Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Half my Life

Earlier this Spring, a significant milestone in my life passed quietly without much fanfare, but I think it's worth acknowledging. Justin and I have been together for half of my life. HALF OF MY LIFE. Crazy, right?

It helps that we met and started dating when we were babies...I was 16 and he was 19.

Yes, that is a pink pager on my hip. I swear it was cool at the time! The year was 2000 after all! Cell phones at that time looked like this and hardly anyone had one:
Image result for cell phones 1999

So how did we meet? Well, once upon a time there was a very cute boy who worked at the Wal-Mart photo lab...

We went to high school together, so we were aware of one another. But I was in band and he played football and he was a few years older than me so we didn't really run in the same social circle. I always thought he was cute though. So flash forward to the summer before my senior year in high school. Justin had graduated a year before, was going to SFA, and was working in the photo lab at Wal-Mart. And I got a lot of pictures developed. =) He would flirt with me when I would drop off my film (remember, it was 2000!). Buying and developing whole rolls of film got expensive so I learned to just get a reprint or two printed from negatives. And bonus that when you were working with the negatives it required special assistance from the photo lab guy! Or maybe that's just what he told me so he could talk to me. =)

So anyway, one evening he made me so nervous that I left my keys on the counter of the photo lab. The photo lab was closing so he turned my keys in to the lost and found. Of course I needed to thank him, so I got his ICQ (kind of like AIM but it was 2000) screen name from a mutual friend and sent him a message. With Creed, 'N Sync and Matchbox 20 playing on TRL in the background, we spent a few weeks chatting on ICQ until 2 a.m. every night. Then another few weeks talking on the phone (landlines, of course!) until 3 a.m. every night and then decided that maybe we should hang out in person. On one of our first dates we went and walked around at Hastings to rent a movie.

We made our first "public appearance" on July 7, 2000 and, as they say, the rest is history. That was the night the aforementioned pink pager picture was taken and I just love that we have that picture.

So Justin, who swore he wouldn't date a high school girl once he graduated, quickly found himself back at those high school football games. And as a band date!

I love that he's the one who took me to all of my senior year dances.

I love that we headed to Texas A&M at the same time (he as a transfer and I as a freshman) and have so many shared experiences from Red, White and Blue Out to Ring Day.

I love that he has been part of virtually every significant moment of my adult life. I can say "Remember when...?" and he does. Every time. We are some of the lucky ones who were able to grow up together while also growing together. As we approach 17 years of shared history, I am so grateful that he is my past, present, and future. Love you, babe!

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