Sean and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on August 29th. We met back in college around 1988. We had a handful of disastrous dates. If that is what you could call them. I saw him around campus. Tall, thin, vintage paisley shirts with peg legged pants. He had a peculiar bounce to his step, always walking on his toes. He smoked a pipe and was a hipster before hipsters were cool. He was majoring in Communications, as was I. He had an off beat show on the school airwaves. Friends would read poetry while someone played background bongos. He was well versed in the music underground of CBGBs and all the too cool music that no one heard except to be lucky to catch his show.
A mutual friend, who I was casually dating, introduced us. Our first "date" was sitting in the local cemetery with an acoustic guitar at night. The second, meeting his grandmother, who worked at the library. I was to help him with an overdue paper. We spent the evening combing through Rolling Stone Magazines under dimly lit library lights. Our third date, spending the evening with a friend of his listening to albums. That friend went on to become a mortician. The final date, hanging at a friends house, having beer in the backyard. I sat next to Sean and casually placed my arm inside his. He pulled his arm away.
There is a depth of space and time for which I can't account for. I continued my Communications and Journalism studies and Sean continued to anther college. A few years rolled by and a friend suggested I send a demo tape to a station Sean was programming. By this time I had met someone and had been dating him for a year. He had enlisted in the Navy and had given me an engagement ring on New Year's Eve, before he left. I didn't want the ring, and didn't want to hear my reasons.
I sent a tape to the station, and Sean called. I was nervous. What did he remember of me, what did he think of me? I recall the phone conversation. He was friendly and relaxed. I interviewed for the morning news dj/girl sidekick and was hired. He gave me my first job in radio. It was everything I hoped it would be! WKRP with all the characters! The hours were crippling. Up by 4am to be on the air by 6!
I was in contact with my boyfriend. I told him I had gotten the job and Sean and I were hanging out, seeing each other, strictly platonic. The boyfriend went AWOL and turned up at the radio station in the wee morning hours begging for me to leave with him. It ended quite messy with Military Police and the realization that he was a control addict who, with my enabling was on a downward spiral. I did learn recently he's married with kids and is happy.
Into our first year as a couple, Sean received a job offer in Maryland. We sat in the park as he told me he was going to take it. The park bench was spinning and I felt sweaty. "Come with me, It will be an adventure!" Neither of us had yet uttered the "I love yous." We simply enjoyed being together. A few days later, I was helping mom load the dishwasher. "So, when are you planning on telling me you're leaving?" I dropped a dish, it bounced and smashed into pieces, scattering across the floor. I was raised in a strict Catholic family. Rosary after dinner, extra change in the Lenten bowl, no meat on Fridays during Lent, confession, Sunday school, all by the book.
They were heartbroken and begged me to get my own apartment if I must leave with Sean. I packed my two tone brown and gold Chevy Citation and was ready to go. That next day I was violently ill. A kidney infection. I spent eight days in the hospital while my car sat packed with what I had, waiting for the adventure to begin. Sean had begun his job and sent flowers. As soon as I was discharged and regained strength I moved my things into our first apartment together.
We moved two or three times along the East Coast during those first few years. Both building our careers and our lives together. In the mid 1990's I started asking him about the idea of marriage. I gave him several ultimatums, and then would give several more. This continued for a few more years. We married in August of 1998.
Sean had spent Saturday at the radio station with Lola, finishing some undone business. They walked in the door with big grins on their faces. Sean had freshly steamed lobsters and champagne. "It is our anniversary today!" "No honey, it's not until the end of the month!" I was going to rib him for always getting these important dates wrong! HE WAS RIGHT! HE REMEMBERED OUR ANNIVERSARY!!!! I had completely forgotten!
We have been together for 18 years. We have weathered more than our share of heartache and loss. We have grown together, tested each other, relied on each other, forgiven each other, argued with each other, slept in separate bedrooms when angry, made each other laugh, think, grow, depend on each other. We have two little celestial beings who now make us laugh, grow, and think. Through it all, we have always had an adventure. He is a man of honor and a man of his word. This indeed has been, and is everyday....... an adventure.