Thursday, August 20, 2009

Then

I always tease you about your love of country music. Actually, all music for that matter. I tell people, "The man is a walking ipod. Name a song - any song, any genre, and he knows it - knows it, sings it, bangs his head or clenches his heart and waves his hand in the kitchen....you get the picture."

We don't write notes to each other much any more. Our lives have become stereotypically busy and we are inching into the second half of our first decade married to each other. Children, work, school, and all of life's realities begin to stifle and challenge that original positively naive commitment to keep the romance alive always - to never become that couple sitting at Macaroni Grill not speaking to each other as they slowly fork their way through the penne rustica. Somehow, we manage. I'm still crazy about you, even if our love notes are now mere emails titled "Why it was so rude of you to leave your dirty lunch tupperware molding over in the garage for two weeks instead of bringing it into the kitchen so I'm kindly writing an email instead of calling you at work to yell over the phone" sort of love notes.

The small gestures have overtaken the more elaborate schemes. Heartfelt "I love you's" before bed and hand holding while driving the car are more frequent than sappy self-composed love novels to each other. A few days ago, you came in the door after work and said, "There is this new song I want you to hear...it made me think of you."

And I'll be darned if ya didn't suggest a fine, country twangin' love song! Oh yes you did. Well yippe yai ya hee haw!

It was Then by Brad Paisley.

I continued scrubbing the dishes as it played through the speakers in the kitchen, and smiled as I thought about the lyrics:

I remember, trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mezmorized
And three weeks later, in the front porch light
taking forty-five minutes to kiss goodnight
I hadn't told you yet
but I thought I loved you then

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl
Like a river meets the sea,
stronger than it's ever been.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

And i remember, taking you back to right where I first met you,
You were so surprised...
Got down on one knee right there once again,
I thought I loved you then

I thought about our "then", beginning almost ten years ago. We were sixteen. I was dating someone else when I found out the shocking news: "O-M-G Rachel, I like totally have to tell you something: Tyler. likes you. Totally."
You were the cute football/basketball player who too many of my friends had crushes on. You had plenty of friends, and plenty of options. No thank you, even at sixteen I was aware of your kind. The too-good-too-hot-to-be-true, take ya and break ya type. I'll just stay put with my then boyfriend from another school, who for lack of a better analysis had "a really good personality". But even in Biology and Bead-art classes, I couldn't resist sneaking notes back and forth. Oh sweet love, high school! Heaven help us all.
Finally, one day a few months later we lingered outside of art class after school had dimissed. You leaned in and kissed me. And that was it.

Four years later I returned to the same spot...only this time the outside walkway leading to our infamous art class was lined with candles and flower petals. And at the end, you. And that was really it.

You asked me to marry you, and five years ago today we said our I-do's and sealed our fate as high school sweethearts.

And I thought I loved you then.




Happy anniversary.

9 comments:

Jacob Hansen said...

oh boy...i just cried....haha jk. But if I weren't such a manly guy I would have. So nice.

Daron and Jamee said...

Daron just came in and turned on his radio, while he is hanging shelves for me, and this song is playing...
it totally added to your post!

So sweet,
Jamee

Alexis said...

I CAN'T BELIEVE THE DAY IS ALMOST OVER AND I TALKED TO YOU TWICE TODAY...IN NOT SO NICE A TONE...AND FORGOT IT WAS YOUR ANNIVERSARY!!!
I have been too absorbed with finances, insurances, doctor appointments, back to school stuff, managing teenagers, and my obsession with "24" on DVD that I completely missed the fact that it was THAT AUGUST 20th.... (You are in good company - I missed Dan & Ali's anniversary on Monday too).
How happy can a MOM be when she gets to watch her adult children experience "true love".
I love you guys and am so proud of the life you have built together.
I will now go crawl back in my "self absorbed" hole with shame for my oversight!
Love forever & ever
MOM

Sarah Hansen said...

I called bright and early this morning but you didn't answer?! Happy Anniversary...

Alexandra said...

I'm such a dork...I love romantic stuff like that!

Happy Anniversary!

Alex

Joan said...

Brandon weeps when he hears that song. Well, "weep" is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much.
Happy Anniversary. You and Tyler are a beautiful couple. I'm proud of you both for the people you are and continue to become. Sincerely, I am.
Love,
Joanie

Joan said...

Ps: I commented on your previous post. Just FYI :)

Amy said...

Rae- That was so sweet. I never heard the proposal story...ever... but 5 years later is better than never. Happy anniversary (a day late but I blame it on the time change). Love you all.

Amy

p.s. the moldy tupperware is not just TYLER... I promise you.

Casady said...

AHHH! Well, I'm sitting at work totally bawling. I love this post! And you and Tyler too! I cant believe it has been five years! You guys are wonderful together and always have been. You have built the life you always dreamed of and it is a beutiful one. I feel really lucky to have been there through all of your "thens" and am looking forward to much more in the future.