It was 1988, and I was working after school at my family’s little mom-and-pop video store. My mother had instructed me to “train the new kid” she had recently hired, who was starting that afternoon. I’m sure I rolled my eyes at this task, because that’s just the kind of teenage girl I was.
I was retrieving VHS tapes from the drop box at the front of the store, and carrying them four at a time to the inventory shelves in the back, when the new boy walked in.
He was tall, with a wild mop of curly hair. Something about him seemed…familiar. We introduced ourselves, and as I continued carrying the VHS tapes a few at a time across the store, I noticed him staring at me curiously.
“Umm…” he finally said, “Is there a reason you don’t just carry the whole box to the back?”
I stopped in my tracks. OMG. I was a moron. Why DIDN’T I just carry the whole box?? It had just never occurred to me. So embarrassing. I laughed and looked at this boy like he was some kind of genius.
That was the first of many laughs we would share at that video store. And I knew I liked him on that very first day.
What I didn’t know is that my future son would be his clone.
I didn’t know that my daughters would have his thick, wavy hair.
I didn’t know that he would be my saving grace through the loss of beloved family members.
I didn’t know that he would be the one by my side through three excruciating pregnancies that left me bedridden for months on end.
I didn’t know that we would travel the world together.
I didn’t know that he would be the one supporting me through every crazy idea I’ve ever had.
I didn’t know that he would still be my best friend 32 years later.
And I didn’t know that today, September 15, 2020, we would be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary amid a worldwide pandemic, trapped in our home because of smoke from crazy wildfires.
Has it been perfect these last 25 years? Of course not. Relationships never are. I want to kill him when he snores, and he literally can’t find anything that’s right in front of his face. Also, he thinks he’s funnier than me. Well, ok, he MIGHT be. He puts up with my nagging, my absent-mindedness, and my crazy Italian family, who love him dearly.
Yes, I didn’t know a lot of things back in 1988. But I know I picked the right guy. And that is something I don’t tell him often enough. So to my husband (who I now have to print this out for because he is not on social media)…thank you for all the love and all the laughs – here’s to 25 more.