To put it simply….
I walked to the box.
I opened the box.
I shewed away the bees.
I looked down and said “Hello Honey”…
That will give you some idea of the humor with which T manages to touch my life every day…
Now, without delay, the story that started it all…
As soon as I saw this on Ramblings by Reba, I just had to do it. Like now. I wanted to do the (Breast)feeding and Birth Story poststravaganza hosted by Lotus over on Sarcastic Mom (they still aren’t out of the question, I just have to sit down and compose the rest of them), but this one is a must. So much that I opened a new post and started it right away. Is it wrong that I *have to* with T, but that I am still putting off the ones about the kids? I’ll link to those too…
So, anyhow…how many of you have wondered how T and I got together? I like the story a lot, myself.
When I was growing up, I heard my mom and dad’s story countless times. They met and married in 2 months. I didn’t come along until 2 years later, and I’m the oldest (there was another that mom lost, before me, but that was still more than a year after they met), so, no, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding (though I don’t know if my grandfather would have thought so). Mom always said she just KNEW when she first kissed him that first night that everything was different. She was 29, naive even then, and he was 25. He was a bit more worldly, a bit of a lush :-|, but his life got turned around just as much. The highlights for them—the talked every single day from the day they met. Two days after they met, my dad said “I’m falling in love with you” (I always imagine them cuddling—whether they actually were or not, I’ll of course never know—but maybe she told me that once). Mom said “Fall slowly” (I’ll always love that line.). 9 days after that—while mom was driving him to his parents’ house, my dad said during the conversation “when we get married, blah blah blah.” Mom said “we’re getting married?” (or something of the sort—okay, this part is fuzzy to me, because it’s not the funniest or most important part.) That was them getting engaged—she was surprised by the comment, he asked her—she tried to pull off the road to get a kiss, he thought she was so overcome that she was a bit dizzy and this pulling off the road thing wasn’t intentional, and tried to steer the car back…but she let him know she just wanted a kiss. So then they got married—in June instead of August like they had originally planned. I think they figured why wait or something. Anyhow, that led to me and my sister.
As for me and T….my back story. I never had a boyfriend in high school—I don’t know if you can really count the month I was “going” with the guy that I had a huge (stupid) crush on in high school, because that was more of a pity acceptance (I asked him out like a dozen times), and he broke up with me a month later. He and I tried to kiss once—in the front seat of his car up at the top of the hill mom and dad’s house is at the bottom of, at night, in the moonlight—but it was a complete failure. The year and a half before I met T, I was working on getting in the military—first the Navy, then the Army, which I got into—and after I enlisted, had a small falling out with my mom, so I left for my grandparents’ house on principle. While there I started going with my best guy friend, Josh, and was still dating him when I left for the Army. Marriage was discussed, we got really touchy feely (it was about time, really, there was a LOT of sexual tension those last couple years), but it wasn’t meant to be.
I got through Basic after going to the Fitness Training Company for a few weeks, then I left for my AIT. Now, my original MOS was going to be Explosive Ordinance Disposal, but the guy who went to the interview with me chickened out, and since I figured if the guy could be a wimp and chicken out, then me declining (some of those pictures in the info-movie they showed us were pretty bad!) wouldn’t look so bad. I remember another possibility when I enlisted, and asked about it when I had to choose my new MOS. That was Power Generator Equipment Repair.
Now, T’s back story…He had a few girlfriends when he was in school, but once he got to high school, nothing serious. There was one girl, whose name we used for D’s middle name, that was a friend of his. He liked her a lot. But he wasn’t going to ask her out until he (a)knew how to kiss and (b)had a job that made good money. Needless to say, he never asked her out because he moved back in with his dad for his senior year, and the girl lived in the town his mom lives in. And he didn’t really learn to kiss or get a good enough job before his step mom sorta helped encourage him to enlist (that’s putting it lightly), so in October 1994 he went to his Basic training post. He’s got double jointed shoulders (winged scapula), so he can’t do push ups very well, but they pushed him right on through to AIT.
This is where the pushing stopped. He didn’t make the cut with the push ups at AIT either, but they didn’t let it slide this time. So, instead of getting a permanent duty assignment (well, he got one only he didn’t get to go to it because he didn’t pass the Physical Training Tests), he was kept there. AIT was in Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. He ended up being a holdover, meaning he was heldover after the time that his class graduated. He was being discharged because of the poor performance with the PT tests, and he did eventually get an appointment to have his shoulders looked at—but I’m getting ahead of myself.
