She smashed his Twinkie! Technically he smashed his Twinkie, she just supported his effort. The first time she saw him, he was standing on the wooden stairs in the back of the theater. Just standing there. Holding a Twinkie. It was unwrapped, but he hadn’t taken a bite yet. She politely asked him to hold the Twinkie in one hand and she took his other hand and clapped it over the Twinkie. Hard. And then she walked away. Just like that.
Months later they disagreed on what exactly got smashed. She maintained it was a Twinkie. He argued that no, he didn’t eat Twinkies, it was a Hostess Apple Pie. He produced the pie wrapper! On it was written the date she smashed it. He won the argument. It would take a couple more years before he would win the girl.
But he was patient. He watched while she dated other boys. He offered his sturdy shoulder to cry on when those romances ended badly. He indulged her. She finally agreed to date him. But because she was afraid dating might wreck their friendship, she continued to date another boy too. Both were named Rich so she affectionately referred to them as R1 and R2. She eventually lost interest in R2.
Before they parted for different colleges, she knew she would marry him. They agreed to date others. She encouraged him to date others. She wanted him to be sure, absolutely sure, that she was THE ONE (she already knew he was.) She wanted to know that twenty, fifty, one hundred years later he would still know, still feel, she was THE ONE.
Spring break, second semester junior year, he proposed on a bridge in a park in Worcester, MA with an antique ring that belonged to a fisherman and his wife. The diamond was surrounded by two sapphires and the band was inlaid with sea pearls. The fisherman and his wife were married for a lifetime.
A few days before her college graduation, they got into one of their notoriously passionate fights and she told him not to come. He stayed away. (Huh? Aren’t girls allowed to say things they don’t mean? He wasn’t supposed to actually listen!)
Three months later they were married on a hot August day during a power outage in a church with no lights and no air conditioning. The best man fainted. A horse-drawn carriage took them to the reception where a string quartet greeted the newlywed couple.
The year they both turned thirty, they realized they had known each other longer than they hadn’t.
On Wednesday they will celebrate Thirty One-derful years. Their three amazing boys are the icing on the cake. Both would do it all over again. In a heartbeat.
I love you, Hill. Thank you for being my Rock and for continuing to indulge me. Happy Anniversary.
“Wow, congrats on the 31st anniversary!! You and Rich are relics from another era!”