Hopefully you’ve already caught the first part of this love story, aptly titled Love Goggles Part 1 (so clever aren’t I?).
For the rest of the story, I’m actually going to back up a bit and explain a little about the history of my love life, prior to meeting my husband.
Okay, and we’re done.
Get the idea? Ya, it didn’t exist.
Prior to Joe, I had crushes. Crushes on everybody. Usually crushes on people I shouldn’t have crushes on.
Sure I had a few crushes on boys in middle school and high school, but they were never reciprocated so I quickly learned to just be every guy’s best friend.
From the time I was in high school on, I had a crush on:
-a gay man
and even a priest!
(Okay, I made up the crush on the clown, but I swear the rest are real!)
The only guys that ever showed me the time of day were scumbag users (oh nooo…I have no leftover hostility now do I) who treated me like dirt.
Can you say propensity for going after unavailable men????
In my mind, I knew for certain that I was unworthy of a real relationship, so why would I waste time crushing on someone who might actually be worthwhile? It was much easier to announce that I had a crush on a priest because there was noooooo risk of rejection if I never believed there was a chance to begin with.
Plus saying you have a crush on a priest makes everybody laugh…and wasn’t the fat girl supposed to be funny?
It was not a happy time in my life and I was incredibly lonely, despite the fact that I had a ton of friends and a great family. I was intensely jealous of all of my friends who were in relationships and wondered why I was missing out.
There was even a time where I used to pray to God to let me have a BAD relationship just so I could experience what it was like.
It wasn’t fair was my mantra.
Why have my friends all had multiple relationships and I haven’t even had one??
As my self esteem tanked to the lowest it had ever been, I began to sink deeper into despair. I started hanging around with bad people and I had a few horrible ‘involvements’ (I can’t term them relationships because they weren’t) with some guys who treated me very, very badly.
Even they didn’t want me.
During the summer of 2003, I had some big things happen that forced me to turn my life around. I decided to start tackling a lot of my issues head on instead of just crying all the time about what wasn’t fair.
I quit drinking.
I started taking control of my eating.
I started standing up for myself.
I cut a lot of bad friends out of my life.
I started putting myself and my family first.
It was a long and slow process, but eventually I started to feel relatively happy with my life.
My job was great (I was teaching kindergarten at the time), I got a puppy, I bought a house…and after three long years, I was starting to see all of my hard work pay off.
I even began dating.
I was a one-date wonder.
One date…and then that’d be it.
My sister and her husband were always great about trying to fix me up and I met some really nice guys.
Unfortunately, the somewhat slimmer me still had the mind of the prior, fat me.
My philosophy tended to be: If the guy appears interested in me, there must be something wrong with him. Only a loser would be interested in me.
So a lot of nice guys came my way and I rejected them…because they must not have been cool enough.
If a flaw existed, trust me, I could find it.
If a flaw didn’t exist, trust me, I could make one up.
I loved music and bands and going to concerts at the time. I met one guy who I rejected because he loved this really cool Irish band too much. Really? I don’t think so.
I seemed to have this self sabotage thing going on…where even if I had a chance at a relationship with a nice guy, I would look for a reason why it wasn’t going to work.
I was starting to question
were these guys actually not the right ones for me and I was just lucky to have these super awesome instincts
would my tendency to self sabotage ruin any chance I had at happiness?
I wondered that…
until I met Joe.
Things were different with Joe right from the start.
I didn’t care about looking for flaws.
In fact, there were some he put right in front of me and none of them bothered me.
Oh you want an example, you say?
How ’bout this one:
On our first date, we went out to dinner and a movie. During the meal, Joe had bit into a piping hot mozzarella stick and burned the roof of his mouth. On the way home in the car, he
peeled the burnt skin off the roof of his mouth and showed it to me!!!!
And I laughed.
It didn’t bother me.
Trust me…I know. Normally, I would have been immediately weirded out and totally avoided the guy after something like that, too.
I literally didn’t think twice about it…and only hoped he’d call me for a second date.
This happened time and time again (not the skin on the roof of the mouth thing- haha)…no one is perfect; everyone has flaws;
but nothing about him bothered me.
In fact, it was the opposite. Everything about him excited me!
I got butterflies every time we talked.
Everything he said made me laugh
(as a matter of fact, his favorite line to use on me now when he tells a cheesy joke and I don’t laugh hard enough is, “I remember back when you used to think I was funny!” haha).
Within 5 months of dating, the possibility of a job in California came up for him. I was crushed. I knew this could potentially mean the end of our relationship. I wanted so badly to keep dating him, but everything was so up in the air. My heart was heavy.
That night on IM, he typed to me (I can remember it exactly like it was yesterday):
Joe: Just so you know…
Joe: if I take this job in California…
Joe: I’m going to ask you to go with me
Joe: Just so you know.
I add the pauses in for dramatic effect because when it was actually being typed at the time, it felt like hours in between each line he sent me!! And not knowing if what he was going to say was good or bad, my heart was racing! But he had said exactly what I’d hoped he would!
He moved to California 8 months into our relationship and I followed 4 months later when my school year was over. Some people thought we were crazy and looking back (or maybe as a parent now!) it sort of seems crazy, but there was never any doubt in our minds that this was how it was supposed to happen.
I was so naive about what happens in a relationship since I was a first-timer…and poor Joe had to show me the ropes along the way. He was very patient with me. 🙂
It took me an incredibly long time to be comfortable with my body in front of him, but he has shown me time and time again that he loves me no matter what.
Oftentimes, as we are lying in bed, I have a habit of not just telling him that I love him,
but thanking him for loving me.
There was a time when I thought I would never feel this…the complete, undying, unconditional love of the love of my life.
Him loving me like that.
Despite my big thighs
and my inclination for crying at the drop of a hat
and my past troubles
and my collateral damage extra skin
and my too small boobs
and my nervous moodiness before any social event
well the list could go on and on…
but in spite of all that…
he LOVES me.
I couldn’t figure out why.
Then I realized…
he must be wearing ‘love goggles’
…similar to the infamous beer goggles, of course.
His love for me is so strong and so deep, he doesn’t see any of my flaws.
Sometimes, I swear he doesn’t even know they exist.
And the best part is, love goggles don’t wear off by morning 😉
To him, I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am a good wife.
I am a good mother.
And that is all that matters.
Apparently we both have a pretty strong pair of love goggles that we sport, judging by that whole skin-off-the-roof-of-his-mouth incident.
I actually always picture our love goggles being…oh…
about this thick:
But looking this cool:
(Top pic: not my dog. Bottom pic: that’s 100% my boy, Frankie Moons – ya Frank!)
We’ve had our ups and downs like any couple as we’ve gone through numerous challenges in our lives…deaths in the family, issues arising from our respective pasts, life-related stresses, etc. but we have always made it a priority to be supportive of each other.
Regardless of what one of us was going through, we have done our best to lift the other one up and keep the relationship strong.
We have never doubted each other
and we have always tried to put the other person first.
I’m not saying it is always easy…no relationship is.
I’m not saying we don’t bicker…of course we do, we are normal.
But what I am saying is that we never disrespect each other. Truly, I mean it.
If there is a problem, it is ALWAYS talked out until there is a resolution…we are both that way.
And we always look for the best in the other person.
I don’t think that there are many couples out there like us…
he is 100% the best friend I have ever had (not to mention incredibly handsome and super sexy 😉 ).
I know for certain that I will grow old with this man.
I waited 27 years to meet the love of my life
and nothing has ever been more worth the wait.