Everyone and their cousin is doing a post about Halloween. I thought about doing one too, but there's something more important than horror films, haunted houses, and trick or treating that happens on the 31st for me.
It's my twelfth wedding anniversary.
Himself and I have been together for fifteen years, married for twelve. Twelve years ago, we got dressed up in nice clothes (I bought a beige lace dress that I wore for several years after) and went to the courthouse. We had a couple friends and my family there. We said our vows, kissed, and that was that. We were married.
I've been asked how we met. It's a funny story, at least to us. I think I've shared this before, but I don't remember. So I'm sharing it again.
I was twenty two with no job prospects, no college education, and no marketable skills outside working in a nursing home or fast food/retail. Not what you want when you're that age. One of my older sisters suggested I try Job Corps. I was under the cut off age by two years and I could learn more about office work by taking their clerical program. So I went to the office and signed up. My only request? To get me out of Idaho. I was also going through some problems in my personal life and I needed to get away from everyone.
There was some discussion, but they finally found me one in Sedro-Woolley, WA that had an open spot in the clerical program. So, a few days after I got the call, my parents and one of my friends saw me off at the Greyhound station. Job Corps paid for my bus ticket. I don't remember how long the bus ride was, but I know we got into the actual Job Corps center just after midnight. I was exhausted and only half paid attention to what was being said around me. Which was fine, because it all got repeated in Orientation anyhow.
Our first introduction to life in Job Corps was an Orientation class that was to last for two weeks. Now, there was a lot of free time on the center. It's all job training during regular business hours. But that left us with our evenings free. I went looking for something to do. I found a group playing D&D (2nd edition) and they let me come in to play.
It had been ten years since I played D&D. I'd been playing Arduin for most of my teenage and adult life. So I needed someone to help me build my character. Enter Himself. He was eighteen years old and supremely confident in his knowledge. So he helped me build my character. He was an arrogant asshole who gave me crap because he thought I should know more than I did. I decided I didn't like him and since he wasn't a regular with the group, I didn't see much of him beyond him helping me with my character building.
Well, near the end of the two weeks of Orientation, the culinary arts students came in to talk about the banquet they were throwing for us. It was a test for them and a way for us to see one of the trades in action. Guess who was the coordinator for our banquet? Yup, you guessed it. It was Himself.
I was surprised by his professionalism and the fact that he seemed to genuinely care about getting things correct for all of us. There were two vegetarians, one who didn't drink soda, and me who couldn't have caffeine at the time because of the meds I was on. He made notes of that and said things would be ready for us.
We had our banquet and the culinary students did exactly what we hoped they would. At the end of the banquet, Himself and his team of culinary students came in to clean up. I did something I still don't know why I did it: I gave Himself a hug and thanked him for the banquet. He was shocked. I was shocked. And my friend started laughing.
We headed back to the Orientation classroom where we hung out until it was time for the rest of the center to go to lunch. We were allowed to wander around and hang out with people. Well, I found Himself in a gazebo smoking. I stopped and gave him another hug, much to the amusement of my friend since I'd told her I found him to be an asshole. Then he asked me if I was seeing anyone. I told him no. He asked me on a date. I said yes.
That yes was the beginning of a relationship that has had it's up and downs. We've had fights. We've gone through some pretty hard times. But we're still together. And that's what makes Halloween so special to me. My husband.