A week after his class left, my class arrived. I was one of only two girls in my class. But I think we both could hold our own very well. We roomed togetherfor the first part of my time there. I think the guys in my class were actually pretty awesome. At least most of them were. I arrived at APG on July 14th, 1995, a Friday night. My class had to fill out some paperwork for the assignment. I think we did some of that on Saturday and there was some we finished on Monday. Some was done on Saturday in the company’s main office, as I remember seeing T (very vaguely, but I know it was him) while we were working on our first round of paperwork. I know I had to have slept a lot on Saturday though because we had traveled all day Friday. I got there really really late at night—at the earliest 2am. I remember carrying my bags—and INSISTING UPON CARRYING my bags all the way from the company office to the barracks. The guy that walked me there—the soldier on CQ duty that morning (not T, though that would have been ironic now that I think of it) offered, but I wanted to show that I was a big tough girl. By the time we got to the edge of the parking lot across from the barracks, I decided to drag my garmet bag. But I had that duffel bag (the government issued one) and the one I had bought at the PX for all of my other stuff on my back.
There was also a period of filling out paperwork in the post’s/brigade’s rec hall. I remember that specifically because I know it was the day that I told my roommate that I had a really bad feeling about the platoon’s drill sergant—a black guy that really wasn’t a nice guy, and actually got deeply involved in some shinanghans going on around APG—only to turn and see him in the doorway of the room we were doing the paperwork in! I think it’s important in regards to my relationship with T because I think overhearing that gave him a reason to have it out for me.
That Sunday, just 2 days after I got there (July 16th to be exact), was the first day I met T face to face. At the end of formation that Sunday evening, he came up to me. His first words to me were “Hi, you know you can wear your civilian glasses now.” At that point I was of course wearing the government issued glasses—sometimes referred to as BCGs (Birth Control Glasses) or RCGs (Rape Control Glasses). From then on, it was a bit of a whirlwind. At first we were just friendly—everyone knew he had a thing for me. You could just tell. That Tuesday he asked me to go to lunch with him. Soon after was our first kiss—right where we could have been caught, and near to a spot that we’d often go later. It’s amazing we never got caught there. He denies it, but I swear to you the first thing he said was “that’s the first time I’ve ever been kissed by a real woman.” I think we even had a lookout—there were a few people I know were against our relationship—not just the fraternization part, more than that I’m sure—but there were some people (even a former drill sergant—not our drill though) who were totally for us! I look back on it now and wonder—how come my roommate never diswaided me from this relationship? But then, I have to note she did something of a mock marriage ceremony for us. I wonder where she is—I don’t even remember her name right now!!!
If you were wondering about my relationship with Josh back then—I broke up with him just before T and I officially decided to start seeing each other. It wasn’t easy—he took it hard, but then there were a lot of things he was going through as well. He was going to college, and he had a chemical imbalance. He ended up meeting a woman online and marrying her—they were together for a few years before he found out she was cheating on him. He’s since moved on (though I don’t know if he’s divorced his first wife yet, or if his new lady has divorced her husband finally), and he’s with a woman he’s very happy with.
Within a week of meeting T, we had fallen for each other. We started talking about sneaking away to have sex. I was a virgin. Needless to say, 2 months after my 19th birthday I no longer was.
In August we got engaged. Mid-September we made D. November we got married. There’s really very little to describe in the midst there—there was sex, talking—lots and LOTS of talking, since we couldn’t do much more unless we stole away. Of course, there was a lot of that too. In December we were both discharged—between my pregnancy and everything else, I ended up not being able to pass my PT tests, so I became a holdover too.
Our wedding was a super SIMPLE one. I look at Bridezillas and think — those chics are just CRAZY. The guest list, the dress, the food, the music—none of it matters. All I wanted, all I’ve ever wanted, for both my wedding and my vow renewal, which we did back in 2005, is the man I married, and a few close friends and family. I wasn’t able to have my parents there when I got married, but my dad was able to walk me down the “aisle” when we renewed our vows. I HAD to have it, especially that time, because my sister got married just 3 short weeks later. And I didn’t want HER to have that before I did! 😐 I’m the oldest after all, and I did get married first! For my wedding, we had all of 9 people there—the wedding party (me, T, my maid of honor, our best man and the post chaplain, as we got married on post) and 4 guests (10 if you count the baby in my belly. I just thought of that…I guess it’s 10 now, since I have to count her at the renewal!). When we renewed our vows, there were 10 people—me, T, D, P, my dad, my sister, her husband, the pastor (at that time) of my home church, and my best friends from college, Christy and Nancy.
Something ironic—if they had discharged him in the time they are supposed to (2 weeks), then we wouldn’t have been able to grow our relationship. We were together there at AIT for 5 months—he would have been gone after a week.
Things we also find interesting—he wanted to go EOD. He just barely had the scores for it. There are other things. Which is why our song is “Keeper of the Stars”—someone had to have a hand in it to get us together.
And from all this has come 2 beautiful babies, and a very strong 12 1/2 year marriage. I would never give back any of the trouble I got into if it meant losing all that I have now. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but the 3 people it gave me are priceless. I’m still crazy for T (most of the time), and I look forward to the many happy years we talked about having together back 13 years ago. I find it a bit ironic that 13 years ago TODAY I didn’t even know the guy—but by the end of the year I had met him and fallen in love with him and married him. I’d love to have had my parents at the wedding, but it was impossible for them to get out there at that time. At least I had dad at the renewal.