We met on a cooler.
How many of you can say that about your valentine?
It was 1991, the summer of my 18th birthday, the summer before leaving for college, and I was attending a three day outdoor concert with my friends. I wasn’t looking for love, and I’m pretty sure that if I had been, this concert would have been one of those wrong places to look for it.
He graduated from a high school about fifteen minutes from mine, the high school that one of my dearest friends had also attended. I was with her, in her group of friends, jamming to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark” when he stepped up onto the cooler I was standing on – or maybe it was the other way around. Maybe he was there first. Somehow, we both ended up on the the same cooler. I was holding his hand before I knew his name.
We sat on the boat dock of the pond on the concert grounds all night talking. He says now that he was only looking for a summer romance before going back to college in the fall. But we both knew this was something bigger than a single summer could hold.
We’ve had twenty-one more summers together since that July night in 1991 -and springs and falls and winters. We’ve weathered every season together, every stage, every move, every heartbreak, every joy. He is every cliché to me – my rock, my everything, the love of my life, the wind beneath my wings. Did I miss any?