The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Flashback Friday!

This Flashback Friday! is going to be many things. Too short. Too mushy. Too inept to adequately express the sentiment. One thing it will not be is too far in the past. Oh, and it may not mean a goddam thing to anyone other than me. But I'm okay with that. The rest of you may proceed to deal.

Just over two years ago, I took a trip.

I took a trip to meet a friend I’d known for about a year and a half at that point. A friend that I’d never seen face to face, but had only known via the electronic conveniences of the internet and the telephone.

I won’t drone on it, except to say that had Highlander not been an exceptional writer, I wouldn’t be with him today. That is not to say that I will only spend my time with people who fit that bill. (Oh, I’d RATHER, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a requirement or anything.) Just that, had I not happened upon his writing and sent him a little note, we’d likely never have found each other.

And so, as you all know, we began a correspondence. Chatting first about science fiction and writing and then, as we became friends, about music and politics and philosophy and movies and life in general. We shared our pasts and our todays and our futures. Of course, in the beginning, they were two very different futures than the one we are at now. Which is actually rather odd to recall.

I remember being excited for him when a date with a coworker was in the offing. And being disappointed for him when it didn’t work out. I remember advice from him, when my ex and I were having problems, and then, after my ex and I had split, about him genuinely being glad I was having some fun with one of the guys I was seeing on a fairly regular basis. I don’t think either of us saw an “us” for a long time after that.

But we were becoming very close friends. When something happened in my life, I wanted to share it with him. When something happened in his, he felt the same. He made me laugh when I felt like crying. I made him smile when the world was kicking his ass.

So, sometime fairly early in 2005, we broached the subject of coupledom. It was impossible, of course. Hundreds of miles separated us and neither of us wanted (or could afford) a long-distance romance. I couldn’t live there. He didn’t want to live here. Plus, my single-mom life was chaos and I just couldn’t put a single guy through that.

There was something, though. In the back of both our minds, telling us that this relationship might really be good. Special. I remember him telling me at one point that it was too bad that it would never work out, because we were likely exactly what the other needed.

We let it lie for a long time. (Maybe it just felt like a long time.) Neither of us wanting to create more headaches for the other. It felt a little sad, but we both saw it as the smart choice at the time. Better to maintain the ever supportive friendship that was mutually beneficial, than it was to risk destroying it with romance nonsense.

Who was I to argue? That friendship (along with many others) saw me through more than a few hardships, and I didn't want to risk screwing it up.

When a three-day-weekend afforded us an opportunity to spend some time together, we talked it to death. And then decided to "just see". What could it hurt, right? Even if we didn't think we could have a romantic relationship, we could still have a fun weekend just hanging out and doing "friend stuff".

Okay. Okay. I hear you all cracking up. But we really didn't start at Syrupy Sweet Central. We didn't even take the express route there. (It just seems that way, I know.)

Consequently, I was southward bound. Normally I'm deeply directionally challenged, but I did pretty well finding his place...only getting slightly lost a couple times. When I pulled up in front, I couldn't help the smile that spread so easily across my face. He was sitting out front with a book...waiting for me...with a HUGE sign behind him that read "WELCOME TAMMY". (Because he's CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs, that's why.)

Although we both had a pretty nice weekend together, going to a movie and out to dinner along with a little sightseeing in his town, afterwards, we still didn't make the leap. Oh, the chemistry was everything we both knew it would be. We were intensely comfortable with each other. We talked about anything and everything. And it was fun. But the distance was just insane. And it had only been one weekend.

So, I went home (leaving his fridge full of leftover home-cooking). Not really disappointed, because we still had this great friendship. And we continued to talk every day. About our worlds. Our very separate worlds. Until one day, and I don't even remember the day, we started talking about what it would take to make a relationship between us work. The logistics of it all.

Both of us still so unsure about this. (Well, me anyway.)

By early April of 2005, we were making plans for Highlander to move to River City. A place he'd never set foot in, to embark on a relationship with a crazy woman with three kids and a whole lotta baggage.

The rest is history, as cliche' as that is. My best friend did, indeed, move to River City. Into the tiny apartment that is across the hall from the one where we now live together. The kids adored him immediately. He and I couldn't have meshed better. He made me intensely happy and my girls were afforded an opportunity to see how good it can be. That was (and still is) important to me. We really are so good for each other.

So, tomorrow, exactly two years to the day after Highlander's arrival in his newly adopted home (and our "official" beginning), since I've got the day open anyway, I'm gonna marry my best friend. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him. Laughing and talking, making each other happy, and growing old together as we bounce grandbabies on our knees. I can't think of anything in the world I'd rather do. Or anyone in the world I'd rather do it with.

It's funny. All I have to do is close my eyes and I can still see that gigantic cardboard sign welcoming me. Only this time, it's welcoming me into the next part of our lives together. Plus, there's jewelry...;)

Can't wait to see most of you there tomorrow. Those of you who are dear to us and who aren't going to be able to make it are in our hearts and our thoughts and we appreciate the contributions you've made to our day and our happiness. The next time I 'see' ya, I'll have a whole new name!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know its been a long struggle and I wish you all the best with all my heart. You deserve happiness.

4/20/2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger MJ Norton said...

All the best to you both!

4/20/2007 7:58 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

We will be there in spirit! All our best on your special day!

Mark, Lisa and Only Child

4/21/2007 4:07 AM  
Anonymous "Only Child" said...

Yay! That was a sweet and mushy flashback! I hope your wedding is perfect.

4/21/2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

That was so sweet! Mazel tov!!!

4/21/2007 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

It was an enriching experience to read about your wonderful friendship.These kind of special bonds are somewhat inexplicable and mysterious. These friendships are created and at the same time separated by destiny.You understand and feel for each other, share your problems and pour your heart out and you depend so much on each other.Now that u r marrying your best friend, I sincerely wish u good luck!

4/23/2007 7:55 AM  
Blogger AaA said...

Congratulations to you both. It's... well, it may be corny to say it, but so what? We all know that in the Corn soldier Army, I'm a Kernel.

It's heartwarming to see two people find true happiness in this day and age. I guess Prince Humperdinck was wrong, and the storybooks were right for once.


4/25/2007 4:27 PM  

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