14 years ago I took my overly plucked eyebrows down the aisle to meet my stunning groom. It was a fast wedding, not because of an impeding bundle of joy or because we just couldn’t wait but because we had broken up a year and a half before that saying that we weren’t ready for marriage so there was no point in dating. It turns out that ready or not, we didn’t want to live without each other.
We stayed in touch during the breakup because we had become best friends.
I had to hear about the girls he liked, which destroyed me inside. Later I found out he had hacked into my email to find out about the guys I was talking to.
He lived in Houston and I lived almost 4 hours away. We never saw each other but in a time when chatting online and MySpace were the rage, we talked daily. (Facebook wasn’t even invented yet!)
18 months later I started dating another guy, not because I was overly attracted to him but because my friends told me I needed to get back out there to get over Damion. It wasn’t very successful. Every date I thought about how he didn’t make me laugh like Damion did or he didn’t leave a rose on the car seat like Damion. Everything was a comparison that didn’t eschew into the new guy’s favor.
The biggest test of our new relationship was coming up. I needed a date for my brother’s wedding but I really didn’t want to take the new guy, instead I asked Damion to come visit his parents, and go with me to my brother’s wedding. While we were at the wedding my aunt asked Damion if we were an item and he replied no. 14 years later she still jokes that she never expected our save-the-date announcement to arrive in the mail 2 months later.
That night Damion asked if he could kiss me. I said no (be proud dad).
I broke it off with the new guy the next day and the following weekend, I got in my car and drove to Houston.
We got back together but we both agreed this time that it was only worth it if we were in it for the long haul, which with our shared beliefs meant marriage.
Before I went to Houston that weekend, my boss helped me bleach my hands to remove the easter egg dye from them because we were planning on going ring shopping.
2 weeks later he asked my dad for his permission to ask me to marry him.
2 weeks after that he proposed.
3 months later we were married and I moved to Houston for good.
I’m not that young bride with the overly plucked eyebrows anymore. Now instead of a veil, the white is in my hair naturally and joints are starting to sound like a popular morning cereal when I get out of bed. The stunning groom isn’t waiting for me at the end of the aisle, now he’s sporting a little more white in his beard and walking right beside me every single day – good days and bad days alike.
He’s seen me try to give up in the middle of birthing a child, doubled over and throwing up from kidney stones, face redder than a red hot and sweatier than a MMA fighter from working in the yard in the Houston summer, ranting and mad at what I saw as injustices, and many other unflattering moments – and yet he’s still here, telling me I’m beautiful – overly plucked eyebrows, baby weight that still lingers and all.
Happy Anniversary Mr. Byrd, I can’t wait to see how much white is in our hair in 14 more years or what our family looks like then.