One of my favorite songs is "This Is Not A Love Song" by PIL (and not just because Johnny Rotten/Lydon sings it). The song's refrain captures the way I feel about love in general. I am an anti-sentamentalist and have a hard time saying how much I adore my husband without sounding sarcastic. My sister Roberta is the opposite and I admire how she can say without any trace of irony how dearly she loves her husband. If I tried to say that, I would add something smart ass to the end.
That is not to say I am not a romantic because I am. There is a host of evidence to support my assertion.
Rhett Butler was my first crush. After reading "Gone with the Wind" at age eight, I vowed to write a sequel in which Rhett came back to Scarlett and they lived happily ever after.
By the age of ten, I had read at least one hundred (a low estimate) Harlequin romance novels. My father built a bookcase in our garage to house all of our family's paperback "literature". My mom read them first and handed them off and I read them over and over until they were dog-eared, their pages crinkled by bathwater. In grade school, my teachers commented on my mature vocabulary because I used words like ravished and swooned.
I am a sucker for both a fairy tale and a chick flick. I've seen "When Harry Met Sally" at least fifteen times and "Sleepless In Seattle" ten times. I heaved with sobs the last time I watched "An Affair to Remember".
My favorite singer is Morrissey (formerly of The Smiths) who is an alternative crooner of sorts. His most romantic song is "There Is A Light Which Never Goes Out" ("And if a double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die"). Two years ago, Adrian and I learned a tango to it and just last week, I sat in my car and listened to the song and imagined us dancing.
It's a given then that I am a hopelessly hopeful Libra romantic.
My husband and I have been together for eighteen years, but only married for two.
My nickname should be the patron saint of patience because it took me sixteen years to get Adrian to marry me and only when I gave up did he finally give in (there goes my serpent's tongue again).
We met at a club in Pomona, California called "Flamingo Hills" (now called Coco Cabana) located at the top of Kellogg Hill right where the 57 and the 10 freeways meet.
The night we met was not one of my highest points fashion wise. I wore a black pleated skirt with black tights and high boots and a white pirate like blouse with a black vest covered in small mirrors that Adrian later called my "flair".
I was at the club with my twin sister Jackie and my younger sister Annie. Although the music was good, my mood was not because my hair had frizzed out and my sisters had hooked up. I walked around the cavernous club and every so often, I went to the bathroom and tried to fix my hair.
I stood in the corner and got madder and madder as I watched my sisters on the dance floor. They could care less that I was alone. I wanted to leave.
I heard a deep voice ask, "Hello, would you like to dance?" I retorted with a short, "No". As I turned around, I caught a glimpse of a tall handsome guy with black hair and striking features. His two friends laughed and gave him grief as they walked away, "She dissed you, she didn't even turn around."
"Shit", I thought to myself. A decent guy finally asked me to dance and I rejected him. I wasn't about to let him get away and when a Depeche Mode song came on, I squared my shoulders and walked right back up to him, frizzy hair and all.
His friends jostled him as I walked up which didn't intimidate me because his friends were way shorter than him. I saw that he was even better looking than at first glance. He had thick black hair, a dimple in his chin and hazel flecked eyes. I was sure he could see my nervousness, "Do you want to dance?" I stammered. He looked at me and nodded and held out his hand, "I'm Adrian," he said in a soft voice."
That night he got my number and called me the very next day. We went out the following weekend.
He picked me up from my apartment in Upland in a white convertible Mercedes Benz. "Holy shit, this is a nice car," I said as he opened my door for me. He smiled.
We went to Acalpulco in Montclair for dinner and he impressed me when he ordered guacamole that the waiter made right there at the table. His manners were impeccable, but he was shy and soft spoken which made me nervous. I blabbed on and on and the more I talked, the more positive I was that he didn't like me. The poor guy probably said five words during dinner. Afterward, Adrian walked me to his car and said, "You have the most beautiful eyes."
That was the beginning of our eighteen plus years together and time has gone by so fast that I cannot believe it. We have been through everything together. The good times, the bad times, the ugly fights, the beautiful moments along with the sadness and tragedies that make up life.
When my dad was dying from pancreatic cancer, he used to tell Adrian that he was glad he didn't have to worry about me because he knew Adrian would.
It took us so long to get married that people had given up. No one bugged us any more and I no longer hassled Adrian about it. For the four years he was in dental school, I hounded him every day to get married. He refused to talk about it. Finally, enough was enough, if he didn't want to get married that was fine with me. I was tired and owning a couple of houses and living together was enough for me. I didn't need a piece of paper.
That's when Adrian decided that he wanted to get married.
We planned a huge wedding, but decided to elope. On December 23, 2008 (exactly two years ago this coming Thursday) we went to the San Bernardino courthouse and got married. As I stood and recited my vows in the courthouse chapel, this avowed anti-sentimentalist got all teary eyed as I recited my vows in front of my mom and Adrian's parents.
That afternoon, Adrian's dad Alberto took us to the Mission Inn for lunch. I wore a cream suit and hat for the occasion and of course, I spilled bright red salsa down the front of my shirt (damn those Shrimp Fajitas).
That evening, life was back to normal. Adrian and I went home to our Shih-Tzus and ordered a pizza for dinner and played video games all night.
This story is a love song of sorts, but if asked, I will deny it.