Tomorrow is Superman’s birthday!
A lot of people ask me how the two of us met.
I usually answer quickly. It seems pretty straightforward: We met in high school.
But then everyone kind of recoils, aghast. High school? Really? That’s amazing. Sometimes they don’t say “amazing.” Sometimes they say things like “outrageous,” “unbelievable,” “unheard of,” and (my personal favorite) “no way.”
I’m getting sort of used to it, now that we have one foot in our second decade of being married, but it makes me think about the story in general. And I guess it is sort of strange. In this day when a lot of people don’t pass their seventh year of marriage, I guess it is pretty hard to believe you could stay in love with someone you knew as a teenager.
The people who find the story most unthinkable keep adding questions: “Haven’t you changed so much?” And I think, yeah. Of course. But we’ve changed together, I guess. And we’ve helped each other change. And we’ve watched each other change. That part seems so important to me, actually, to be in love – to know how the other person’s changed (from what to what). I find it odd to think of meeting someone in his 30s and thinking you can be in love with this person whose past you will never truly know, because you weren’t there. So the cocked head and disbelief go both ways, I guess.
Anyway, one of the stranger parts of my and Chris’ story – at least to me – is the fact that I never wrote it down. I mean, seriously. I have about a gazillion reams of paper from that era, filled with teenage angst, journal entries, homework moanings, letters to friends, notes to cute boys in class, poems about cute boys in class, notes to friends in class, 27-page letters to friends who were gone over summers, short-story ramblings, letters to cousins I never mailed, etc., etc., etc.. They’re all in a hat box at the top of my closet. And yet I never wrote down a sentence of how I felt about Chris when I met him. Bizarro.
Even at the time, I remember thinking it was weird. I remember thinking “I should journal about him.” But I didn’t. I can only explain it as my feelings felt too … hmm … big? Does that sound silly? I was easily able to write about the few little boyfriends and crushes I had before him, but when it came to Superman, I got all writer’s-blocky. If I were one to use clichés I would say “words didn’t do him justice” or “words couldn’t communicate my feelings.” But I hate clichés. (So I’ll just say something super-inane like “my feelings felt too big.” … Hmm. Nice.)
Anyway, as I’m writing this, I realize I’m lying. I do recall one journal entry. But it was short. It was about three days before we started going out, I believe. I’ll try to find it as I’m writing the story.
For now, though, I’ll attempt to write it out. (Finally.) It’s long. You’ll want to grab a cup of coffee. Or maybe a pot of coffee. Better yet, I’ll send it along in chunks, serial-style, so as not to bore you silly. I also might be forced to throw in some rebuttal from Superman himself when he realizes how ridiculous my side of the story is.
And now … dim the lights. … Please turn off your cell phones. …
Here, serial-style, is the story of How I Met Superman. …