Thirteen Years is a Long Time

I work with quite a few women.  Most are married but a few are single.

At work this week, I happened to be talking to two of my single friends/colleagues.  (I will not reveal their names, not even a Yo-Yo name in order to protect the crazy innocent).  The subject was dating.

Now, y’all picture this: two single friends who are in the dating scene and me – an old married gal.  Okay, so I’m not old (and neither are either of my friends), but I am married and it’s very interesting to really see our different views on dating.  (Of course it’s easy for the married gal to talk about dating, right?)

I’ve been out of the dating scene a good while (and God willing, I’ll never go back.  Lord knows I just don’t have the patience/stamina/time for all of that business) but at one point I did date.  I never really dated dated until I met the Man Beast.  At Busch Gardens.  In the Black Forest Picnic Area.  13 years ago.

It was my first year of college (let me just let the cat out of the bag right now: MB is 3 years younger than me.  We met while I was a freshman in college – you do the math.)  It was March of 96 and the new season was about to start.  I failed (!!) a math test during my interview, so for an extra .25 an hour, I opted for food service.

Who knew that the decision would change my life?

If anyone has ever been to a Busch theme park (Busch Gardens, Sea World, Seasame Place), you’ll notice that all the crew members have states (or countries) on their name badges.  Most of the badges in the Black Forest Picnic Area read ‘Virginia’.  A few read ‘Pennsylvania’.  One two said ‘California’ – mine and the Man Beast.

We were both from the West Coast living on the East Coast – a connection made in heaven.  Or at least a theme park.

The MB and I started talking.  We talked when we made tea in the morning.  We talked when we served chicken during the afternoon picnics.  We talked so much that our boss would purposely give us jobs apart from each other.  (Maybe she knew something we didn’t?)

Eventually, one thing led to another and he asked me for my phone number in the catacombs one day after work.  Let me just say right now that I was a good girl.  I had never been in trouble.  Never been much of a partier.  But I really like the Man Beast.  He was my friend.

Soon, we began dating.  Our parents were less than thrilled.  Interestingly enough, it all focused on age.  His mom didn’t like the idea I was older and my parents didn’t like the idea that he was younger.  (Looking back 13 years later as a mom, I can understand where they were coming from.  I’m not sure I’d be cool with The Boy bringing home an older chick or Baby Gurl bringing home a boy barely leaving the cradle).  Be that as it may, we fell more and more deeply in love.

In true youth stupidity zeal, we were engaged, married and on our way to becoming a family within a year.

I was 20 and he was 18 when we were married.  We seemed so young!   We were young.

Getting to where we are now, I don’t think I’d change a thing.  But I also know that I wouldn’t want to go through it again.  Dating has it’s good points.  But I think this old married gal much prefers marriage over dating.

But I can still give advice, right?


9 responses to this post.

  1. Yes, you can give advice. I do all the time because “we know”. They won’t listen but at least one tries to share a little wisdom.

    I’ve watched the current Gene Pool in their mating rituals of late and am pretty appalled at the choices available. If I had to chose from this tattooed / jewelry encrusted bunch out there now, I would be pouring bleach in the pool. I certainly wouldn’t hire any of them. [shudder]

    Husband and I met on a SCUBA diving trip with Matheny Dive Shop to the Florida Keys. We were both from Jax but met on a dive boat. Isn’t that too funny? We’ve been together for over 30 years. Yeah, we talked, and talked, and talked too (just like y’all). We were friends by the end of the trip. Happy memories.


    • I think it’s funny that after only 13 years, we can be considered an ‘old married couple’. People tell us all the time that we were born in the wrong era. Maybe we were…


  2. Try being together for 27 tears and married for 20. Which, still stumps the younger folks who are “speed dating.” Him and I have been through some rough things in our lives, not to many stay together etc..Blessings


    • I think the tough times makes a marriage stronger. Or it could break it. But if it makes it stronger, it’s so much better.


  3. Posted by ruqayyah1 on April 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Kai and I will be married for 5 years come September, and I wouldn’t change a thing either. Some people would say we got married pretty fast, about 8 months after we met the first time and about 30 days after we met face to face the first time. And I am very thankful for him all the time, thank You GOD 🙂

    It is funny though, he is 9 years younger than me. And in some ways it can be a challenge but what marriage is free of challenges? We love each other and Em and there is a lot of joy in our lives.

    LOL funny story: when we went to the courthouse to get our marriage license the woman who took our filled out application leaned over an whispered to Kai “do you know you are marrying an older woman?!?” and he leaned back and said “yes, you do know she can hear you?” LOL our favorite wedding day story, lol….


  4. I was on the dating scene waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than you. Thank God and all his angels I’m not on it any longer. Never again, please! Its really the thought of dating that keeps Wolf and I working on our marriage some days, lol!


  5. Great story! My sil is five years older than my bil and it bothers her more than him, I think. But age is just a number anyway.


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