September 25, 2006

Twelve Years, One Day

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated the twelfth anniversary of our first date. We generally aren't a couple that remembers every date on which we do everything, but for some reason September 24 has always stuck in our minds.

So how did we meet? Let's hop in the Wayback Machine and find out.

It was the beginning of my senior year of college. I was 19 and had recently returned from a semester in Germany. I was adjusting to being back in Sewanee, having a roommate again, and seeing all my college friends.

One of my friends and I had a tradition of taking late evening walks out to various overlook places around the Mountain to chat about this and that. Sometimes we went out alone, but often tried to bring someone else along with us. One night, a few days after we all returned to school, my friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I was already in my pjs, and wasn't really wanting to go out, but I hadn't seen my friend yet and so I threw on some cut-offs and went off in my pajama top and shorts.

My friend informed me that he had also invited another guy to walk out to the Cross with us. The other guy, he said, was a freshman and hadn't been out to the Cross yet. My friend was trying to rush this freshman and I suppose wanted to tempt him with the girls that would surround any man who joined Lambda Chi. Not that he explained that to me at the time.

So I hung out in my buddy's room, playing Tetris and waiting for this freshman, before we could head out on our walk. He arrived shortly, and I was pleasantly surprised by how cute he was. We had a fun walk, although that freshman did say some silly things about writing poetry and being a libertarian.

When I got back from my walk, I told my roommate I'd met a cute guy and suggested I should introduce them. Naturally, as you might guess, Justin was the cute freshman and I'm lucky that my roommate wasn't interested. Justin went home and told his roommate he'd met an "utter babe." He was obviously more discerning about these things than I.

Over the next weeks, my buddy, Justin and I took other walks, and then eventually I ditched my friend and just went on a walk with Justin. He asked me to go to the first football game of the year with him -- football at Sewanee is all about dressing up, getting a date and chatting. Football has very little to do with it.

The next weekend, we watched Henry V and held hands. And finally the day after that we officially decided we were dating.

All that seems so long ago and yet not so long in the past. We kept dating. I graduated and went to Delaware for two years for a MA in German literature. We saw each other a few times a year, wrote tons of letters, lots of e-mails and talked on the phone about once a week.

After finishing at UDel, I went to Alabama, which at only about 3 hours from Sewanee put us within driving distance of each other. We decided we didn't want to wait too much longer to get married and so our wedding was held in December. Justin still had one semester left in college and I had to finish library school, so we arranged class schedules that gave us four day weekends and just commuted for a few days per week. Living apart for the first few months of our marriage wasn't ideal, but also wasn't too bad.

Since those early days everything seems like it has sped up. Justin graduated. We moved to Nashville. He went to law school and I started working as a librarian. We had The Boy and I quit work. We moved to Alaska so Justin could clerk for a judge. We moved back to Tennessee. We had The Middle Girl. We had The Toddler Girl. Now here we are -- twelve years after that first date -- and Adams 4.0 is due to arrive shortly.

Back when I was in college, I knew I wanted to have children, but had one asked me what life would be like in twelve years. I would have had no idea. I can say that all told, it is far better than I could have ever known and my husband is, in large part responsible for that. I'm glad we've had these years growing up, moving around and raising our kids. I'm looking forward to the coming years, although I fear they are going to move even more quickly than the years gone by.


Look, I'm not supposed to cry at my desk--you never know who might come in here!

(Happy first-date anniversary to you both!)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 25, 2006 01:07 PM

Happy first date anniversary, you two!

Posted by: Sarah at September 25, 2006 01:22 PM

Sewanee?! No kidding. Did you know the Pond boys? Not the pool boys: the Pond boys.

Posted by: patricia at September 25, 2006 10:22 PM, what a sweet were a 19 yr.old college senior though?? Wow..

Posted by: Meagan at September 26, 2006 09:58 AM

We celebrate our first date anniversary as well. In fact, I tend to remember it better than other dates, such as our wedding!

Posted by: Karla at September 26, 2006 12:35 PM

Aww, so sweet!! Happy anniversary =]

Posted by: Lenise at September 26, 2006 01:38 PM

That is so sweet, I am disgusted. Not just with the two of you, but with myself for finding it sweet. I don't think that I knew all of that background.

Also, I can't believe you are expecting No. 4, and I just got hitched. At this rate, I am going to be paying college tuition until I am in my 70s. So much smarter your way.

Posted by: NBS at October 1, 2006 09:39 PM