I very clearly remember how it felt when I first started dating Robby. He was my first real boyfriend, and everything about relationships was so new to me. I was amazed. He gave me his work phone number. When I didn’t call him during work, he asked me why I didn’t. Why?! Why would I call you at work, dude? You’re working! He was infatuated. It took me longer to become infatuated with him, because I was much more curious about being in such a legit relationship and all of the details and baggage and big life lessons this entailed. I had flirted and kissed and casually dated and made out and had fun with boys, hell, I had even done the ‘I love you’ thing once before…. but I had no idea what it meant to actually be somebody’s girlfriend. To have rules. For quite a while, I tested limits. My former self now reminds me of the little kids I nanny, pushing boundaries to see how far I was allowed to go. I especially found myself in awe of all of Robby’s past relationships. I would make him tell me stories of all of his past dates and break-ups and moments in between. I was fascinated and found his experience sexy. He knew things. I didn’t. I wanted to know things too. I’ve always been much more curious than jealous by nature, and my experiences pre-Robby had left me in this completely clueless state. What was a real relationship like? What does a real break-up feel like? What are girls in real relationships doing? Who is this boy and why is he so damn nice to me? What does a normal past look like? WHO AM I AND WHAT AM I DOING!?!? I see now that I was trying to figure out myself and this new relationship through Robby’s former ones. You know, the usual illogical teenage thought-processes.
At a younger and much more jaded time in my life, I would quite frequently run into Robby’s former interests. As if my being so damn nosy summoned them up out of the blue, and usually at the most inconvenient moments. But mostly because he dated most of Texas. (Kidding) Now that I’ve come into my own, learned a lot and simmered down at least a little, I feel the universe still likes to laugh at me by reminding me of my 19-20 year old self. Last week, I was in the financial aid department at my school. I had sweat pants on that I had rolled up, and they may or may not have been a little uneven. As usual, I had little to no makeup on. I was also trying to get some business taken care of. I had randomly received an email about my scholarship the week before, informing me that if I didn’t send a thank-you note to those who gave me my grant, it would be dropped. Considering this was the first I’ve ever heard of sending a thank-you note, I was a bit irked. I was even more irked when the lady at the front desk answered my questions by asking me, “Oh. You haven’t taken care of that yet?” As much as I love my school, they aren’t known for having the most helpful front-desk peeps. Somewhere in the mix of me trying rather hard to be the polite young lady my parents raised me to be, I looked over my shoulder. To see one of Robby’s exes. We smiled at each-other, perhaps a little nervously. I had actually briefly worked with this girl at a jewelry store when I was 17. Right around the time she was dating Robby. (I was underage through practically all of Robby’s dating career. I was also in middle school when he graduated high-school. This tickles me, especially because it’s so fun to tease husband about.) Now we apparently attend the same university. How’s that for a small world? I considered striking up a conversation, as I have this urge to strike up conversations with most everyone. But I wasn’t sure whether to begin with, “Hi, I think 5 years ago I worked with you maybe 3 times?” or “Hello! As you probably know, I am married to your ex! How are you today?” So I just kept my mouth shut, which is quite hard for me to do.
I came home later and Robby and I both chuckled as I recounted the story. I told him to stop having so many ex-girlfriends and maybe whined a little while informing him of my slightly messy hair, uneven pant legs and near make-up less self. He smiled and looked me straight in the eye to tell me, “Baby. You’re beautiful. Even without make-up on. That’s why I married you.” The last part was (hopefully) a joke, but the way he looked at me and the conviction in his tone immediately plastered a goofy grin on my face. Yesterday as I left for school, I noticed I was again wearing rolled up sweats with slightly uneven pant legs. It really didn’t matter. If this boy can see me as completely beautiful even when I’m a complete mess, than shoot, that’s what I feel like even on my homeliest days. If there was ever a dude to figure out the in-and-outs of a relationship with, it was this one.