The day I met you, I was battered, down and out of the game. I had decided to kill it, murder that part of me that had hope. Any part of me that had wanted a Happy Ending, a fairytale, wife, mother and true love. I had been married before. I had been abused and mistreated and often hidden from sight by my last boyfriend. I decided that I was not going to need love from a man. I gave up on intimacy altogether. I did not need to make love to anyone, nor did I need to have kids. After all, the doctors had already given me the proverbial nail in the coffin as to my ability to bear children. I was empty, lonely, lost, and no longer focused on anything more than a simple life with my pets and friends. I was social, anti-social and focused on my new, begrudgingly chosen career.
I gave up on my writing, decided to be a wheel in the machine, not using my voice for my creative needs, therapeutic needs or to garner attention for issues I cared about. My Space, and social media had just begun getting started and, in that early height I chose to check out and not even go there. Then there you were. I was never a wallflower, people noticed me; never knew me. Then there, out of nowhere I saw you. I saw you. To me it was clear who I was gazing at–a charming, sharp blue-eyed and unabashedly strong, handsome man with a spark of life.
You asked me to dance. I said no. Instead of dancing with you I shrank back and asked my friend to go to you and let you know that I was awkward about dancing. Instead of using my friend as a proxy like I had tried to with you, you chose to dodge past her and come straight back to me. You were so strong when you shrugged off what others would have considered a “rebuff,” and gave me your business card. The confidence, the salt that took was magic. I still have that business card. I also still remember the song that was playing: Blue October’s Calling You.
I should have said yes to you. I should have taken your hand like I have so frequently done in the last eleven years and laughed with you, twirled with you, let you make me smile and giggle with pure joy. I am thankful that despite my saying no to dancing with you, there was never a hesitation in your choices. You were not trolling for girls, waiting for any yes. You were looking for me, maybe not at first, but when you found me you did not let me go.
Saying yes–even though it was not to the dance but a yes to you, your family, my family, friends and now our children–has been the most wonderful decision I have ever made. I should have said yes because, despite the arguments (which thankfully there are few), we–you, me–always fix or change something that makes the anger dissipate or the frustrations pass. The thunder grows farther away, the lightning not igniting our atmosphere.
You say yes when I need things, or the kids need things. Even when my friends or yours, are (sometimes a little too often) in need of our fostering, you do say yes. You do take my hand and dance through life, keeping up with the rhythms and sometimes the distasteful song or tune in the air.
I said no about a dance. Thankfully, I said yes to our chance. Saying yes, even after that first “no,” was a gesture without equal because you did not let my answer dissuade you. Your ego never got in the way. You never offered to buy me a drink. It was clear you noticed I was there as the designated driver. You noticed I was wearing a teal blue, frilly mini skirt with a white t-shirt and matching sandals. I was not drinking. You noticed me, when I was trying to go unnoticed. I had not a drop of make-up on, I was tired, ready for the night to be over and wanting my friend to not drink her pain away. You noticed me. I wasn’t smiling. I was pensive, worried and bothered. What I saw in you was the opposite.
I noticed you, too. I saw you smiling warmingly, watched you dance as badly as I would have danced to music you did not like. I noticed your eyes shine when the good songs came on. I felt the beat of your heart in the song we were both enjoying. I noticed you were totally wasted, and yet you still helped your friend up. I watched you after you gave me the business card. I felt you. I loved you. Long before I had met you. I knew you, needed you.
Dancing with you is something I have yet to do. Strange considering the eleven years we have been together. I will dance with you. It might be awful, yet I believe that I love you more than I thought was possible. Dancing with you could only bring tears of joy. Will you dance with me?
In case you were wondering what song I used to decide to say yes when you proposed, just remember whenever, wherever, we belong together. Shakira’s Whenever, Wherever covers it.