Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ron!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



The first time I met Ron, he was wearing faded jeans with holes in the knees, a white t-shirt, an unbottoned blue and plaid flannel shirt over it (that is now mine), and a pair of boots he'd owned since he was 13. His hair was long and curly, and the moment I saw him, I knew he was the one for me.

But he had a girlfriend. And he lived in Connecticut, whereas I lived in southern Virginia. Still, I told my father the next morning, "I met the guy I'm going to marry." In typical Dad fashion, he replied, "You're never going to get married. You're too fickle."

And I was . . . up until that point. I'd been the Baby Bear of casual dating: that one's too tall, too short, too blond, too blue.

It's not that I thought Ron was perfect. Okay, so maybe I did. Maybe in the flush and rush of new-found awe and attraction, I couldn't find a thing wrong with him. Except that he wore socks with Birkenstocks. (Birkenstocks alone weren't enough to make me question his perfection.) And his two front teeth are chipped from one childhood fall or another. And he showed up late to our first date so he could replace the grill on his Rabbit.

More importantly at that stage in my life, though, Ron had no complaints about me. He thought I was cute and sexy (siblings, cover your ears). He thought I was smart and funny and sweet. He thought I was a good writer (which is a good thing since we dated long distance prior to the days of easy email access). Within three months from the time we started dating, we were engaged. Another three and half months and we were married.

I've told him many times he "saved" me. And I mean it. The night he proposed, I cried because I couldn't believe someone wanted to spend forever with me--a girl whose last boyfriend loathed all three years we'd spent together, and taught me to loathe myself along the way.

And since then--the proposal, the wedding--I've grown from someone who revels in being loved and accepted to someone who revels in loving and accepting.

I still think Ron is perfect, at least in more ways than I am. He's patient. He's long-suffering (I've taught him that). He's kind. He's all but impossible to offend. He's thoughtful. He's supportive and encouraging but he also tells me when I'm flat-out wrong. He's affectionate. He's expressive. He's good-looking, sexy (siblings, cover your ears). And he's a loving, attentive father.

And I'm still amazed that he, of all people, wants to be with me forever.

Last night, my five-year-old asked how old Ron would be today. I said, "29." He said, his voice soft with awe, "Wow. And then 100?"

Happy 42nd birthday, Ron. I love you more now than when you were 29, but not as much as I will when we're 100.

3 comments:

Ron said...

Thanks Bobbie. Your way with words drew me in nearly 17 years ago and continue to draw me closer to you.

Thanks for not thinking to hard about the many faults that surely would come to mind given a few more minutes pondering.

A few clarifications/refinements:

1) I chipped my teeth twice: going down head first on the water slide at Loyola Lake Park (a slide which has since been removed for insurance purposes), and again while walking with my hands in my pockets during indoor recess in 5th grade (my feet were too big for the rest of me at that time). I suppose I should get them fixed one of these days...

2) while I often wore socks with my birkenstocks, they were of the appropriate type (rag wool looking, not white sports socks or gold-toe dress socks). I still prefer birks/sandles with socks but often go without just to make someone not suffer.

3) I think I had two girlfriends at the time, which is much easier to terminate than having just one.

Mendy said...

I'm glad Ron clarified what kind of socks - dress socks would have been really hard to overlook;)

I still remember exactly what Cal was wearing the first time I saw him and that sense that I would conquer, no matter what his personal situation at the time.

It's good to be the victor sometimes.
Oh, and happy birthday Ron!

Bobbie said...

It's good to be the victor when it really matters.

And it's funny, I think, that I can't recall what *I* was wearing when we met. I don't even remember what we talked about... just that we laughed a lot.