I'm totally losing it. Why? Because I forgot to tell you it was my anniversary... two days past St. Valentine's day on the 16th. It was number 28 for us and I still can't believe it's been that long! But as Tom always points out, "It would've been more if we hadn't listened to our stupid parents!"
I don't think he'll ever forgive them for making us wait a whole year to get married, but I can't blame them. Tommy and I had only been dating for a few months when we told them we wanted to get married even though we had decided way before then. Tom actually TOLD me we were going to get married on our third date-- I did write a story based on it in case you are curious exactly how it went (okay, kind of, sort of how it went) -- but I may have told you that before...don't recall....hold on, I'll be right back.
Well, after a thorough search in my post archives, I found I didn't ever tell you about this. Closest I came was in a post about Finding true love. That being the case, I'm going to do it now.
I started work at an Arby's restaurant in Port Jefferson on Long Island in New York on St. Patrick's Day March 17th. I was 18 years old. Tom was already working there. He had started sometime in January while he attended Stoney Brook University. I was a nervous wreck that first day and Tom told me later on that I looked like a scared deer, all doe eyes ready to flee into the woods. Well, I was excessively timid then, much more so than I am now, so if someone had said Boo! to me, I just might have bolted.
Not exactly. Like I said, I saw him here and there and I started flirting with him. He took notice and eventually asked me out and pretty much that's all she wrote. We started dating in September and by November we told our parents we wanted to get married. They were not amused. As a matter of fact, they were horrified.
My parents tried everything, forbidding me from seeing Tom (I work with the guy, ain't gonna work), forcing other more suitable--AKA Dominican--guys down my throat (This moron is your idea of better?), having my relatives talk sense into me (And how exactly do you know Tom's gonna beat me every night? He may take the weekends off) and even trying to scare me to death with the horrors of living with a racist American (Completely true. Tom is prejudiced against any woman who ISN'T me).
Tom's parents were doing their best, too.
"Oh, my gawd, Tommy, I think ya can do betta den dat!"
"Can't you find a white girl?"
"Get your jollies, sow your wild oats, but for heaven's sake don't marry her!"
"Listen, she's fine for some fun. She's clean and she's pretty. Have fun with this one, but make sure you use protection and keep looking for a good one to marry. Dat's what I did."
Tom was not amused. When I ask him what he said to them he said, "I want to get my jollies, sow my wild oats and have fun with the one I love and that's the one I'm gonna marry."
I, on the other hand, see the humor in it...now anyway. Back then I was starting to waver. I mean to say, if all these folks, much more experienced, older and supposedly wiser ones, are telling you one thing, that you are terribly wrong, too young, much too naive and are making the worst mistake of your life, after a while you start to believe them. Well, Tom just told me they were all wrong and we were right. I guess that must've been enough for me, cuz here we are some 30 years later and miracle of miracles, we're still together.
Tom told me his father and one of his friends had actually made a bet on how long we'd stay together. Tom's dad gave us 6 months and Ron, Tom's supposed friend, was a bit more generous giving us a whole year. Tom said, he wouldn't give them the satisfaction of winning and would stay with me "just to spite them!" He would, therefore, make sure neither of them could win that bet.
Of course, that was 27 years ago now. I did mention to Tom that he won that bet quite a while ago and that he could divorce me anytime without letting either of them win. He just shrugged and said, "I'm still winning...every day you keep me around."
I guess that makes two of us . ♪ ♫… And I love you so…♩ ♬