Next Tuesday is my Silver Anniversary… 25 years married to the same man. Well over half my life devoted to one person. We met while in college. He was a mere baby of 19 and I was the older, wanton woman of 20. Factoring in the three years we were together before we married, the Old Man and I have shared 28 years of monogamous bliss.
During those years we have raised two children, and are still silly in love with each other.
We first met on a blind date. My college roommate and his roommate were an on-again/off-again couple. Late into Spring Quarter, three days before the end of the term actually, my roommate came to me, begging me to go out dancing with her and the guys. They needed a date for E, and she asked me to join them. I wanted to study, and agreed to go only if I could get home early.
I did come home early, around 6 a.m. Throughout the ensuing summer break, E and I called and wrote letters. This was before cell phones and before Internet. (I saved all our love notes.) Once we returned to classes that fall, E and I began our exclusive relationship in earnest. Only six months after meeting him, I knew I would one day marry him.
Yet… I really knew much early that we would be together. Months before I even met E, something happened that pointed me toward him… an introduction that I can only describe as divine intervention.
After high school I attended a Junior College in town and worked at a local seafood restaurant. The crew at the restaurant, all young college students, became fast friends and we would often hang out together after work and on weekends.
After one particularly fun Saturday swimming and partying at the lake, I went home that night and slept the sleep of the dead. During the night I had a very odd dream. Usually my dreams are very much like my waking life. There are colors, sounds, landscapes, smells, sensations… everything.
This night, this dream had none of that. There was no sound and no background of any kind, only blackness and a single focused halo of light shining on two men. One was tall and dark, athletic and undeniably handsome. The other shorter and blond, more stocky with ‘boy-next-door’ looks.
The taller of the two was carrying an aluminum bat and was dressed to play baseball. The other was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and was standing beside a bike. It was obvious the two knew each other and were carrying on a friendly conversation even though I couldn’t hear them speak.
A detached VOICE told me, ‘this one is for you,’ and I knew IT meant the blond man.
‘No,’ I said, but it was more a thought than a spoken response, ‘the other one.’
“No, he is not for you. This one.’
The dream ended. I woke in the morning remembering the scene in it’s entirety.
Fast forward more than two years, and the dream forgotten.
I had since transferred to the University of Tennessee and it was near the end of Spring Quarter. The future Hubs and I had been together for almost two years and had gotten engaged the previous August. Our plans were to marry that June.
Hubs and I were meeting for lunch at the Quad and I had gone into the bookstore for a cold drink while I waited. When I came outside I saw Hubs and his roommate talking.
RM was tall and dangerously handsome. He was also the biggest jerk I had ever met and treated his girlfriends like chattel. Coming from the ball fields having finished intramural softball practice, he was heading to his room for a shower. He had his bat slung over his shoulder.
Hubs, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, was coming from class and had ridden up on his bike.
See where I’m going with this? I stood on the walk just staring at them unable to even say hello. The dream slammed into my brain bringing back all the VOICE had told me and all I had seen. I stood there so long just looking at them, they asked me what was wrong. I couldn’t explain it to them.
Coincidence? Was the chance meeting of roommates just close enough to a snippet of memory that I filled in the blanks from a long discarded dream, or was I truly introduced to my future husband months before I actually met him.
*originally published March 7, 2008