He was the social superior: very liked by everyone and popular in our isolated nerdy class. ("Magnet kids," as we were known, mostly took classes together, since we also tended to be in "gifted and talented" classes in our other academics as well.) I was middling, the kind of girl who doesn't really get noticed but starting to forge my own identity and express myself more freely. Going to a magnet school was a big deal for me in that I wasn't stuck forever with peers who had known me mostly as an awkward nerd who was despised by most other kids and had a slew of humiliating baggage associated with her. It gave me a chance to start over again.
Anyway, in May of 1996, I realized that I had a crush on Bobby--actually, my best friend pointed it out to me, in a note she wrote to me on her graphing calculator, of course, because we were blithely naive of how stereotypical we "magnet kids" could be--but even though we were friends, he was a social class above me, and I didn't think there was any hope of reciprocation. In retrospect, it says something about my self-esteem at the time that I assumed that this person who was my friend, who was never anything but kind to me, would never entertain the possibility of dating me.
So, long story short, said best friend and one of Bobby's friends who found out about my crush orchestrated the two of us dancing together at the last dance of the school year. And we haven't looked back since.
We never actually asked each other out, but one never asked the other to get married either. We just fell into stride with each other, and that's where we've stayed. (On this theme, we've never had "a song"--the thing to have when we were first together--but we do have a poem.) I sometimes tell him that being with him is the same as being alone ... and for an introvert, of course, that is a high compliment.
We're long past the point where I'm supposed to wonder and want other people, right? I truly don't. I told him the other day that if he ever finds someone he prefers to me (he insists he won't), then I'll just live alone, with maybe some animals and a lot of houseplants.
"And a lot of spiders," he added.
Indeed, he knows me. (He asked me to remove a largish jumping spider from the ceiling the other day that I would have totally just kept around and loved like people love cats. I much prefer spiders to cats!)
So yesterday I buzzed out of work pretty early for me and popped into my email just long enough to make sure that the SWG hadn't crashed into the Sun or anything dramatic like that, and then took the evening off from everything. We went to Parker Pie for dinner and shared hot Buffalo wings and a pizza with hot Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and ricotta cheese. I had a Citizen, and he had two Hill Farmstead beers, so I drove him home (the lush ... I always drive him home! my beer allergy works out really well for him!). We took the Goldens for a walk down River Road--Guinevere is in training as a therapy dog and has homework five nights a week, so Bobby spent half of the walk working with her while Lancelot and I were the distraction--under a watercolor evening sky that was doubled in the river. We returned right as the sun set to sit out on the deck and read until it got too chilly for me to bear. (It is still unseasonably cool.) Then we warmed up in the hillbilly hot tub, saw the first fireflies of the season, and I saw seven satellites (as well as Jupiter being insanely bright right now).
It was a great evening. It's been a great twenty-one years.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!