15 years ago, I was at a rodeo.
You know those e-mail chains and MySpace bulletins where you review what you did 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, etc? And, how on MySpace, most of those kids can only go back one section (maybe 2)without saying things like - I was still eating Gerber Toddler Food and drinking out of a sippy cup. I feel older every time I read one.
Saturday night, I went on a date with my boys. We went to the County Fair - probably a pretty common occurrence around the USA this time of year. We ate greasy fair food, checked in on Chance's entry, rode a few rides, and had some fun family time. I'm not sure if I'm changing or the crowd is changing, but Matt & I both commented on the way out the gate - was the carnival that bad when we were young? Probably a bit of both, I guess.
That got us heading down memory land a bit, and the boys were giggling at the fact that Matt and I had our first date at that very county fair - 15 years ago, almost to the day.
August 13, 1993.
Parts of it I remember like it was yesterday. Parts of it are a blur. We had been friends for a few months, and one or the other of us had managed to make sure we were at the same place at the same time on many different occasions. No real dates - just fun times spent hanging out with all of our friends.
This night, however, was distinctly different. "Do you want to go to the fair with me?" is polar opposite to a statement that before would have sounded more like "Hey, I'm gonna be at the fair on Saturday night if you wanna, like, show up there, too." It was a world of difference, and we both knew it. This would be the first time, but definitely not the last, that I would change my clothes no less than 5 times to make sure I had the perfect outfit that would impress this handsome young man.
We would each be driving to town from about 1 1/2 hours away, making it impossible for him to pick me up. But, we didn't want to meet at the fair - this was too important to be status quo. So, ingenious young minds that we were, we met at the Burger King parking lot about 5 blocks from the fair, and rode the rest of the way in style in his blue convertible Ford Mustang. That's romance, huh?
If I remember right, I begged out of most of the rides (aside from the Ferris Wheel), claiming I was more into big, thrilling, theme park type attractions. What was I thinking??? Believe me, this has come back to haunt me on many a trip to Silverwood, Six Flags, and Las Vegas.
We ate greasy fair food, cheered at the rodeo, checked out some exhibits, and rode a few rides.
And, I don't know if I was younger, the crowd was different, or the stars in my eyes were blinding me, but the rodeo was exciting, the carnival was clean, the fair food was exquisite and calorie-free, my Wranglers felt just right, and the hand holding mine was a perfect fit.
Thanks, honey, for 15 years like nothing I could have imagined. This rodeo we're in has had a few rough bumps, and most of it has flown by faster than an 8-second-ride, but I'm so thankful we're both in it 'til the buzzer. I wouldn't want it any other way.
I will rendezvous at Burger King with you anytime. Thanks for askin'.