When I was fourteen years old, I was gawky and geeky...braces, glasses, bad haircut, silly manner...
My brother was nineteen and would bring his hoodlum friends home with him all the time. I hated it! Mostly because I would have to go to my room to get away from them...also because they were "older men" and I was usually lounging around at my unflattering best when they came in, and all I really wanted to do was impress them.
It was in this gawky period that I first met D, one of my brother's best friends. To me, he seemed strange, always making odd comments...and no way did I have a crush on him, because he was shorter than me! There ARE rules, you know...
When I was sixteen, I was out of the gawky stage and also (mostly) out of the geeky stage. This was the era of my group of friends going to EVERY concert that came into town, and playing pool in EVERY seedy bar in the South End, courtesy of my brother who got me into places I would never have been allowed to otherwise due to my overprotective mom.
At this point in time, my brother's friends, including D, became pawns in a matchmaking game with MY friends. The same group of us went to all the concerts and pool halls together. There was still no interest between D and me. For me, he had that whole weird comments thing, and also the short thing. For him, it was the whole my brother is an overprotective maniac thing, and also the tall thing.
I tried to set him up with one of my short friends. Luckily, that fell through.
When I was eighteen, I was sufficiently old enough and so, unbeknownst to me until years later, D nervously asked my brother if I was dating anyone.
By this time, of course, not only did I have a boyfriend, but I was also pregnant...definitely off limits!
The next four years were a rollercoaster for me. I had a full plate of trying to raise a toddler while working and going to college. I went through about four or five boyfriends during that time...not my finest hour now that I look back at it. I didn't know what I was doing.
During that period of time, D was an acquaintance who still hung out with my brother. Still weird...but oddly enough, I didn't have the aversion to him that I used to have. It probably had something to do with the fact that he always played with my daughter when he saw her...
I first got the inkling of something more than acquaintanceship during the reception of my brother's first (very brief) wedding. I had stationed myself against the wall and out of the way, as usual. My daughter (then about two or three years old) was having a ball on the dance floor, and I was content to watch her. D made a point to come and stand beside me several times during the day...it still didn't really mean anything to me until one of my brother's other friends came by and asked if I was still dating the kickboxer (boyfriend #4, I think)...I said no, and he said, D will be happy to hear that.
Being me, I was still kind of clueless. What did he mean? It took days for me to come to a conclusion...
And then, still, nothing happened with me and D, for at least another year...until another wedding, more hanging around me during the whole reception. By this time, I was interested. It had only taken me eight years to come around to this. But would he ever make a move?
(it's been the story of my life ever since...)
Finally, my brother called me one day, MONTHS later, and wanted to know if it was okay to give D my phone number.
And that is how, nine years after we first met, D and I became a couple...he called me up, asked me out, we fell in love...and now, after eight years together, I don't know what I'd do without him. He's my best friend. I would never have thought, at fourteen years old, that when I was twenty-three years old we would start dating, and that when I was thirty-one years old we'd still be together.
Things are not perfect, of course...there's still some trust issues (mine), and some frustration (mine), and some extreme slowness to the point of moving backward (his).
He still makes weird comments, sometimes...I look forward to hearing them now...
And, on an up note, I think we're almost past the too short/too tall thing!