It all started with a single shoe.
Evelyn (the lovely lady on the left) chose a shoe from the pile at a Young Farmer’s meeting, securing her lunch date with its owner (the strapping man on the left).
And she knew who the owner was of that gray suede shoe. His name was Kenneth. She wanted to have lunch with the owner of that gray suede shoe. And many lunches later, these two quickly turned into a family of six.
The boy on the bottom right is my father-in-law.
He looked like this as a teen.
And then he looked like this and married this hot little number.
(Photo courtesy of the lovely 80‘s Glamour Shots Studios.)
And they sprouted two boys (the one in the middle and the other on the right). I don’t know who that guy on the left is. Even though he was in my wedding. What a weirdo.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Kansas, I became friends with this girl on the left, Carly. We were simultaneously being secretaries at, dare I say it, Cutco Knives. She & I shared one desk and one phone and worked the same hours.
It was weird.
This is Carly’s little sister, Cynthia.
Doesn’t she look fun?! She became my best friend.
Now, let me tell you, this Cynthia girl was integral to me meeting my Hubby. I really owe her one or a thousand, or at least a pie. And this is how it happened; many, many moons ago.
Cynthia called me at work, inviting me to a punk rock show later that night. (This, of course, was way back when punk rock was still cool.) She promised there would be cute boys present and that I might even have a little fun. I was a fan of fun and I was a fan of cute boys, but I wasn’t really interested in finding one at a punk rock show. And I certainly wasn’t interested in finding a boy that planned on staying in Tulsa.
I had been focused on selling off all of my earthly possessions, determined to leave the Bible belt for the more laid back Rocky Mountains. A white water rafting job, a tent by the river, and a new adventure awaited me.
But back to the cute boys thing. I could still look at them, right? Looking didn’t tie a girl down; looking just entertained a girl for a bit. Acquiescing, I went to the punk rock show and wore my cutest pair of jeans. Jeans were a very stupid choice.
The simple fact that it was June usually steers an Okie away from wearing jeans. But I was going through a ‘I hate shorts’ thing and didn’t own a single pair. I had no idea the show would be in a steel warehouse without air conditioning or that it would be approximately 150 degrees that day.
I lingered on the outskirts of the mosh pit, standing as close as I could to the one and only fan in the building without getting my hair ripped out of my head. Band after band played; the mosh pit becoming more and more intense. The heat didn’t seem to bother anyone else. I fantasized about going home to peel off my jeans and drink a tubful of water.
Finally, the last band sauntered off stage, throwing guitar picks into the adoring crowd. I rolled my eyes. Keys in hand, I began looking for Cynthia. Spotting her talking to the drummer, I gave her the universal woman’s head nod, “I’m ready to go.” She gave me back the other universal woman’s head nod, “I’m not. There is a cute
boy involved here.”
I walked my coolest walk, sticky legs and all, over to Cynthia. She introduced me to the band. My eyes passed over the drummer with the fu-man-chu who had captured her interests, onto the lead singer who barely peeped out his name, then rested on the face of the bass player.
Oh, my. The bass player. I sucked in my breath.
He wore a black tank top, showcasing his large biceps wrapped in tattoos. I liked what I saw, but couldn’t help thinking the outfit was a little obvious, perhaps a little cocky. I shook Bicep’s hand as hard as I could and mumbled my name, hoping I looked confident and aloof.
I refused to be a groupie.
We said our goodbyes and our ‘nice-to-meet-you’s’ and I finally was able to drag Cynthia out into fresh air.
And that was that.
Or was it……?
Days later, I got to thinking that my little weirdo brother might want a punk rock CD from Biceps’ band. And I wouldn’t mind seeing him or his biceps again.
Just one more look before I head out for the Rockies.
Making a couple of calls over my lunch hour I soon had the band’s phone number. (The band shared a cell phone, a house, a van and most everything else. Weirdos.) Biceps’ brother answered the phone, sleepily reciting their address at the ungodly hour of 2pm.
Don’t these guys have real jobs?, I thought.
As soon as the clock struck five, I double-checked my makeup before heading across the river to their side of town, address in hand. I was thankful I wore my little black dress instead of the usual wrinkly grey pants. Biceps might be a little cocky, but he was also handsome.
I ain’t blind, ladies. I ain’t blind.
Shall I review?
Pulling my black Corsica into their driveway, I turned down my AC/DC, just in case it wasn’t ‘cool’ to listen to that band. (Subsequently, it is cool.) Biceps was loading a trailer with the band’s gear and he was shirtless.
Oh my, did he look good shirtless.
He walked to my car door, saying he had no idea I was stopping by but was glad that I did. My heart flipped a little and I knew I would spit or do something embarrassing if I didn’t get it together.
Keep it cool, Rebekah. Keep it cool.
I drew in a deep breath and stated my desperate need for one of their CD’s in order to appease my baby brother. Biceps offered me a guitar case to sit on while he fished a CD out of the trailer. I will not lie and say I didn’t enjoy the view.
After producing the CD, he wiped the sweat off of his face and offered me a glass of water and a retreat from the June heat. I accepted, as nonchalantly as I could. He seemed less cocky than I remembered. Biceps seemed almost nice.
