other to date other people. We both knew we would date other people and were okay with it. Except that we got to college and only wanted to be with each other. We would spend hours together after classes and Randy would have to draw maps to show me how to get back to my dorm since I was and still am directionally impaired.
We dated all through college and got engaged our Junior year and got married after we graduated our Senior year.
Our dating years were awesome. We never broke up but we never felt suffocated by each other either. We took time to be with our friends and our friends were with us a lot as well and we liked that. It wasn’t perfect of course but overall we had a really good dating relationship. I think the best thing we had going was that we remained friends for so long and didn’t feel threatened when we had other guy or girl friends.
Now almost eighteen years, two children, heavier bodies and a few weathered storms later we are still in love with each other. We don’t exactly sit under shade trees and flirt with each other and collect blades of grass dreaming of our future like we once used to. But our love has grown with the changes we’ve experienced. When life was a bowl of wedgies we leaned on God and each other. And I hope that as we get old and start to wear purple one day, dress alike and eat vegetables at 4pm to avoid indigestion, that our love will be even deeper than it is now. And who knows, maybe we’ll even go back to collecting blades of grass under a shade tree dreaming of our future in heaven. Shoot, I might even pour a coke on his head in my old age because I love my man and he loves me.