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eight

yesterday was our anniversary. eight years ago cam and i decided to take a chance on each other. this is the only anniversary that i really try to track. i mean, i know my wedding date, but we got married under such a cloud (i will not discuss this, so please don't ask) that i tend to see 10/25 as our only "real" anniversary.

cam and i met in 1982, but we did not pursue a romantic relationship until 1997. got married in 1998. although most soppy married folk could probably go on and on about how they wish they could have met up (hooked up!) sooner, we don't feel that way. over the weekend we discussed how things could have been so very different if we had only conquered the shyness of ninth graders -- we could have gone to the same college, we could have gotten married earlier. but would it have worked out? i doubt it. we aren't the same people we were back when we were 14-15 years old. if we had gotten together that young, chances are we would have split up by high school and then we could pretty much guarantee that there would be no way we'd get married and have our wonderful, wonderful boy.

it's so bizarre to think that i have known cam for 23 years. it's even weirder to think that we've been together for eight years. i had just come off a bad break-up and i didn't even want to get into a relationship. i was intrigued by the foreign notion of "dating" -- i don't know if we were just a product of the time or the location or what, but "dating" as in seeing different people without commitment was completely frowned upon. if you were out with different people all the time, you were clearly a slut or a player or worse. when you were interested in someone, you had to instantly see that person exclusively or you could be accused of toying with them. well, dammit, i wanted to do some toying! at the ripe old age of 22, i was ready to play the field.

then came the email that changed everything. (did you see those insanely large promo posters for dawson's creek with dawson, joey and pacey? i guess this would be late 90s. there was one near our first apartment together. "her choice would change everything." such drama.) totally innocuous. a hello-how-are-you email from cam. we hadn't talked in a while, so it was a nice surprise. i responded in an appropriately friendly manner and asked a completely -- i swear -- innocent question about his lovelife. come on, we were old friends and i hadn't seen him as potential love interest since we were 15. he wrote back promptly enough and mentioned recently seeing an old high school friend (a former obsession) and thinking she was looking pretty good. hm, i thought. i can't remember if i wrote back -- i probably did, probably followed up with some mild teasing.

the next night, i went out to dinner, drinks and... stuff with my grad school friend. somewhat drunk and definitely cranky at 3-4 am after a 50+ mile drive from claremont to carson, i checked my email. never mind the drunk driving, what about the drunk emailing? eeesh. i saw cam's email and i don't know why, but it set me off. i wrote a bitter response. figures you'd go for her again, i wrote, i never had a chance with you, anyway. satisfied, i went to bed and slept the sleep of the just and/or the buzzed.

i woke up with a headache and the cold prickly feeling of having done something very, very stupid. checked my sent mail and saw the horrible, horrible drunken message i had sent. in a panic, i called cam and tried really hard to play it cool. um, hey, want to go out for a drink? he said yes. the panic grew. i was a wreck from that moment on. i washed my hair. i changed my contacts. purple? clear? purple? i changed my sweater. changed it again. i reevaluated my jeans. (he apparently took a shower, much to the amusement of his housemates.)

he showed up, i greeted him and immediately launched into a monologue about how i wanted to just "date" and not get involved in anything heavy for a while. he agreed. we sat there nervously.

by the end of the night, i was a giggly mess and i wasn't even drunk. a week later, i threw my "dating" ideas out the window and we officially became a couple. cute story, huh?

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