Thursday, August 15, 2013

Part 1: When I fell for what I shouldn't

You know the old adage: "Boys marry women like their mothers, and girls marry men like their fathers." You go after what you know, the familiar.  It's not a law set in stone, by any means, but there's a grain of truth in it.

I, however, was told the exact opposite. 

I was about seven and sitting in our car waiting for my cheeseburger-ketchup-only-PLEASE at the Burger King drive-in.  I don't remember what we were talking about, but, apparently, it had something to do with espousage because my father said, "Sarah, you'll probably marry someone more like your mom . . . or your brother, since he's so much like her."
Surely I had just been handed a fate worse than death.
"But I don't want to marry someone like Matthew! He's annoying!"
I hope Matt poked me or pinched me or something right then and there. Seven-year-old me deserved it.
"Sarah, that's not nice. And, well, you're quiet and your brother and mom are both outgoing. You marry your opposite."
There was no way. None. Not ever, not ever ever EVER times infinity.  Yuck.

Actually . . . now that I think about it . . . I think my four-year-old brother and I were arguing about who got to marry Dad when we grew up . . .  Kids brains are scary, funky places, I'll tell you what.
Luckily, we BOTH gave up on that idea PRETTY QUICKLY. Phew.
That could have been REALLY awkward. Dodged a bullet there, didn't we?


Still, what Dad said stuck--I should marry my opposite.
Being a hopelessly romantic child (thanks SO much, Disney -_-), I was ALWAYS on the lookout for my Prince Charming.  I knew my destiny was some chatty class clown, the kind who can't help but be friends with everyone, the one who doesn't know a stranger and can make you laugh with just a wink.
Someone to talk where I was silent.
Someone whose charm covered all my awkwardness.
Someone so full of life I never went back to my bookish corners.
Opposites and all that jazz. Destiny.

Isn't it funny when Destiny doesn't look at all how you imagined?

At fifteen, I went with my new best friend to a concert.  We stopped by her house to grab something (I don't remember what, but it was a big deal because her dad was pissed that we might be late), and, inside, there was this body collapsed facedown on the couch.  It was just this giant mess of hair mushrooming out of what must have been a head, face buried in his arms.  I was terrified.  Not because I thought it was dead but because it was most decidedly MALE, and cute male, on top of it.
Cute males are the most frightening specimens of the teenage animal kingdom. Why, I don't know, but they put me in a cold sweat every time they were remotely in sight. .

So, this guy.
This cute guy with too much hair and big yellow green eyes like I had never seen before. 
This enigma.
The best friend's big brother.
I hated the cliche, the age-old tale of a twittering, adolescent female falling for her friend's older sibling. I had always sworn I never would. It was shallow and stupid and just blech.
But none of my friends before this had older brothers like THIS.
Oh, be still my heart.

He didn't speak unless spoken to, but he had a ready smile. His sisters adored him because he was kind, and his great-grandmother favored him because he was clever. He played guitar and video games with his second-cousin-once-removed, staying up til all hours of the night drinking Yoo-hoo and eating canned spaghetti straight out of the can.  Sometimes they talked religion, philosophy.on the importance of Han Solo shooting first. My friend tried to convince me I should be falling for the cousin--outgoing, witty, never a stranger, an ideal match.
Her brother, on the other hand, was quiet, funny, talented, and a bit of a pessimist.

He was EXACTLY like my daddy.
Too alike. Off limits. Do not pass GO, do not collect two hundred dollars, thank you very much.

So why didn't he leave that little corner of my mind? He just kind of settled there, built himself a comfortable nest and strummed guitar anytime I glanced at another fellow. He was a mental squatter of the worst and most delightful kind. I wasn't sure I wanted him to leave.
But he should . . . shouldn't he?

Sometimes, when he'd show us some new internet cartoon or play video games, I'd stay a little longer than the others just to feel the air crackle. I was so thrilled, so nervous, just to sit there in silence and not be sent away. He let me stay. He didn't necessarily speak to me, but, sometimes, he'd smile at me--not long or deep or wide, just this quiet glance as if he almost liked that I was there. 
I was all jitters and pounding heart. Oh, be still, be still, be still.
Adolescent crushes are some of the most powerful, silly things, aren't they?

Once, I do remember speaking to him. He let his sister borrow a pair of sunglasses, which were then passed to me (SCORE). When it came time to return them, I just hovered by the kitchen counter, staring at him on the couch, watching television. I tried to force myself closer, even just by inches, and couldn't move. My palms were sweaty and my heart was raising, and, finally, I mustered every ounce of courage I had and slapped them on the counter.  "UmmmhereareyoursunglassesChriskthanksbye," I burst out and literally RAN for cover in his sister's room.

Smooth moves.
I have them.
By the boatload.
You can't handle my moves.

Miracle of miracles he didn't laugh at me. He didn't make fun of me. He stayed.

And, in my own way, so did I. Despite all of my expectations and prophecies, I stayed.
Against all odds, I fell for the musician who was too like me--too quiet, too nerdy, too still.
Opposites did not attract.  How bizarre.

But, I suppose, there's more of that story for another time, isn't there?

Photo by Isaiah Eyre


  1. :) I love reading this beginning to the story. I actually went the opposite of normal, my husband is very much like my Mom. Sometimes their similarities are scary.

  2. This is absolutely adorable! I'm right there with you, I didn't marry the personality I was "supposed" to. I'm quite happy that way. :-)

  3. oh my god that is just TOO SWEET! i'd love to read more of your love story.=)


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