We all know the high school sweetheart story. Two 14-year-old, pimple faced freshmen meet in homeroom, share an awkward smooch behind the lockers, and when their braces lock together they know that they are hooked for life. They go through all the crazy teenager issues together, and eventually they graduate and marry. My husband and I are high school sweethearts...well, sort of. We're not quite what you would call the "traditional" couple. I mean, we DID meet in a high school. It WAS in homeroom. And at least one of us was a braces-clad, pimple faced freshman but we didn't exactly graduate the same year, and the first thing I ever got from the guy was NOT a kiss...it was homework.
My husband was my high school history teacher (insert astonished gasp here). I know, I know it's scandalous. Well, it is unless you know the actual story. He was actually just new to town and became a friend of the family. We had the unique experience of getting to know one another as friends for several years before we ever dated. Some people still don't believe me when I say that, but it's the truth. We didn't date until after I graduated. Don't get me wrong, I found the guy attractive but so did every other girl in my class. But, let's be honest, if you're in high school and your teacher is not a middle-aged woman with coffee breath and facial hair, or some old dude with suspenders and a pocket protector, you're gonna notice.
Now here's the fun part. Not only were we teacher/student, we also have a 14 year age difference. This is where you gag, and make the "icky" face. But let me tell you something ladies, if you're gonna spend the rest of your life with a man, you want one that's housebroken. Sure everyone THINKS they want the puppy, but cute and cuddly lasts for about 30 seconds and you spend most of your time with a rolled up newspaper in your hand, tossing his butt outside until he gets his shit together. Not me, mine came with the ability AND the motivation to clean, do laundry, and cook. Who's the idiot now, huh? I mean, sure the guy could have driven me to preschool, but we've got to consider the perks too! Here are a few:
-First of all, in order to avoid any awkward looks or annoying questions we decided to go on our first date in St. Louis, MO. We figured two hours away would be a safe enough distance. We went to Union Station, and when we got to one of the stores, I was greeted by one of the clerks who gave me bouquet of a dozen roses that he had PRE-ORDERED!! That's right, forethought AND romance. Pretty incredible. (For any of you men that are reading this, anything planned ahead of time = BIG POINTS)
-Who else can say that their significant other had been saving for a big vacation for years before they even met? We were able to spend 21 days in 7 different European countries for our honeymoon! That was an experience that only the two of us share, and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. (Even though the guy is a major history nerd and basically spent 80% of the time behind the camera saying things like, "and this is where blabbedy blah happened on some random day in January that no one but me remembers.")
-You also have to admit that the guy is pretty smart. I mean, he probably has the best retirement plan of anyone I know...me. He'll be hanging out while his young, (hot) wife is bringing in the big bucks. Pretty ingenious really.
-Not to mention the fact that anytime we are on the same team for a trivia game, the two of us span over a decade's worth of knowledge. He takes all the old crap that no one cares about, and I get all of the current more interesting stuff. No, really I've learned a lot from him. Where would I be if I hadn't seen EVERY SINGLE 80's movie featuring Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez and their horny, acne-covered friends? Seriously, there are like 10 of them. (Hint: You only have to actually watch one of them. You can pretty much answer any question about any one of the dozen movies based on your knowledge of that one.)
-He's great to have around in a crisis. For example, one day the kids wanted hot dogs and the microwave just quit working. I had no idea what to do, and my superhero husband suggested that we cook them in a pan of water...wait for it...ON THE STOVE!! I had no concept of this, because of course I'd never lived a life without a microwave. Apparently, they are a relatively "new" concept. Who knew?
Of course we have our issues when it comes to our age difference, too. Every once in awhile he'll say something about St. Elmo's Fire and I'll have to remind myself that this is NOT the name of a street that intersects with "Sesame." And, sure from time to time he'll make reference to an "8 track" and I'll be forced to listen to how much today's technology sucks. But, when you get down to what's important, it works for us. THANK GOD I didn't listen to all of the nay-sayers when I was younger. They said it would never work, but here we are 11 years, 1 great marriage, and 4 awesome kids later. So what if his first gift to me was a hall pass to the bathroom?