it's a love story (baby, just say 'yes')

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fourteen years ago today, Joey and I went on our first real date. We were fifteen years old. I was a sophomore, he was a freshman.

We had been hanging out the entire Fall semester, and he had become one of my very best friends. However, our friendship revolved mostly around him telling me which sophomore girl he thought was "hot" and me trying to put in a good word for him with said girl. 

The whole thing got old quickly, and one day I thought to myself, "this kid is such a cocky little punk." Soon after that realization,  a couple of my friends and I started the "We Hate Joey" club. I was president, and we sported the letters "WHJ" written in Magic Marker on our hands. 

This was definitely one of those "little girl throws sand on little boy because she likes him" moments. I didn't hate Joey. I far from hated him. I was secretly head-over-heels in love with him. But I was not ever going to let anyone know that...especially him. 

After the devastating fallout of the WHJ club, Joey got back into my good graces, and our friendship really started to develop. We were together every day, and when we weren't together we were talking on the phone. But of course when my friends asked, I denied any sort of feelings for him. "Are you kidding me? Ewww, no!" Was my typical response.

One of my very best friends was a senior, and she gave me a ticket to the Senior Girl's formal. It was a HUGE deal to go to Senior Girls as a sophomore. I was pretty excited to say the least. On the phone one night with Joey, he threw me a curveball and said, "so I heard you haven't asked anyone to Senior Girls yet....I will go with you." (Did I mention he was a cocky and ballsy little freshman?) I did NOT want to take him. How humiliating, taking a FRESHMAN?! But in a moment of weakness, I said, "sure, I guess that would work." (In my defense, the boy was incredibly good looking. Girls got all googly eyed just being near him. I tried so hard to pretend I wasn't one of those girls. But I so was.)

So the night of the dance came around. His entire family came to my house to take pictures. It was totally awkward. And his mom drove us, which was obviously super cool and romantic. I can remember the way he did his hair. He had cut his signature shag, and was now sporting some sort of gelled do that he clearly didn't know how to work just yet.

We ended up having a great time and I was so in love. I didn't expect that the feeling was mutual though. He was this guy that girls dreamed of being with. And I was a very simple girl. I felt certain that his interest in me was purely platonic.

But the next week, in Mrs. Sansom's fifth period geometry class, it all changed. He sat a few seats behind me in the classroom. He got up one time while we were doing independent work, and as he walked by my desk to go "ask Mrs. Sansom a question", he set a note and an unwrapped James Avery box beside my hand. I read the note first. It said things like, "you are the girl of my dreams", "you are my soulmate", "I want to spend my whole life with you." I opened up the box and dumped out the little grey pouch to find a tiny, silver James Avery ring. A little heart with a flower on each side. My heart melted, but of course I couldn't let him know that. When I looked back at him, he put his pointer finger to his lips to tell me to, "shhhh". As in "don't tell anyone, no one can know I'm not exactly the bad ass that I seem to be."

I played hard to get for a couple of days, but he didn't let up. So I finally gave in. {You're welcome, sweetheart}. And we have been together every single day since.

We were together every waking minute of every day. We passed notes all day long at school. And I saved every single one. I made a big collage out of some of my favorite parts of our notes and gave it to him for his birthday one year. This one is my all-time favorite (from me to him):

{"Oh yeah, I'm not going to be able to pick you up from soccer because there is a really good Sally Jesse Raphael coming on at 4. So do you think you could get a ride to my house?"}

Happy fourteen years, my amazing husband! I cannot imagine doing life without you.

Lots of Love!