In 1984, when I was in 9th grade at Del City High School, I was introduced by Ed Ashworth - my best friend - to Stephanie Starr, a new student who had just come back to the States from Germany a few months earlier. Withing a very short time, I was completely infatuated, and ended up blurting out my feelings in the usual embarrassing way that teenagers do, except that I left a note rather than saying what I felt.
Steph and I didn't talk much for the next year and a half. I scared her off.
In the Summer after our junior year, I read Richard Bach's A Bridge Across Forever, about love and predestination, and saw a lot of how I felt about Steph in the book. So I mailed a copy to her. We started dating a few months later.
At the end of high school, with Steph heading down to SMU and I to OU, we broke up. We kept in touch, though, mainly in long and frequently-angry conversations by telephone, combined with visits on as many weekends as we could manage.
We went to an INXS concert in the Spring of 1988 - and had a great time - and got back together. For the rest of our college careers, we maintained a long-distance relationship. At the end of college, I had a very bad personal time - I fell apart pretty completely. It was the most difficult time in my life mentally and emotionally, and frankly I was a class A jerk to everyone around me for a period of almost two years.
Everyone who knew us - and probably most especially Steph's parents and friends - made pretty clear to Stephanie that she should dump me, because I was beyond saving. Thankfully, she didn't dump me. She wouldn't even let me dump her when I was insane enough to try it. She never let me give up on myself.
On this day in 1992, Stephanie and I got married, in the back yard of her parents' house, in a small but very beautiful ceremony.
The music was lovely - perfomed by a live group with a harpsichord and a violin (Go For Baroque, I think they were called). Steph's cousin Jennifer, then 2, who was a flower girl, tried to jump in the pool when she was walking to the bower, and then turned all of the flower petals upside down as the ceremony was starting. Brittany, my neice and the other flower girl, was so nervous she just kept peeking out from behind Steph's skirts, looking for her Mom and Dad, I think.
We were married by Steph's uncle, who was so nervous that when it came time to ask for the rings, he got the order wrong. Theresa, Steph's Maid of Honor, tossed her flowers over her head to Peggy, the other Bridesmaid, and got the ring to Cary quickly, despite her confusion. Steph somehow didn't notice any of this, until she looked down and saw the wrong ring on my finger, at which point she burst out laughing, along with the rest of the wedding party. (Steph's Mom at this point was gripped by the fear that Steph was about to back out of the wedding.)
Somehow, we got through the rest of the ceremony. The reception was held at Pepperoni Grill, but we had to catch a plane, and weren't there long enough to actually, oh, eat or anything. (Nor did we get champagne - for some reason they gave us cider instead. The guests got champagne. Hmmph!)
We got to the Excalibur in Vegas after midnight to start our honeymoon. We had pizza and champagne - because that's all that the room service could deliver at that time of night, and we were starving. Pizza, it must be said, does not go with champagne.
Today, I have been married to Stephanie for 11 years. In that time, we've had 4 wonderful sons, and more love than I knew was possible on the day we married.
I love you, sweetie.
Happy anniversary.Posted by Jeff at July 24, 2003 12:19 PM | Link Cosmos