This originally posted March 19, 2007. I am re-posting both parts today in honor of a very special date.
March 19 is an anniversary date for me. That one date marks two separate events 13 years apart that divide my life into chapters.
On March 19, 1990, Jason and I became a couple. I can't really call it our dating anniversary, because our first date would actually come a month later and was pretty anti-climactic given everything that had already happened to that point. And if it hadn't been for Harry and Sally, we probably wouldn't have hooked up at all.
We were only sophomores, but we had been friends for years. We even had a brief 7th-grade relationship where we called each other "boyfriend" and "girlfriend," but at 13 it meant little more than holding hands and having someone to slow-dance with at the spring dance. We were both involved in music at school, and we found ourselves together a lot through our middle- and high-school careers. Sometimes we were competitors, other times collaborators, and by late winter of our sophomore year, we were partners in speech and drama competitions, performing a cut from When Harry Met Sally for duo acting at the state tournament.
Whether it was the power of suggestion from that scene we did from a movie about two friends who fall in love, or whether it was inevitable given how much our paths had crossed over the years, I started to look at Jason differently. When I made a comment to him that February that "Valentine's Day doesn't mean anything," (a comment made because at that point the only person I had ever gotten a V-Day gift from was my mom) he responded by suprising me with a rather suggestive (but humorous) Valentine card. The card was addressed to "Sally" and was signed "from Harry." I didn't know what to think. Was this real, or was it just a joke in reference to those two characters we had had to assume?
I called a girlfriend with infinitely more boy smarts than I had and asked, "What does this mean?"
"It means he likes you, you idiot."
And then I knew: I had fallen for him, too.
Another month of flirting and wondering and second-guessing went by, and on the late afternoon of March 19, after practicing our duo scene and while I was waiting for my mom to pick me up, we found ourselves alone in our high-school band room. There was uncomfortable silence. Then he told me he loved me. Wow. For a few seconds, I think I forgot to breathe. Somehow I managed to tell him that I loved him, too, and then I left. And that, as they say, was that. I don't think we so much as hugged after our big revelation. But I didn't need a big "Ross and Rachel" moment to know that we were official. And even though I had a feeling that this was it, that we were for keeps, I could not have guessed where our road would lead us on that same date, 13 years later....
To be continued...