When I was twenty-one years old, a friend of mine at Millersville University asked me to go out with her and celebrate the end of finals. I didn’t really want to, but I did; after all, she had done countless things for me over our four years together away at school (not to mention the 6 years before, during Junior and Senior High). Anyway, as we sat at the bar, she kept staring at this guy…kept saying she knew him, but couldn’t quite make the connection. Long story short, as we were getting ready to leave, which was conveniently the same time that mystery man and his friend were leaving, the lightbulb went off. Summer camp! For several years, they went to the same summer camp. Teenage romance? I can’t even remember. And it doesn’t matter. Because while they were reliving their past, I was meeting my future.
We spent the rest of that spring evening together, talking into the wee hours. We exchanged numbers and said goodnight. A few days later…no call. Well, not true, I did get a few phone calls from this “other guy.” Nice enough guy–we had gone out a few times–but this time I said no. There was just something about this friend of a friend’s friend that I couldn’t stop thinking about. So I dug deep into my “I am woman, hear me roar” reserves and decided I would call him. Unfortunately, according to his little sister on the other end of the phone, he had gone back to the University of Pittsburgh to take his own final exams. Seems he was only home for the weekend when we met. I think my heart actually broke a little bit!
I stayed in Millersville that summer. Should have graduated and gone home, just like my friend Gina. But, I had one more phys. ed. course to take in order to graduate. So I worked at the library for one more summer, and got those last credits by going canoeing a few afternoons a week. Graduation would be in August for me and a few of my friends were staying for the summer, so it wouldn’t be so bad. One night early in the summer session, as I was sitting in my apartment, there was a knock on my door. I opened it and there he was! And I have to say “he had me at hello!”
Rick had come back from Pittsburgh to spend the summer in Lancaster. He remembered where Gina’s apartment was and went looking for me there. Trouble was, Gina had moved to Florida with her family and her roommate, Sandy, had no idea who Rick was. He convinced her that he was not looking to do me harm and was convincing enough that she told him where I lived. He came looking for me…and he found me. And I know many of you think I’m way too mushy about my husband, but that day, when I found out how he tracked me down, well, let’s just say he may as well have come on a white horse with a glass slipper because I felt like Cinderella meeting her Prince.
We spent every day together that summer and then I graduated and moved home to Williamsport. We spent as many weekends together as we could, but by New Years I was moving to Pittsburgh to be with him. That spring he asked me to marry him and the next spring, we were married. Twenty-one years ago. He still takes my breath away and I still feel like Cinderella. Hope I get at least twenty-one more.