Monday, November 9, 2009

My version is better

This weekend was Sami's birthday. His 41st birthday. He is north of 40. He is old.

I am married to an old guy.
How did this happen?

Last night at dinner, I was telling the tale of how, exactly, it happened. That we happened to meet. And fall in love. And get married 11 years ago. Someone asked how old I was when we got married, and I started to tell the story, and Sami picked it up and ran with the far opposite direction of what actually happened. Turns out, Sami's version is TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM MINE. (Which is to say, wildly inaccurate.) While I didn't realize the story needed to be clarified in his mind, clearly it does.

You know, I have heard that as people age, the memory is the first to go. They were totally not kidding.

Here, for the record, is how we ended up married.

We had known each other for a year or so. I had just broken up with a long-term boyfriend, who had informed me that he was not interested in marrying me. Ever. (Yeah, that sucked, but we were not right for each other because I was depressed and he was an asshole. Obviously. I'm not bitter. And he really was acting like an asshole.)

So anyway, one night in a bar near Fenway park, my buddy Sami told me he "didn't want to be my friend". Actually, he shouted it. Twice. It was loud in there, and I thought I had misunderstood him the first time. But when he repeated himself, and I was certain that he had indeed said that to my face, I basically said "Well, fuck you - I don't want to be YOUR friend either."

He hastened to clarify. He didn't want to be "just friends". Girls always thought of him as a buddy, someone they could confide in. A sidekick. The ultimate wingman. Not a potential date. He was sweet and shy and soft-spoken, and not a lean mean dating machine (as evidenced by what I guess was his....what? His pickup line? "I don't want to be your friend" is how he was picking up chicks. Which would explain why he was still single at the time, I'd wager).

So after he clarified, I pulled him over to the side where the music was slightly lower, and the lights slightly brighter, so he could see my face.
"You told me you never wanted to get married."
"I don't."
"Or have kids."
"I don't."
"Well, I DO. I really do. And you KNOW that. I just went thought this with The Asshole. I don't want to try to change you, or hope you'll come around eventually, or try to convince you to go along with what I want. I don't want to date you and then get sad because you don't want to marry me. I don't want to get pregnant accidentally and have you think I "trapped you". I don't want to miss out on my chance to have a family, because I was dating someone who didn't ever want those things. I don't ever want to have the conversation where you say "I told you from the beginning I didn't want to get married and have kids." I am not that girl. I definitely want to get married and have kids, and dating someone, or even just sleeping with someone, who doesn't want that is a waste of my time. And yours."

He was quiet. 'Well, maybe I do want those things."

"No, you don't. You just told me you don't."

As I put my coat on, I told him I was not interested in "friends with benefits" but thanks anyway. It was all very clear in my head. I was not going to date casually. I was going to take some time, and get my life together, and make a plan for my future...and just hope to god that eventually someone would want to share it with me. Walking out the door, I felt good about having been so clear and honest.

And then I realized that I had been so clear, and so honest, because I really cared about that guy in that bar. The one who didn't want to be my friend. By the time I got home, I was crying. I was worried that I had just lost a friend by being so blunt. I was afraid I had hurt his feelings. He was so NICE and had probably taken a long time to work up the nerve to awkwardly tell me how he felt, and I had just shot him down.

I felt like a total asshole.

He called me at work 2 days later.

"I have something I need to tell you."


"I want to tell you in person."

"Tell me what?"
Briefly on the phone, and then in more detail in the car later on, he told me that he had been thinking a lot about what I had said. That he had talked to his father. ("YOU WHAT ?! You talked to your FATHER ?! About what ?! What did you tell him ? Jesus, Sami. Your FATHER ?!") That he had taken long walks on the beach, alone, and thought long and hard. And decided that he actually did want to get married, and have kids. With me.
I was suspicious. Was this just some sort of scheme to get in my pants? I have heard guys come up with some pretty crazy shit to get laid. But he was, in fact, quite serious. And we got married a few months later. And by the time we celebrated our second anniversary, I was massively pregnant. And now, here we are. Very definitely married. Very definitely with kids. And, still and always, friends.

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