Friday, May 22, 2009
So Happy Together
You're used to me writing love stories. Today is my wedding anniversary, so I thought I'd share my real life love story.
My DH and I graduated from rival high schools in two little northern Iowa towns about 15 miles apart. He claims to remember seeing me at a football game in my cheerleading uniform. Even though his school was winning, he was scoping out the losing team’s cheerleaders. (He says he always had his priorities straight!)
But I didn’t notice him until we met in college. Of course, I really shouldn’t have noticed him at all, since I was ‘going steady’ with another guy at the time.
But I did.
I was drawn to his quiet confidence and openness. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he had big brown eyes and a rumbling baritone voice that gave me the most delightful shivers.
But I already had a boyfriend.
And my future DH knew it. He asked me out anyway.
I said no.
I was not that kind of girl. I wouldn’t step out on my boyfriend. I was the faithful sort. I had two years invested in Mike. He might be “the one.”
But I still noticed my future DH every day. I noticed who he played cards with in the student union. I noticed where he sat in the bass section of choir so I could sit in front of him with the sopranos. I wondered if he’d ever button up his quilted jacket. Iowa winters were vicious. It was below zero outside. Didn’t he ever get cold?
What would it be like for him to warm me?
He asked me out again.
I said no.
I was wearing Mike’s promise ring, after all. It wasn’t exactly an engagement, but it might be soon. I decided not to tell Mike that this other guy had asked me out again. He might think I was trying to make him jealous.
I was not that kind of girl.
But I watched the way my future DH moved as he walked around campus, snow crunching underfoot. He had a steady confident gait, swinging his arms just a little. I liked his laugh. We talked every day. Nothing important. Just friends.
My ears pricked to the sound of his voice whenever he was near. And he was near a lot.
As a vocal music major, I was required to attend a certain number of concerts and recitals. When I went to the college band concert, I was surprised to see my future DH standing behind the timpani. I knew he could sing, but I had no idea he was a drummer.
There is something raw, something primal about a set of kettle drums. And about the guy pounding on them. I couldn’t tear my eyes from him.
He asked me to go out with him again.
I said . . . no.
Slowly. It was getting hard to ignore the fact that I was thinking less and less about my boyfriend—what’s his name? Oh, yeah! Mike—every day. And there was still the matter of the promise ring. I couldn’t in good conscience start anything with my future DH until I ended things with Mike.
If I ended things with Mike.
Our choir director decided to shake things up one day and ordered us to stand around the room in a large circle. We’d be able to hear the other parts better and work on our blend. When I looked across the open space, there he was, my future DH grinning back at me. Then we started to sing.
The piece was the old Turtles Song “So Happy Together.” I know this sounds cheesy, but he and I started singing it to each other as if there was no one else in the room. In case you’re not familiar with the tune, the lyrics go something like this.
“Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together.”
By the time we hit “I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life,” I knew I was going to have to return Mike’s ring.
Which I did.
But that didn’t change the fact that my future DH had asked me out several times and I’d said no. He was year ahead of me in college and was getting ready to take a year off school to travel with a singing group. He’d be gone a whole year. Anything could happen. Who knew if he’d ever come back to our sleepy little corner of Iowa?
I might never see him again. And I knew my life would be all wrong if he wasn’t a big part of it.
So I worked up my courage and I asked him out.
He said yes.
And after all these years, we’re still “So Happy Together!”