I’m feeling sentimental this morning. Eleven years ago sometime this week, or maybe last week, my life was about to take a radical change. I was about to start my sophomore year of college, and I was roasting my way through the last of summer school (July in Mississippi is brutal), still in mourning for a relationship that had crashed and burned in February that year.
Before Facebook. Before MySpace. Before Twitter. There was Six Degrees. It was a lot like MySpace, actually, and the whole social site was based on the theory of 6 degrees of separation (the notion that everyone in the world can be connected by 6 degrees). There were profiles and interest groups and such, and you could get online and talk to random people (something I did often in college). And one very hot summer day I got a random message from somebody with the handle AlCartman.
I don’t know why I talked to him. I despised SouthPark, so his handle didn’t inspire any confidence. But he was in my martial arts group and he was from Mississippi, so I said “Hi” back.
I didn’t know, then, that we would turn out to know several mutual people in common (given that Mississippi is one giant small town).
I didn’t know that I’d be meeting him for lunch and a movie on July 31st (hooking up with a rose and a book in a very You’ve Got Mail meeting at Books-A-Million) that would turn into lunch, a movie, a tour of my hometown, dinner, and another movie before I drove back home to Oxford and told my BFF at the time “oh he was cute, but I don’t think there’s anything there.”
I didn’t know that four weeks later I’d be saying “I think I love you” and trying desperately to take it back because I was convinced I’d scare him off.
I didn’t know that two months later, he’d write me a gorgeous song that hooked me for life.
I didn’t know that three years later I’d be saying “yes” to a sweaty handed proposal.
I didn’t know that I’d be walking down the aisle four years later in a kick ass dress to meet him and start forever.
I didn’t know I’d be getting the world’s best in-laws.
I didn’t know that I’d get so many years of laughter and smiles from this incredibly generous man who bursts into random song at the drop of a hat and gives the best wrap around bear hugs.
I didn’t know that, despite less than stellar job conditions, I would be so happy.
I love you, baby.