Joe was 6 months old when I was born. Our families were in business together so we met forever ago. But being a typical oldest of a family of 7 boys and 1 girl, my Joe thought girls were icky when we were young.
At my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary there was a huge typical Hispanic over the top party. It was customary for the bride and groom of long ago to dance together and then be carried on chairs through the crowd. Neither of them felt comfortable doing that at their ages and so I was picked to stand in for my grandmother and Joe whose family was also at the party was picked to be my grandfather.
I had always thought he was the cutest little boy, he thought I was a cootie infested girl. But we had fun dancing around the room being held up high and he even smiled at me with a toothless 6 year old smile.
Not long after that party, our families ended their partnership and I only saw Joe once more when we were both 13. He was so 13 year old boy and full of himself and I felt like an outsider at the event but still thought he was cute.
Fast forward 11 years, my favorite aunt, who happened to be his godmother, called me. It was only a few months after my divorce from Shelley’s father. She told me she had someone visiting with her that needed me to find him a date. Why not come over and visit and then I could call one of my friends and see if I could get him a date because he was only going to be in town a few days. But she wouldn’t tell me who the “cutie”, her words, was.
So I went obediently to her house expecting someone but who knew, that I would now have to possibly lose a friend over. I mean my aunt was a nut case and had bazillion godchildren. It never even crossed my mind that it might be Joe.
When I walked in the door and our eyes met, I just melted inside. His smile, while now had all the teeth present was so warm and very sexy. He was still the “cutest little boy” in the world grown up to a very handsome man. I know we must have visited, or at least I remember my aunt flitting around serving us cookies and tea, but for the life of me I can’t remember any of the conversation. He just kept smiling at me and that’s all that was going on in the world right then.
I was to go home and call a girlfriend and get back with him later in the afternoon. I went home got ready for my date and never called anyone. When I called him I said I would meet him at The Valencia at 7:00pm. He said, “I hope you are coming alone.” I said I was and when I hung up I was so excited and happy. We spent the next 6 hours talking and getting to know one another. The next day we were together all day and managed to find time, I just knew that was gonna happen, to make love. It was all I had hoped for and all I ever wanted.
Unfortunately he left the next day to go home to Colorado Springs to see his folks before he was to go to Vancouver to a new job. I thought I had just had the most spectacular one night stand of my life.
Every night and sometimes during the day too, he would call me from Canada, just to hear my voice. And as it would happen, 3 months later, his company lost the contract at the hospital where he worked. He called that night and said if you love me as much as I love you, you’ll marry me. My plane lands in Albuquerque at 2 pm. I would love to spend the rest of my life taking care of you and Shelley. What’s your answer? I said yes, of course.
So I met my lover in September and we were married in November, but I’ve known him my whole life. Who marries an unemployed person you’ve only really know for 8 weeks, the luckiest woman in the world. This year will be 40 plus years of, for better and worse, and that smile still melts my heart, my Sweet Man.