When I was 19, I saw this guy sitting at our group’s table at Buffalo Wild Wings and I thought his crooked smile was so cute. I’ve always been a sucker for unconventional beauty. Rumor has it, I loudly said to him, “I like your smile.” (I say rumor has it because I am embarrassed of my 2002 self. I was so obnoxious that I choose to forget certain memories because it’s more convenient for me than believing them).
I was very sheltered, immature, and outspoken. Not outspoken in the endearing, likable way, but in the way where you just want to slap them. I wore terrible clothes (in fact, I could always be counted on to wear a promotional t-shirt and sweat pants). I had obviously spent the majority of my life learning from a $2.49 Kmart curriculum, but somehow believed I was smart. Somehow, this guy with the adorable crooked smile and filthy “The Herd” hat must have found me endearing.
Apparently he went to my school, but I had never seen him before. Somehow, he knew my friend Patrick and procured my AIM screename (it was 2002-AIM was still popular). Writing this now, I wonder how many of the married people I know would be married if it weren’t for Patrick. Every college couple turned married couple seem to somehow be connected through him. Perhaps he should kick Patti Stranger off her show and start his own matchmaking business. Hell, their names are even similar.
That last paragraph spoiled the ending, but I’ll insert the obvious anyway. The owner of the crooked smile and the filthy hat is now my husband. Steve was my first boyfriend, and he treated my obnoxious self like I was a better, more interesting, more attractive person than I actually was. I didn’t appreciate him until quite awhile after we broke up and I moved away. Steve will be both my first and also my last kiss. All the kisses belonging to the kissers in between never could compare. In fact, in 2004 I compiled a list of best kissers, and Steve was at the top of said list (in 2004, I could have been even more obnoxious than I was in 2002). I am proud to be a person who, in the end, gets the best.