So a reader emailed me and asked me to write a post about how MJ and I met and fell in love. Seeing as tomorrow is our third wedding anniversary, this seems like a good time.
MJ and I have actually known each other since the 6th grade. We grew up in the same town and went to middle school together. But truthfully, we didn’t talk because we didn’t really run in the same circles at all. About the only thing I remember of MJ from middle school is that she was just about the tallest girl in our class, and one time at a middle school dance I saw her french kissing Jason Pierce. But after the 8th grade she moved with her family and I didn’t see her for more than four years.
Then, on my first day of college at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the tiny Berkshire town of North Adams, we met again. Well, we kind of met. She recognized me and I had no idea who she was. But I did think it was kind of a huge coincidence that two people who went to the same dinky suburban middle school, and hadn’t seen each other for four years, ended up going to the same dinky little Massachusetts state college out in the sticks. However, I was eager to start from scratch and erase high school from my memory, so I didn’t really pay her much attention.
And for the next four years we’d pass each other in the hallways and we’d occasionally see each other at parties. Truth be told, we had many of the same friends in college and MJ swears she hung out all the time when I was around. However, I don’t remember her much at all. Granted, that’s probably because I spent my college years in a drunken haze stumbling from one party to the next and desperately trying to recall the name of the girl I had woken up next to. But in all that time, we never once dated or hooked up.
After college we continued to see each other sporadically when our friends would have a get together. And after awhile, I began to take a liking to MJ. Unfortunately by that time, she had witnessed me at my absolute worst. She had seen about six years of my drunken whoring around and she refused to be another notch on my bedpost. She had this uncanny knack for leaving the party just before she knew I was getting out of hand and minutes prior to the point I’d start blatantly hitting on her.
Then, in May of 2004, everything changed.
My buddy Alex and I were invited to a party in Foxboro. Friends of Alex’s brother were putting it on, and MJ was friends with them so I figured I’d see her there. And sure enough, when we walked up to the door she not only smiled and greeted me, she ran up to me and jumped on me wrapping her legs around me. I was surprised, but happy. However, I also had ulterior motives that had nothing to do with her.
You see, I fully intended to hook up with one of her friends named Jen. Jen was a cute girl, very outspoken and a HUGE Red Sox fan. But my friend Alex also had similar plans. So throughout the night we battled for position to hook up with Jen. It ended with Alex c*ck blocking me by taking her aside and bad mouthing me to her when he thought I wasn’t listening, which is just as well since I caught her giving a hummer to some random dude that night anyways.
So there I was, bummed out that I wouldn’t be getting any that night, when all of a sudden MJ and I strike up a conversation. I’m still not sure how it happened, but she ended up confessing to me that she had a little crush on me.
Now, at this point, I wish I could say the violins were cued up and a magic moment occurred. The kind where we stare deeply into each other’s eyes and realize true love had found us both, as doves fly off in the distance and we kiss passionately. But that’s not what happened. Not at all.
“Shut the f-ck up!” was my oh-so-smooth response. “There’s no way you have a crush on me. I’ve tried hitting on you like 1,000 times and you never showed any interest! You’re so full of shit!”
I know. I’m like a poet aren’t I? So then I told her that I thought she was hot and I’ve always had a thing for her as well. And the exchange ended with a drunken make-out session behind the woodshed.
And that’s when a funny thing happened. Despite the fact that I was cleared for take off in the drunken hook-up department if I wanted to that night, it didn’t happen. Instead of continuing on my trend of hooking up with girls and then not having it go anywhere, I realized immediately that I liked MJ. And oddly enough, I liked her too much to throw it all away. So nothing much happened that night and then the next day I had to drive to Virginia for my brother’s college graduation. I didn’t talk to her for another five days, because as every guy who’s watched the movie Swingers knows, you never want to scare away a beautiful baby who’s ready to party (because you’ve got these big freakin’ claws man and you don’t want to scare the bunny!).
By the time I did call her to set up a date, she had nearly given up on me. Our first date consisted of Outback Steakhouse, fixing her brother’s car and then her telling me that she didn’t really want anything serious with me because basically the only thing she wanted from me was a little drunken booty call.
But after just a few dates, I had other plans. I knew I was going to wear her down, force her to be with me and then marry her. I even told my friends as much. And believe me, I really had to wear her down. Over the next few months I basically forced my way into her life, with her trying to push me away the entire time. I left my toothbrush and clothes at her place. I invited myself over to her apartment. I told her I loved her even though I knew she wasn’t there yet. I did anything I could to make it clear that she was going to be my wife.
And eight months later, I proposed to her at the Capital Grille in Providence. I had researched the kind of ring I wanted and bought it online. I devised a plan to trick her into thinking one of my boss’s clients canceled on him for dinner, so we were taking the prepaid meal in his place. And I had a waiter attach the ring to the stem of her dessert wine.
I’ll never forget my heart beating as he came to the table with the glasses and the ring attached. The only problem was it took her a full minute to notice it! I was going insane. And when she finally saw it, her eyes went wide as saucers as she looked from the ring, to me and back to the ring again. Here we go, I thought to myself, it’s time to knock her dead with this romantic speech I’ve had planned in my head for months.
“MJ, I love you and I want to share my life with you…” I began when I was abruptly cut off.
“No. NO WAY! No way is that for me!!” she said.
“Yes baby, it’s for you. Now I want to tell you how much you mean to me…”
“SHUT UP! SHUT THE HELL UP! THAT RING IS NOT MINE!”
(getting irritated now) “Yes baby, it’s yours. I want to give it to you because I want you to be my wife…”
“No friggin way.”
(exasperated by this point) “MJ, the fucking ring is yours. Will you shut the hell up so I can ask you to marry me?!?!”
Always a romantic huh? Anyways, she obviously said yes and we left the restaurant and drove back to Norton. It was snowing lightly and it was the happiest I had been to that point in my life. Then, as we drove by the middle school where we first met all those years ago, I pulled in to the parking lot just as the song “Bless the Broken Road” — which would become our wedding song — came on the radio. And in the middle of the Norton Middle School parking lot, all alone with the snow falling, the car door open and the radio turned up, we danced together.
It hasn’t all been roses and pie since then. In fact, we’ve had a tough go of it over the last three years. But make no mistake, there’s no one on this planet I’d rather spend my life with, in both good and bad times.
Happy anniversary baby.