I loved the way his skin crinkled right by his nose when he smiled.
My barricade was cracking.
The cool air hit me as soon as I walked into his house. This was no ordinary bachelor pad. It was actually decorated, and decorated well. I was intrigued.
He offered me a spot on the sofa and soon we were looking at photos of the band that had just been taken. We talked about their new CD and their label and the ‘market’ and a lot of other things I knew nothing about.
I enjoyed every word that came out of his mouth.
An hour later, water had done what it’s supposed to do and I sheepishly inquired the whereabouts of the bathroom. He pointed the way and I hoped he was watching me go.
Opening the door, I was shocked. Floored. Speechless.
The bathroom was absolutely spotless. And it smelled good. No prickly guy hair in the sink or shaving cream blopped somewhere or toilet paper roll sans toilet paper. It looked like my bathroom. Clean. Organized. Not gross. Cute.
My barricade crumbled. I was smitten by his cleanly ways.
Returning to the living room, I complimented him on the cleanliness of the bathroom. His response was that he was a bit of a neat freak. Could this be true? I was a neat freak. Could two neat freaks have found the other in this seemingly endless dirty world? I hoped it was true but I needed to know more. I needed to study his habits, observe his ways.
Biceps invited me to ‘hang out’ later on and I jumped at the chance. More research needed to be done.
Rushing home to change into something less corporate, I flitted around the apartment while informing my roommate about this cute guy who played in a band and had tattoos that I had met. She rolled her eyes, but smiled politely.
Leaving my roommate alone with her thoughts, I gunned my Corsica to our pre-arranged ‘hang out’ spot, a mutual friends apartment. Biceps met me at the door and smiled. He looked better than he had before and smelled a little like heaven. I could live in that moment forever. Biceps led me inside and we sat side by side on the only couch in the tiny apartment. I was pretty sure his knee touched mine at one point. I prayed to my Holy Maker that I didn’t fart or sneeze or do both.
At one point, it slipped out that I was in the market for a motorcycle.
What better way to get around the mountainous and snowy Colorado than on a motorcycle? My plans had not been completely thought through, I will admit. Biceps suggested we hunt down a Walnecks, which was a magazine specializing in the sale of vintage motorcycles. I tossed him the keys to my car and asked him to drive. He obliged, but first opened my car door for me. Handsome and a gentleman. I liked that.
Standing in the magazine aisle at the bookstore, his shoulder brushed against mine and stayed put. My breath quit coming for a minute.
Soon, it was dinnertime and he suggested meeting up with a group of his friends at a diner. It wasn’t even a question who should drive by this time. He opened my car door again, as if he had been doing this his whole life.
The two of us poured over my new magazine, oblivious to the rest of the world in the restaurant. Soon, greasy diner food began to surround us, the smell of french fries (my arch-nemesis) surrounding me. I was starving, but determined to stick to my vegan diet. I focused on the motorcycle magazine, telling myself a yummy apple awaited me at home.
After two hours, the group disbanded and Biceps walked me to my car. He offered to get a ride home from a friend, rather than me drive him home.
I wasn’t ready to let him go but remembered what my mom had said about desperate girls. So, I shrugged my shoulders and said something really cool, like “Yeah, whatever. Sounds good.” But he lingered and flirted.
He showed off a little bit, climbing the parking light pole which made me laugh. I wanted him to make me laugh again. I made mention of skipping out on the greasy food, and how hungry I had become. He offered to take me somewhere that I could eat a decent meal. Trying to not be desperate, I told him I had an apple waiting for me at home. He said that an apple wasn’t a meal and smiled again.
I loved his smile.
I threw him the keys once more to my sweet ride. He drove to the only restaurant open at that hour and after ordering our meals, Biceps informed me he was ready to be married and had been since he turned 18. I told him I was fine not being married, and had planned to ditch the corporate life to become a white-water rafting instructor in Colorado.
He asked me if I didn’t mind not shaving my armpits for months. I had wondered if I would be ok with that. He then asked me where I was going to live. I replied that I would be living in a tent with another girl, in the community of white water rafters. I could almost feel his amusement with me oozing across the table. He asked me if I could defend myself against bears. I told him I knew how to play dead and cover my head and that I would be alright. Besides, this was only temporary and
not a permanent lifestyle.
I had a feeling he was trying to make me question my dreams of Colorado, tents and furry armpits. Which I did question later that night when I dropped him off. And then I questioned it again when he called the very next morning to ask me for a second date that night. And by the third day with Biceps and a third date, his heart had wrapped itself around mine just as his lips did while we watched the stars.
And before I could make my Colorado dream a reality, he proposed to me in the middle of the night, in German. (He learned German just to ask me to marry him.) Of course I said yes, although it took me awhile to pull the sleep out of my eyes and understand this wasn’t a dream.
Two months later, we were hitched.
No, we weren’t prego. We are very old fashioned that way.
After a brief honeymoon, we headed out on the road with his band.
And THAT was THAT.
And it continues to be THAT for ten years now. I think I’ll keep him.
Even though he is weird.