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I can’t talk about Chris’ potential job right now, because it’s hurting my head. So I am going to detach and entertain myself a bit with a rewind… back, back, back to July of 1998.

I had been working for a new company for about a month. Incidentally, or perhaps not, I had been fired from my previous job due to what I will politely describe as a personality conflict. My boss liked to swear, at me. I prefer not to be on the receiving end of that kind of tirade. So there you go. I had a lovely several months off after that job, lovely because I had plenty of money and zero stress. I got another job in due course, and in July, my new coworker invited the entire office to a beach party. I had nothing better to do, and the party was in Malibu, which happens to be one of my favorite places in the world. So I went. I was single, and there were two single guys at the party (my coworker helpfully pointed them out to me). One of them was Chris. We talked all day long, and had our first date the very next day.

Chris had recently taken a massage course, so he came to my place for that first date, massage table slung over his shoulder, and gave me a massage. Huh, you might be thinking. That’s one hell of a first date. You’d be right. I was basically in my underwear and under a sheet before the date even began. He was a perfect gentleman, it should be said. I was coming from a position of confidence because I had spent most of the several months in between jobs at the gym; I’d even gotten myself a personal trainer. Basically, by the time I met Chris on the beach I was in the best shape of my adult life. Far thinner than my normal self and fairly buff, to boot. Confidence is the best possible accessory.

I fell fast and hard. By the time we’d gone on our second date, I knew I would marry him. I also knew that sounded totally crazy, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was It. The One. Told my mom as much and she didn’t even seem surprised. She said when I came back from the party and said, “I met a guy” something in my voice told her it was The One. More shockingly, I also relayed this feeling to Chris. On our second date. I cannot endorse this as sane second date behavior, but nonetheless, I did exactly that. I also told him I had been through several long-term relationships that hadn’t worked out, for a variety of excellent reasons (a huge disparity in age, a previous drug addiction – his, not mine – that turned out to be current rather than previous, etc.). Basically, I had spent a good deal of time determining what I did not want in a relationship. When Chris dropped onto the sand next to me, I had the sense to recognize him for what he was: a smart, sane, nice guy. What a concept! It was no wonder I fell head over heels. I feel very, very lucky that he felt the same way. Especially given that after our second date, I told him I was too old (29) and had been through too much to want anything but a serious relationship. If he wasn’t seeking the same thing, he could take off. Yes, I really said all of that. Again, I am not recommending this as great second date material. It worked for me, true, but clearly someone was looking out for me. He could have run away from my crazy demanding self and never looked back. But he didn’t.

We started spending every spare minute together, and rented a house in February of 1999. We got married in May of 2001, and the rest, as they say, is history. I am the luckiest woman on earth because he loves me. I am not the easiest person to live with. I am moody, I am controlling. I am jealous, I am greedy, I am needy and I am obsessive. Basically, I am very, very human, and human beings are flawed. But I have loved him, imperfectly, perhaps, but also unwaveringly, since date number two in 1998. I have never loved anyone more and I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else. He is my dream come true. There may be bumps in the road, but that’s okay. Bumps are a small price to pay for.getting to wake up every day to the man of your dreams. And somehow, he loves me back. Unfailingly. I don’t know what I have done to merit that level of miracle, but I am grateful. I hope he knows it.