Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting Swept Away

Officer Hottie and I are celebrating our ninth anniversary in a week. So, naturally, I've been thinking about our past and wondering how in the world we even got here? How did we go from flirting in the bookstore to raising four children together? What just happened?
He swept me off my feet. In every disgusting, romantic, gushy, over-the-top sense of word. He was such a gentleman. He didn't hold my hand or kiss me. He didn't even put his arm around me. He was very careful. It drove me almost to the edge of insanity. After we'd been dating a month or so he put a stereo into my truck. I'd been driving around with a boombox and a case full of DD batteries for a year. My cousin, Melissa, was so excited for me she jumped up and down, told him thank you and threw her arms around his neck. "You are so incredible!" she gushed. I was ticked. "Get your grubby little hands off my man! He hasn't even hugged me yet!" I didn't actually say that...not in front of Officer Hottie. But I'm pretty sure something like that came out later when she and I were alone. She apologized..."I thought for sure you guys had at least hugged by now. I never would have hugged him if I'd known." I knew that but I was jealous, not quite sure why I couldn't just get up the nerve to just give him a hug myself. I mean really...it was just a hug! His friend Kevin would tease us..."Oh, the looong fist." OH would give me a fist bump. Only it was more of a fist glue because his fist would touch mine and linger there for awhile. He told me on one of our dates that he didn't usually kiss a girl for a couple of months. I cursed him (quietly). Whatever. He was worth waiting for. Only, he teased me. A lot. He would put his nose to mine and close his eyes and just stay that way for a long time. I was NOT going to kiss him first so I put up with it. But I hated it. Actually I loved it. No, hated it. I think I loved/hated it.
One night we went to go visit a friend who was house sitting. We only stayed a few minutes before we left. As is customary I was talking. And talking. And not paying very close attention to where I was going. "Where are you going?!" OH asked as I walked right into some rose bushes. They were at knee height so I tripped, of course, and ripped my pants, of course, and looked like a total idiot. Of course. He picked me up off the ground, put his arms around me and asked if I was okay. I was better than okay. He had his arms around me. I put my arms around his waist and my face into his chest. My knees were killing me, and I was pretty sure I'd need to see a doctor about whatever had happened to my ankle but he needed to know how much I wanted that hug! When we finally started walking again he kept his arm around my waist, "Just in case" I fell again. So maybe he didn't sweep me off my feet, but he kept me on them, and sometimes I think that's better.

I kept the pants as a reminder of that first hug. My dear grandmother sewed them up for me. Also, I consider them "skinny" pants, so I keep them for motivation. But mostly for nostalgia.

The first kiss wasn't too far behind and I readily admit how thankful I am he threw his "two months" rule out the window. We were at my parent's house sitting at the dining room table. I'm the oldest of six and the only one, at the time, who wasn't living at home full time. My parent's house was small, much too small for eight people and in constant chaos. We had finished eating and my family was running around...finishing homework, cleaning the living room, going to the bathroom. For one brief second we were alone in the kitchen and he leaned over, grabbed me by my elbows, and pulled me in for the best first kiss I have ever experienced. I'm pretty sure there were fireworks going on. Or someone had flushed the toilet while someone else was in the shower...the power and passion of that kiss knocked my chair out from underneath me. That or I had a spastic, "OH MY GOD HE'S KISSING ME" moment and kicked it. I just about sat back down on nothing. Thankfully Officer Hottie had the foresight to be holding me by my arms. Protecting me from myself. Again. I wonder if he understood this was going to be a lifelong chore for him? If the hug had left me with any doubts as to my feelings for OH (which it didn't) the kiss blew them all away. It must have been all of five seconds because all of a sudden the kitchen was busy again and we were no longer alone. But my mom took one look at me and said, "He must have kissed you." Am I that transparent?
After nine years of marriage I often think of those two firsts...and how glad I am they were the last firsts I had to experience. Because nothing or no one could have topped them. And nine years later he's still sweeping me off my feet...or, more accurately, keeping me on them.

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