Friday, February 12, 2010

It's not Wednesday

There is a blog that gives writing prompts every Wednesday. I know it's not Wednesday, but I liked the prompt and a childhood friend of mine wrote a great post that inspired me to write my own about True Love.

I met my husband in June 1997. I was 17 and he was 16. We had both auditioned, separately, for two summer shows. We both received parts in both shows. The part I received in The Mikado was much larger and I decided to take it since it was children's theatre and the last year I could participate. I think Ry decided to take the part not just because it was the lead, but also because he had some friends who were also cast in main parts.

After the first rehearsal, one of his friends asked me if I'd like to go out to grab a bite to eat after we were finished. Since I already had plans that evening, I told him that I would have to go another time. My future husband walked up to me a few minutes later and said "So, I hear you're too good for us." Uh oh. I had to spend all summer with these people. And so I decided to cancel my plans and go out with 3 people who would become lifelong friends.

Ry and I began dating within a few weeks and were nearly inseparable until I left for college in late August. We knew (and admitted to each other) that we met each other too young. That didn't make it any easier for me when we broke up a few months into my freshman year of college.

We stayed in touch through college. We dated other people, made separate friends, and generally lived separate lives. Whenever we got together on breaks though, it was like we had never been apart. Several of my parent's friends remarked on how easy we were around each other. It's true, Ry has always felt like home to me.

I finished college and moved to Florida. Ry broke up with his longtime college girlfriend and I broke up with my Florida boyfriend during his senior year of college. We reconnected through those breakups.

I moved back to Illinois to pursue graduate school a few months before Ry finished college. We once again became inseparable. We came this close to getting back together so many times during those final months, but Ry's head was still all kind of screwed up over his recent breakup. Then he accepted a job in NJ. I'll admit I cried more than a handful of tears after that announcement. Then I put on my big girl panties and told myself that Ry and I were never going to be more than good friends. And in time, that was OK.

Ry moved to NJ and I started grad school. We talked a lot on the phone and maintained a beautiful friendship. I also started dating a clever, charming guy from my graduate program. Ry called late one night after I had been out with a group of friends. "I kissed a boy tonight!" I told him. There was silence on the other end of the phone. "What did you do that for?" he asked. Mostly because I wanted to.

Ry came back to visit a few weeks later. Before he left, we grabbed some custard from our favorite custard spot and walked across the street to a local park, chatting about life. And then he dropped the bombshell. He loved me. He wanted to try and date long distance. I got really angry.

He couldn't have figured this out before he up and moved to NJ? Apparently not. Apparently NJ was what he needed to clear his head. He realized that once he moved I was the person he talked to the most. He missed me. Here I had finally closed the book on having more than a dear friendship. I sent him back to NJ while I thought things through.

I knew that if we started dating again it was going to be really serious, really fast. Or, it was going to be the end of our friendship. I wasn't entirely sure I was willing to risk that friendship. After much soul-searching, I realized that I couldn't not try to make it work. After all, I loved him too. I always had.

The rest of the story isn't really that interesting. We dated long-distance until my grad program was over. We got engaged during that time and married right after. While we were dating I remembered thinking how lucky it was that we both happened to choose that same show during the fateful summer of 1997. At our wedding shower, I realized how wrong I was. You see, we were destined to meet. As people talked about us during the shower, we realized that we each, individually knew most of the people in the room before we knew them together. Somehow, we would have run into each other. We would have met. I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have this man in my life. He still feels like home.


Becky said...

That is a beautiful piece of writing. The Jenn and Ryan story is one of my favorites. (We were rooting for Ryan the whole time.)

Anonymous said...

What a great love story, and you told it so well! Thanks for sharing it :)

BTW, have you seen the new movie Valentine's Day? It features a friendship/turned romance story.

Jenn said...

Thank you. It's my favorite story.

I haven't seen the movie. We have two young boys, so making it to the movie theatre doesn't happen much. We'll have to wait for it on Redbox.

nana said...

I love your story, always have. You were meant for each other. I love you both.

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