10 years. I have been trying to wrap my head around this number for the past few days. How is it possible that I am celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary today? That sappy 20 year old back in Philosophy class actually dated and eventually married the mute football player sitting across from her! Let’s take a moment to stroll down memory lane and relive this very non-traditional love story.
I was always that girl enamored with romantic comedies ending in bliss. I envisioned my prince charming declaring, “nobody puts Nicky in the corner,” and swooping me off my feet into a full fledged dance routine. Ironically enough, Jim hates dancing and all things mushy. Ok, let’s get back on track.
By age 20, I had my heart broken and was convinced I would never find “the one.” Little did I know he was sitting right next to me 2 days a week my sophomore year at Muhlenberg. I didn’t notice Jim half of the semester. Not because I wasn’t attracted to him but rather because he was slouched in his desk, hidden securely under a hat and rarely lifted his head. I am not exaggerating when I say he never said a word. Quiet was an understatement! I on the other hand was beyond gregarious and outspoken. I guess opposites truly do attract. Apparently Jim had noticed me but not initially as a prospective girlfriend. He was more interested in snatching my philosophy notes for a test. When I got wind of this, I was infuriated and referred to him as a dumb jock! That dumb jock went on to get a better grade than me too!
As the semester winded down, Jim and I took notice of each other a little more each day. After some innocent flirting, he finally found the nerve to ask me out. April 5, 2001 was our first date. We dined at the one of a kind Carraba’s Italian Grill. If you have visited Allentown, PA, you will understand that this was their equivalent of La Cerc. Jim was on a mission to impress! Over dinner, I had the chance to finally hear the voice that accompanied this very adorable and athletic guy. We had a lot more in common than expected. We both grew up in New Jersey and had similar morals and core family values. After, we headed back to his house where we each opted to pick our favorite movie to watch. He chose A Bronx Tale and I chose Pretty Woman. Compromise at its best. From that night on, Jim and I were inseparable.
It wasn’t always picture-perfect. We struggled to maintain a long distance relationship after his graduation, an even longer distance between us when I studied abroad in Rome, the stress of the police academy, and the uneasy transitions into adulthood. There were lots of bumps along the way. Enough so that we opted to take a break. I was tired of his lack of emotion and compassion and needed to find myself. During that break I learned a lot. Despite our many differences, I would rather live with my emotionless jock any day over a life without him. It was at that moment I knew he was “my one.”
Jim is the most real and genuine person I have ever met. What you see is what you get . He works tirelessly to provide for our family and his dedication to his job is inspiring. His aspirations to venture into law enforcement stem from childhood. He stayed focused, dedicated, and determined to make that a reality. He is an exceptional cop and I don’t recognize that enough. I am in awe of his accomplishments. Most importantly, he is a wonderful dad to our daughters. Granted he has a hard time relating to “girls” but he does try. It’s obvious he is outnumbered and frustrated on many occasions, but there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for us! I love our family and memories that we have created thus far.
We still couldn’t be more opposite. He craves competition and sports, while I prefer a Broadway show and dance. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a fullback and a tight end if my life depended on it. He loves rustic and rural, I yearn for contemporary and urban. I could spend endless hours strolling the NYC streets, while he would spend the rest of his life secluded in a log cabin in Lake George. He prefers boats and lakes, while I frequent malls and beaches. 10 years of constant compromise and a whole lot of selflessness encompass this courtship. When we are old and grey there better be a great shopping mall near our log cabin!
Here’s to many more wonderful years ahead! Happy anniversary to us! Hey, if he hasn’t killed or left me over my exorbitant spending habits, I know he never will! Now that’s true love.
“When somebody needs you
It’s no good unless he needs you all the way
Through the good or lean years
And for all the in-between years come what may
So if you let me love you
It’s for sure I am gonna love you all the way”
– Frank Sinatra