I met him in the eighth grade. I was wearing a pink tie-dyed Authentic Dweebie shirt and white Guess pants. He was wearing a snap up shirt his mom got him at K-Mart. He sat across the room from me in math class, hidden in the back, trying to pretend like he wasn't there. I was up front, third seat back right against the wall. I was loud and often talking with everyone in my vicinity. I can recall our teacher writing my name down on the overhead and putting little marks next to it each time I talked.
It happened a lot.
It's no wonder it took me two years and summer school to get through Algebra.
We were assigned to be partners for a math game day. I think the teacher was trying to separate me from my rowdy friends.
If, on that day so many years ago, my guardian angel had appeared to me and declared with great force that this boy before me was the man I was going to marry and have nine children with, I would have thought I had eaten a batch of bad tater tots in the cafeteria and gone directly home.
We ended up at the same high school. I was in drama, he played guitar. I was obnoxious, he was the quiet football player that wore Garfield t--shirts under his letterman's jacket.
Our senior year things changed. After a football game one night we went to see Dead Again. Before the movie even started I told him that I was going to have Kenneth Branagh's babies. That I really liked Emma Thompson, but sorry, she was going to have to step aside.
By the end of that school year we were engaged. A year after our graduation from high school we were married and I have never thought of Kenneth again.
21 years ago today I married the most incredible man I have ever known. He changed my life for the better in so many ways. He helped me to see that I had worth, that I was someone special. In him I found a wonderful person that I could trust and love... A man who would protect and cherish. An incredible father with the ability to always make me smile.
Thank you God...
And quite possibly my 8th grade math teacher.