When I hit the magical driving age, I naturally wanted a car. I shared this dire need with my parents, who said "no, what you want is a job." To have a car, I need money to buy a car. To get that money, I needed a job. I got the drift. After basketball season was over (I was a cheerleader, I had priorities!), my mother advised me to dress up and she would take me to pick up job applications.
I remember what I was wearing: a gray mock turtleneck and a blue plaid skirt. It was all the rage back then. I walked into the first place my mother took me: McDonald's. I approached the counter and asked for an application, which I filled out later that day. I got called for an interview. I got offered a job.
Let's be honest, here. No over really wants their job to be at McDonald's. But they were willing to work around my crazy schedule for my school activities and such. And I wanted to drive. I took the job, not knowing how working under the Golden Arches would change my life forever.
I met Ben a few weeks after I started working. He was a year older than me (and still is, duh) and went to a neighboring high school. We only worked Sundays together. He played baseball, so he was never there during the week when I worked. It was an instant crush for me, and I found myself checking the schedule to see when he worked. I had no idea he was doing the same thing. I would casually cross the parking lot to get ice cream cones after my gymnastics lessons (it was next door). He would show up to get burgers. We flirted on Sundays, until his very last shift before he quit. A few days before, I had let it slip to a coworker that I might like Ben. He passed it along and I am pretty sure to this day he takes credit for our relationship.
At the end of his last shift, Ben came up to me with a SeaWorld coupon that they used to hand out when it was still in Ohio. He asked for my phone number, which I wrote down. He folded the coupon up, stuck it in his wallet, and said he'd call me later. A week later we went on our first date, to Applebees and to see Godzilla, and the rest is history.
That was 13 years ago.
6 years ago today, we were standing at the altar constructed in the Grand Allee gazebo at the botanical gardens vowing forever and surrounded by everyone we loved.
When you know, you know. And we knew way back then, under those Golden Arches. Our relationship has not been smooth, nor perfect. We have been through ugly times. But day in and day out, we love each other more than we ever could have thought we would. No matter what kind of life we have, I can't imagine havign anyone else by my side. He's taken care of me, and of Isaac. He does what ever he needs to do to make sure every dream I have comes true. He knows me better than anyone else.
And he still has the Sea World Coupon folded up in his wallet.
Happy Anniversary to my incredible husband.