Our 22nd wedding anniversary is this Saturday. In a way, I can't believe we've been married 22 years. I've spent half my life married to him. Lucky for me, I can't imagine being with anyone else and I love him so much more now than I did 22 years ago.
We laugh and we (or rather I should say I) yell. I boss him around. He doesn't listen and he doesn't care. He knows my moods. I know his. We enjoy being alone together more than any couple I know. We can make a good time out of working in the yard and end an exhausting day just putting our feet in the pool. He's my soulmate and God surely smiled down on me when we met.
Dena, who is one my favorite daily reads, coincidentally is also celebrating her 22nd wedding anniversary soon. She's writing each day the story of how she met her "Mr. Right." I thought it'd be something that I would like to do. To write it down is something I've never done before and I just think it would be neat to have.
Jeff graduated from the University of Georgia in 1985. He was on his own, living in a little duplex with his bachelor cousin, Ted. Jeff had four older brothers and they all love sports. Almost every sport there is, they have either played or enjoy watching and even coaching, umping and refereeing lots of them.
His mom was 39 when he was born. His dad was 42. The brother closest to him in age is eight or nine years older than he is.
I came from a family of girls. I am the oldest. I grew up playing no sports, watching no sports and basically knew nothing about any sport until I was 20 and started to enjoy watching football and even playing softball. I was the WORST softball player ever and pearls were always an essential part of my uniform.
In 1985 while I was playing softball, Jeff's oldest brother Don was the umpire at the softball park I played at. I didn't know him, but I guess my pearls stood out. He remembered me. Jeff had watched several games there and may have even seen me "play" softball. Like I said before, I was no good, so I'm sure he paid me no attention.
In the spring of 1986, Suz and Jeff's oldest niece, Kim, played on the same softball team at Fairview. Suz and Kim were good friends and went to school together. They were 12 years old. Don and another of Jeff's brothers, P-nut, coached the softball team.
Suz was a way better athlete than me. She was a darned good little softball player. Being the doting older sister that I've always been, I never missed a game. Well, Suz and Kim decided they wanted to play matchmaker. Kim had this 24-year-old, single, good looking uncle and they wanted me to meet him. Only I didn't know their plan. Don and P-nut evidently told Jeff it was safe for him to meet me. I guess they didn't want to set their beloved baby brother up with just any old hag.
I was at one of the softball games and knew nothing about meeting Jeff or anybody else. Suz and Kim had all the plans worked out. As I was leaving, Suz and Kim brought Jeff up to say hello. When I tell you that it was love at first sight, I mean that with all my heart. I was instantly in love with him. He's been gray since he was in high school, but I didn't know it. I thought he had colored his hair because then it looked almost a little blond. He had just left work and was wearing suit pants and a dress shirt, with the tie loosened. Give me a man in a suit any day.
I'm sure you can imagine how awkward that little meeting was. Two twelve-year-old girls playing matchmaker. It was a quick hello and that was it. We all went home.
Later that evening, the phone at my mom and dad's, where I lived until the day I married, rang. It was a guy wanting to speak to me. And it was Jeff. He wanted to ask me out for the upcoming weekend. Ironically, I had another date scheduled with a different guy the same weekend. But thankfully, there is more than enough time for two dates with two different guys in the same weekend. Even more ironically, after the date with Jeff, my bachelorette days were over. I was smitten.
He figured that since I had "played" softball and always watched Suz's team play, that I must enjoy softball/baseball. Our first date was to an Atlanta Braves game. He was a true Southern gentleman in every way. He opened the car door for me, which impressed my daddy so much. He was polite and considerate and sooo good looking.
During our first date, he kept talking about Ed and Jean. Ed and Jean this and Ed and Jean that. I wondered who in the heck Ed and Jean were. Finally, I asked and found out that they were his parents and he'd always called them by their first names. It was obvious he was a family kinda guy, perfect for me.
I clearly remember as if it were yesterday coming home from that date and going in my room and writing Kelly Kelly and Kelly Kelley a million times. I didn't even know how he spelled his last name, but I knew after that date that I was going to be Kelly Kelly.
We dated each other exclusively from June of '86 on. We enjoyed meeting each other's family and my parents really liked Jeff. He was successful and he was good to their daughter. I think it would have been easy to see that we were a good match. After some of the other scumballs I had brought home, they probably thought Jeff was indeed Prince Charming.
We were rocking along great until early October. We had a major falling out and I ended the relationship. He understood and that was that. Or was it. . .
TO BE CONTINUED.
Jeff and me. Fall 1986